Hospital systems just can’t resist the temptation to maximize revenue and profits. Another example of this was cited in the NY Times “Hospital Chain said to Scheme to Inflate Bills”
In the the article:
Physicians hitting the target to admit at least half of the patients over 65 years old who entered the emergency department were color-coded green. The names of doctors who were close were yellow. Failing physicians were red.
The scorecards, according to one whistle-blower lawsuit, were just one of the many ways that Health Management Associates, a for-profit hospital chain based in Naples, Fla., kept tabs on an internal strategy that regulators and others say was intended to increase admissions, regardless of whether a patient needed hospital care, and pressure the doctors who worked at the hospital.
Read the article for the details.
Medicynical Note: This is not much different than the common practice of having multiple levels of fees for services provided. For insurers there are discounts sometimes exceeding 50% while individuals without insurance are charged the full rate.
Going to the hospital is increasingly like going to a used car dealer (no offense intended). Prices aren’t what they seem; you need to bargain hard for the best deal and yes scamming the customer and system seems to be a problem.
Oh yes, did I mention health care value, quality and access……….not really a prime concern.