Academic study questioning ER pricing sparks fight

From the Chronicle:

The free-standing emergency room industry has launched a fierce challenge to a recent academic study examining the pricing of emergency care in Texas, not only attacking the validity of the data but allegedly striking at the professional integrity of the authors.

The preliminary findings of the study, posted on a medical journal’s website in March but now removed, showed stark disparities in the prices charged for the same diagnosis depending on which type of clinic or emergency room a patient chooses. That can lead to confusion and ultimately sticker shock, the study found.

Lead author Vivian Ho of Houston said this week that Dr. Paul Kivela, president-elect of the American College of Emergency Physicians, contacted her in April to complain about some numbers in an appendix and implied she could be sued.

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