Shining the Light on Costs

I have written about the new transparency laws recently and boy are amazing things showing up. Look at this:

I agree that this is ridiculous but maybe this will shine the light on the garbage going on out there. I understand that these prices aren’t “real” because insurance companies negotiate behind the scenes. That being said there has to be a time where consumers get involved and decide they are going to want to pay the lower price. With high deductibles that time is coming to fruition. This insanity has to stop. Let the free market work!

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  6 comments for “Shining the Light on Costs

  1. Craig
    January 30, 2019 at 5:25 pm

    But I have no time to re-refer people to different places once they do their own research. I am not sending someone to 1 hospital over another because the IV fluid is twice as expensive and then sending them to a different hospital for their CAT scan, and then to a third location for their ultrasound. That would be a paperwork nightmare and I will not participate in that. Since we is doctors have already lost most other battles. I will not get involved in helping patients find better care. Someone else can fix that problem. I am old, I am jaded, I am done

  2. January 30, 2019 at 12:31 pm

    This is excellent. I noticed that “costs” was used in the title of the article. Usually in healthcare speak the word “price” is avoided. “Cost” is usually used, as if locusts have descended upon us. It has been my experience that most in health care, especially Europe and North America do not know their costs. When I have to do a “cost saving analysis” of an improvement, it is like pulling teeth. Two exceptions, Singapore where the post “prices.” I asked a lady there why they were so fixated on costs, she replied, “We post our prices, so we have to work to come in under the price to be viable.” Wow, what a concept! Sweden is the other, if they exceed their budgets, they have to go to the citizens on bond issue to get the budget increased. In addition, if you travel have expenses as a health care professional, your expenses are published in the local newspaper next to your name and where you were traveling. Transparency on steroids. I would like to see that for every member of the House, Senate and Executive Branch. Very good post, the prices will get more accurate the more light exposes the abusers. In Singapore, such a wide disparity would be embarrassing to the abusers.

  3. PW
    January 30, 2019 at 11:14 am

    My wife just had an MRI at a private facility for $600.

  4. JRDO
    January 30, 2019 at 10:57 am

    A MRI of any part of the body can be done for 240.00 cash at a local free standing imaging center in my area.

    Eisenhower famously warned of the military-industrial complex (MIC) as a self-serving positive feedback loop being a drag on the country. We could perhaps add the pharma-hospital-health insurance complex as even a bigger drag. Obviously both of these complexes have government complicity ala the huge amount of lobbying dollars going into the politicians pockets.

    “The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.”- Winston Churchill

  5. Jennifer Hollywood
    January 30, 2019 at 8:59 am

    The original article shows that the cheapest price for a CBC with diff was about $60. I know that most of us have negotiated prices for this test in the range of $5. So, even the cheapest charges are grossly exaggerated.

  6. Eric
    January 30, 2019 at 6:40 am

    This should highlight for the public that large corporations including hospital systems, insurance companies, and pharmaceutical companies are the source of our high cost of care in combination with the laws that allow them to behave and profit this way. It’s not physician sallaries or nursing ratios and staffing.

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