American health care is so messed up that a whole industry has been created to help navigate it

After his daughter was born, Ted Phillips wasn’t expecting to get slapped with a $3,500 bill from the hospital’s anesthesiologist.

Phillips, who works in health care in Boston, Mass., soon found out that while the hospital was in-network, the anesthesiologist was not. The hospital’s billing office told Phillips he’d have to pay it.

Undeterred, he kept making calls — to the hospital, the anesthesiologist and the insurer — and was eventually able to resolve the issue.

Still, the back-and-forth did cost Phillips, albeit in a different way: he spent about five to seven hours making the phone calls, mostly while at work.

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