The hospital itself is good with excellent care. However, WakeMed should be more careful in the selection of contractors who perform lab testing. They currently use Raleigh Pathology Lab Associates. This lab follows the disreputable practice of balance billing.
In simple terms, you go to the WakeMed emergency room, which is in your insurance network. Your insurer pays out-of-network Raleigh Pathology Lab Associates the same rate it would pay an in-network provider. But this lab says that isn't enough because they are not in your insurance network. They want you, the patient, to pay their full retail rate. That means that they will not only bill you for your co-insurance amount, they will bill you for the discount applied by your insurance company.
I've read that some providers stay out of insurance networks as a business strategy so that they can balance bill the patients.
WakeMed should either require Raleigh Pathology Lab Associates to join the same insurance networks as the hospital or it should dump this lab and find another.