Would you be surprised to learn that 50 hospitals across the country charge uninsured consumers more than 10 times the cost of care? We were shocked and appalled to review these staggering figures in a recent article featured in The Washington Post.
Author Lena H. Sun reported on the “Study in Health Affairs” in a recent piece noting that some uninsured patients are charged as much as 12.6 times the actual cost of patient care. The highest concentration of these hospitals is in the state of Florida. It is also interesting to note that Community Health Systems operates 25 of the 50 hospitals on the list while Hospital Corporation of America operates 14 others.
In short, if the cost to the hospital is $100, they are charging an average of $1,000! By comparison, an average U.S. hospital charges 3.4 times the cost of patient care.
Research indicates that this price gouging is due primarily to lack of market competition and the fact that the federal government does not regulate charges by healthcare providers. Only two (2) states currently set hospital rates – Maryland and West Virginia.
It seems unconscionable that our government has worked so hard to provide health coverage for the uninsured and yet does not regulate what hospitals can charge for these services. Someday maybe?
The entire article is available here.
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Photo Credit : Brad Lewis