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A new Brookings Institution paper outlines ways to prevent patients from receiving surprise medical bills — particularly the patients who are unlikely to know their doctor is out-of-network.

The big picture: The paper argues that any solution must take into account that health care settings often are not normal markets.

  • Patients either aren't in a position to make choices (like in an emergency room), or don't have a choice of doctor (like anesthesiologists or radiologists in a hospital).
Expand chart
Data: Brookings; Chart: Harry Stevens/Axios

Details: The paper recommends 2 fixes:

  1. States could cap out-of-network provider rates in these situations, limiting patients' cost-sharing to what they'd normally pay for in-network services.
  2. Separate billing would be banned for out-of-network doctors at in-network facilities. Insurers would instead pay the hospital a certain amount and then that facility would pay providers for their services.

Go deeper: Why ending surprise medical bills is harder than it looks

Go deeper

2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Kellyanne Conway's parting power pointers

Kellyanne Conway addresses the 2020 Republican National Convention. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images

Kellyanne Conway has seen power exercised as a pollster, campaign manager and senior counselor to President Trump. Now that his term in office has concluded, she shared her thoughts with Axios.

Why it matters: If there's a currency in this town, it's power, so we've asked several former Washington power brokers to share their best advice as a new administration and new Congress settle in.

3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

GOP holdouts press on with plans to crush Cheney

Screenshot of emails to a member of Congress from individuals who signed an Americans for Limited Government petition against Rep. Liz Cheney. Photo obtained by Axios

Pro-Trump holdouts in the House are forging ahead with an uphill campaign to oust Rep. Liz Cheney as head of the chamber's Republican caucus even though Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy told them to back down.

Why it matters: What happens next will be a test of McCarthy's party control and the sincerity of his opposition to the movement. Cheney (R-Wyo.) is seen as a potential leadership rival to the California Republican.

Democrats aim to punish House GOP for Capitol riot

Speaker Nancy Pelosi passes through a newly installed metal detector at the House floor entrance Thursday. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

House Democrats plan to take advantage of corporate efforts to cut funding for Republicans who opposed certifying the 2020 election results, with a plan to target vulnerable members in the pivotal 2022 midterms for their role in the Jan. 6 violence.

Why it matters: It's unclear whether the Democrats' strategy will manifest itself in ads or earned media in the targeted races or just be a stunt to raise money for themselves. But the Capitol violence will be central to the party's messaging as it seeks to maintain its narrow majorities in Congress.