Discussion in 'Healthcare/Insurance/Govt Healthcare' started by BDBoop, May 29, 2012.
Why do Hospitals Charge $4,423 for $250 CT Scans? Blame Arizona Republicans - Forbes
Next time you go to a hospital ask them what the cash price for services would be. Even if you have insurance, ask anyway.
You may be surprised.
I have good coverage, but asking should happen. Bartering, even.
Most hospitals give a 75% reduction in the bill for a cash patient. My doctor charges $800.00 for an annual exam. Pay cash and it's $50.00 flat for the doctor and $10.00 for lab fees.
A few years ago I had only catastrophic health insurance. The deductible like $1500.00 My physician gave me $35.00 office visits and one lab test was $75.00. The doctors price. Kind of like wholesale price. In the past when I had full insurance I saw lab bills in the hundreds of dollars. From what I understand, when you have full insurance, there are unnecessary tests run. Above prices were given by a doctor I had gone to many years. One thing good I think about some form of national health insurance, single payer, or whatever you call it, is people aren't tied to a job due to it providing health insurance. Some of them unrewarding jobs where a person can't reach his full potential but maybe he/she has a spouse or child with serious medical conditions where quitting that job would be a death sentence to the loved one at home.
Usually it will be higher than what they would charge if you have insurance. However, if you negotiate up front with them, they almost always will reduce the price to at least the amount they would receive from the insurance company. Sometimes it will actually be lower.
The big difference in pricing is when you have the option of going off-site to have certain procedures done. Hospitals are very expensive. They have extremely high overhead, and they charge for it. If you can get an MRI, CT, or Ultrasound at a private imaging center, where that is all they do, the cost is substantially lower if you pay direct.
I have to get an ultrasound of my liver once every year. If I go through my insurance, they send me to the hospital, and the hospital charges between $1600 and $2000. With the insurance discount, my actual bill is between $1000 and $1200, which I have to pay because I never meet my deductible. So I go to a private imaging center where I pay them direct. They do everything the hospital would and charge me $220.
Bottom line is that unless you need the MRI, CT Scan, or Ultrasound due to an emergency, do not have it done at the hospital. Our system is a mess. There are so many things we could be doing to bring down costs, but until everyone gets off their high horse about Obamacare, nothing will change.
I find it a bit bizarre that Roy wrote this article/post without noting--or even hinting--that hospital pricing transparency will soon be required of all hospitals in the United States under federal law:
" `(e) Standard Hospital Charges- Each hospital operating within the United States shall for each year establish (and update) and make public (in accordance with guidelines developed by the Secretary) a list of the hospital's standard charges for items and services provided by the hospital, including for diagnosis-related groups established under section 1886(d)(4) of the Social Security Act.'."
Granted, that's relatively new law and not implemented yet but that seems like a bit of an oversight.
The article blames Republicans for killing the bill to provide pricing. But, that's not true. The Republicans voted for it. The Democrats voted against it. Just not enough Republicans voted for it to overcome the uniform Democrat opposition.
The article then offers a phony explanation for why Republicans would vote against it. How about, WHY DID THE DEMOCRATS VOTE AGAINST IT?
Why don't left wing activists raise money for Arizona hospitals who are going broke giving free medical care to illegal criminal aliens instead of complaining about the system?
Separate names with a comma.