In health care, we’ve developed a system of money making that’s unprecedented. What once was a profession that at least gave lip service to patients and health care–remember the “sacred patient doctor relationship?” or the “ethical” pharmaceutical industry?–has evolved into a money grubbing borderline ethical business.
Gaming the billing system has become the norm. When our local “non-profit” hospital (run by a Catholic hospital conglomerate) bought out medical practices in our area, costs dramatically increased. Coding for visits moved to more expensive levels. The hospital billed an additional facility fee even while the practices remained in the same location as before. Procedures previously done out of the hospital were moved into their facility. Instead of finding ways to provide efficient economical care, providers (and suppliers) even so-called non-profits seek to maximize revenue. This is happening at every level of our health care mess and is one of the major causes of our ridiculous cost inflation over the past 20 years.
More on gaming our non-system here:
Between 2001 and 2010, doctors increasingly moved to higher-paying codes for billing Medicare for office visits while cutting back on lower-paying ones, according to a year-long examination of about 362 million claims. In 2001, the two highest codes were listed on about 25 percent of the doctor-visit claims; in 2010, they were on 40 percent.