I’ve note previously the complexity of health care choices facing the consumer and why “free choice” in health care is a flawed notion.
Today’s Washington Post points out another dimension of the health care problem.
- “Called “provider-based billing,” it allows hospitals that own physician practices and outpatient clinics that meet certain federal requirements to bill separately for the facility as well as for physician services.”
- “Unlike other add-ons that have aroused public ire — baggage charges on airlines, surcharges for concert tickets or resort fees tacked on by hotels — outpatient facility fees, which range from about $25 to hundreds of dollars per visit, may involve a service that is a matter of life and death, such as chemotherapy.” Medicynical note: Much of health care falls under the ‘life and death” rubric and is not discretionary and not amenable to normal consumer “choice” options.”
- These fees are considerable, as noted in the article they range from $10 to $171. More than the charge for some doctor visits
- Insurers doing what they do best are no longer covering this fee, passing on the charge.
Our non-system of care is carefully designed not to improve the health and well-being but rather to assure the profits of insurers, providers and suppliers. We need to reform this.
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