How publicity spurred Zuckerberg hospital to consider billing changes: A timeline

Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital made headlines in recent months after a Vox report revealed the hospital is out of network with all private health plans, which can leave patients with massive bills. Since the story ran, the city's largest public hospital has made efforts to evaluate and change its billing practices.

Here's a timeline of the hospital's efforts as reported by Becker's Hospital Review this year.

Jan. 7: Vox publishes story showing Zuckerberg San Francisco General's decision to remain out of network with all private health plans can leave patients on the hook for tens of thousands of dollars through balance billing.

Jan. 24: Vox reports that the hospital will lower a patient's $20,243 emergency room bill after media coverage.

Feb. 1: Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital, which  houses San Francisco's only top-tier trauma center, temporarily halts balance billing for 90 days as it finalizes a plan to address billing issues long term.

Feb. 19: Some hospital patients with outstanding bills continue to face uncertainty about the amount they'll ultimately owe, or how the debt will affect their credit, as the hospital works on billing changes.

Feb. 21: San Francisco health officials announce that they are considering a cap on out-of-pocket payments for privately insured patients receiving emergency services at the hospital.

Feb. 25: California lawmakers introduce a proposal to end surprise emergency room bills amid reports about billing practices at Zuckerberg San Francisco General.

 

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