Article Title

Rethinking the Emergency-Room Surprise Billing Crisis: Why Are Patients Liable for Emergency Care They Do Not Seek?

Publication Title

Washington University Journal of Law & Policy


Emergency patients that received unrequested and unconsented to care can be held liable for the entire cost of their medical bills under the common law doctrine of restitution. This Note analyzes the problem faced by these unlucky emergency patients in the American healthcare system billed for exorbitant sums. Rosenwald argues the statutory fixes recently enacted in some states are an important stating point, but they are ultimately insufficient. Reform is needed to better effectuate our sense of fairness and increase transparency within the healthcare market. Rosenwald encourages the legislature and the judiciary to reexamine the scope of the emergency exception in the restitution doctrine to reflect the numerous uncertainties inherent in emergency healthcare.