surprise medical bills

TikTok takes on surprise medical bills

Illustration of money symbol springing out of box
Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

TikTok: It's for teens. It's for memes. And sometimes, it's for getting help with a surprise medical bill.

The state of play: The New York Times spotlights Shaunna Burns, who posts videos on the popular social-media app offering life advice and encouragement — including one on hospital billing that garnered thousands of replies about "how baffling the American health care system can be."

ER doctors' pay raises outpace other specialists

Data: Urban Institute; Chart: Naema Ahmed/Axios

Emergency doctors — which are at the center of the surprise billing debate — saw their compensation go up more than any other physician specialty between 2013 and 2017.

Why it matters: This translates into higher health care costs, which we all pay for through our taxes, premiums and out-of-pocket spending.