Each year, Americans make 141 million trips to the emergency room. In nearly all those visits, hospitals charge patients something called a facility fee: the price for walking in the door and seeking medical service.
Facility fees can be big: Reporter Sarah Kliff has seen charges that range from $533 to more than $3,000. But because these fees are kept secret until you receive your bill, we can’t know how high they get — or how much they vary.
We want to bring transparency to these extremely common but little-understood fees. So we have been collecting facility fee bills from