A new issue brief looks at the prevalence of potential surprise medical bills based on patient diagnosis, emergency visits, and type of inpatient admission. Using claims data from large employer health plans, the analysis finds that patients who may be at higher risk of surprise medical bills include those admitted for surgery (including mastectomies), heart attack patients, and people admitted for mental health and/or substance abuse treatment.

The brief follows an earlier analysis that examined how often patients get hit with surprise medical bills, what circumstances tend to give rise to them and what policy proposals are currently being considered to protect consumers from this problem.

The analysis is part of the Peterson-KFF Health System Tracker, an online information hub dedicated to monitoring and assessing the performance of the U.S. health system.