To The Editor:
My hospital bill from a visit of six months ago just arrived.
The bill says clinic visit $32 (for walking in the door?), laboratory $31.85, then it says contractual adjustment: +$55.46. Then says insurance payment Medicare -$93.54, then it says: Sequestration write-off: -$ 1.91. That was just to use the room!!
Then the next line is the doctor’s fee … on and on it goes. How am I going to understand the online listing if I can’t understand a bill.
I talked to a fellow from Hong Kong the other day. He walks in the door at the hospital in Hong Kong, puts $10 down and everything else is taken care of.
The idea that hospitals have to post their fees is like trying to put a little Band-Aid on a gashing wound that’s pulsing out blood. It ain’t gonna do much good.
It’s actually going to force the hospital to raise rates more because now they have to have people post the rates.
And there’s nothing clear-cut about going to a hospital. The hospitals are the end of the line (pun intended) for our healthcare system. It is the HMOs – CEOs with their millions of dollars in salaries that make costs so high.
Meanwhile they make decisions of what we can have or not have; depending on how much money we
will produce for them so they can make $20 million or more a year. It is the manufacturers as well, who do incredible markups and create monopolies.
So I see the new law to have hospitals post fees is just another way for government and corporations to shift the attention away from them to the hospitals.
This makes the hospitals seem like the bad guys. They are certainly not without blame, but mostly they are caught standing up at the end of the game of musical chairs.
Don’t be hoodwinked, the real problem is much deeper than just posting fees of which most of us we will never understand. You really want to go online to check fees as you are bleeding … to see what you will be able to afford. We need to put a lot of pressure on it….to stop the hemorrhaging before we die of their “care”.
R. SCOTT DUNCAN