The union health fund said a handful of provider groups accounted for a disproportionate share of the  out-of-network bills. It declined to identify those groups but one provider-group billed 100% of its claims at Northwell as out-of-network, according to 32BJ.

“We should of course blame the physicians because the physicians’ charge is so high,” said Ge Bai, an associate professor at the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School who has studied health care prices.

Hospitals, though, particularly large systems like Northwell with market clout, bear some responsibility. “Northwell could have flexed its muscle” to limit out-of-network charges by doctors at its facilities, she said.

This article was provided by Bloomberg News.

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