It’s Not the Cost of Healthcare in the United States, It’s the Price of Healthcare in the United States
Blah, blah, blah!
Case in point, the leaked records showing obscene markups made by hospitals for their services.
This is one of the reasons that I do not favor single payer insurance, but instead favor a government owned National Health Service, the system is ineluctably corrupt, so the only solution is public ownership.
Ridiculous, seemingly arbitrary price markups are a defining characteristic of the $4-trillion U.S. healthcare system — and a key reason Americans pay more for treatment than anyone else in the world.
But to see price hikes of as much as 675% being imposed in real time, automatically, by a hospital’s computer system still takes your breath away.
I got to view this for myself after a former operating-room nurse at Scripps Memorial Hospital in Encinitas shared with me screenshots of the facility’s electronic health record system.
The nurse asked that I not use her name because she’s now working at a different Southern California medical facility and worries that her job could be endangered.
Her screenshots, taken earlier this year, speak for themselves.
What they show are price hikes ranging from 575% to 675% being automatically generated by the hospital’s software.
The eye-popping increases are so routine, apparently, the software even displays the formula it uses to convert reasonable medical costs to billed amounts that are much, much higher.
It appears that one of the reasons that they generate these markups is because they can be used for leverage against the insurers.
The issue here is not cost, which reflects of material and labor required to deliver a product, but price, which is set by the hospital, over which the patient has no control nor any way to find the actual cost before the bill arrives.
We cannot fix this without tearing down the existing system, and replacing it with a publicly owned system subject to public review.