About Health Care Pricing!

The Stunning Truth About Health Care Pricing
By Deep Harm | DailyKos

May 28, 2012

A story in today’s LA Times describes in rare detail why US healthcare is insanely expensive.  It’s not due to patients who expect too much, high-tech medicine or burdensome regulations. No, it’s the result of insurance industry bureaucracy and greed. While many consumers have long suspected that, hard evidence has been elusive.  Now, an investigation by the Los Angeles Times has turned up that hard evidence.

Evidence shows that healthcare costs are arbitrary and capricious.

The LA Times article, “Healthcare’s High Cost: Many hospitals, doctors offer cash discount for medical bills,” provides data showing that healthcare costs are neither realistic nor consistent. Americans purchase insurance with the expectation of getting reduced out-of-pocket healthcare costs, but instead pay more than they would if they just paid cash–sometimes, much, much more.  Example:

Los Alamitos Medical Center, for instance, lists a CT scan of the abdomen on a state website for $4,423. Blue Shield says its negotiated rate at the hospital is about $2,400.

When The Times called for a cash price, the hospital said it was $250. [LATimes]

Similar cost disparities exist at other hospitals, according to the Los Angeles Times and Dr. David Belk, MD, and insurance companies pocket the difference. (Read Full Article)

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