Short Takes On News & Events

Audio: Getting To The Bottom Of Hospital Pricing

By KHN Editors

May 9th, 2013, 9:12 AM

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services released data Wednesday on variations in hospital pricing and how much Medicare has actually paid to individual hospitals for various procedures. Jordan Rau joined NPR’s “Talk of the Nation” Wednesday afternoon to discuss what the data tell us about the the cost of health care and whether higher prices are correlated with better quality.

Press play above to listen in to the conversation.

2 Responses to “Audio: Getting To The Bottom Of Hospital Pricing”

  1. norman says:

    Why can different hospitals charge different prices for the same procedure? Because they can! Up until now, hospitals have been screwing their patients. We live in a capitalistic free market society where the buyer must beware. Up until now, consumers have been sheep. Consumers are regular targets for corrupt hospital administrators. If a hospital thinks they can scam you, they will. Hospitals have been scamming Medicare and Medicaid your decades. They usually try to scam private insurers with less success. Bottom line, hospitals should never be trusted to be honest. Hospitals should never be expected to operate with integrity and transparency. The consumer needs to shop around to get the best deal. When it comes to truth and honesty, hospitals are no better than the average used car salesmen. Higher prices do not necessarily mean higher quality. More often, hospital pricing and hospital quality are rarely related. Bottom line, never trust a hospital. Given the choice, hospitals will be dishonest. They are scam artists. They are unscrupulous opportunists. Buyer beware!

  2. Don Levit says:

    Norman:
    I agree with a lot of what you said, particularly the part about used car salesmen.
    I and 3 other people are hoping to buy an insurance company “shell” to provide patented products on 3 state Exchanges in 2014.
    The ACA provides for insurance plans without networks.
    This is where we would like to head, for the cost of setting up and maintaining a network must add a lot to premiums.
    Do you or others have any suggestions as to how to negotiate the prices before the procedure is done, if at all possible, or in the emergency cases, after the services are performed?
    P.S. The 4 of us believe that networks are terribly unfair in promoting competition, as people are arbitrarily steeered to non-network providers.
    The ACA “discriminates” against out of network providers, for they have no cap on costs, with 100% insurance reimbursement, as they do for network providers.
    Don Levit

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