Surprise medical bills - no, they never should happen. Your medical claim has been denied. Now you are supposedly on the hook for agreeing to pay the secret price.
Best way to be pro-active: Only sign a paper document BEFORE the time of service that "I agree to pay only for medical care for which pricing is disclosed before the time of service." Initial and ask for a copy.
Best way to handle after a denial without the above clause: keep your money for the half year to year it takes the medical collections department to call you. Let them come to you.
1) Enhance accountability. Ask for first and last name, title and phone number.
2) Ask for an ITEMIZED medical bill complete with ALL billing codes or else you won't pay. You don't pay a bill without looking at the details.
3) Hospital bill and Section 2718 of the ACA. Tell the hospital collections department that wants you to pay the secretly priced surprise medical bill “you did not provide me with known pricing before the time of service in accordance with federal law, Section 2718 of the ACA.”
If the hospital suggests it will pursue you (not exactly "care" in healthcare), fight back. Tell them you will turn them in to Center for Medicare Services (CMS) for being a federal outlaw.
No more being bullied. You are now the bull. Demand better as a health care consumer.