June 12, 2015

Buyer Beware: Study Claims These 50 Hospitals Price Gouge Uninsured Patients

 A new study published by Health Affairs finds that uninsured patients at 50 hospitals are being charged 10 times what Medicare pays for the same procedures.

Twenty of the hospitals are in Florida, and nearly all are owned by for-profit entities. The study also found that the most expensive hospital charged uninsured patients 12.6 times what Medicare patients were charged:
Gerard Anderson, co-author of the study, explained the results:
“These are the hospitals that have the highest markup of all 5,000 hospitals in the United States. This means when it costs the hospital $100, they are going to charge you, on average, $1,000.”
Here’s a list of the hospitals, broken down by state:
  • North Okaloosa Medical Center
  • Bayfront Health Brooksville
  • Heart of Florida Regional Medical Center
  • Orange Park Medical Center
  • Oak Hill Hospital
  • Fort Walton Beach Medical Center
  • St. Petersburg General Hospital
  • Sebastian River Medical Center
  • Osceola Regional Medical Center
  • Gulf Coast Regional Medical Center
  • South Bay Hospital
  • Fawcett Memorial Hospital
  • North Florida Regional Medical Center
  • Lawnwood Regional Medical Center & Heart Institute
  • Brandon Regional Hospital
  • Lehigh Regional Medical Center
  • Twin Cities Hospital
  • Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point
  • Bayfront Health Dade City
  • Kendall Regional Medical Center
New Jersey
  • Carepoint Health-Bayonne Hospital
  • Paul B Hall Regional Medical Center
  • Chestnut Hill Hospital
  • Easton Hospital
  • Crozer Chester Medical Center
  • Brandywine Hospital
  • Hahnemann University Hospital
  • Phoenixville Hospital
  • Pottstown Memorial Medical Center
  • Gadsden Regional Medical Center
  • Brookwood Medical Center
  • Riverview Regional Medical Center
  • Decatur Morgan Hospital – Parkway Campus
  • Stringfellow Memorial Hospital
  • Western Arizona Regional Medical Center
  • Texas General Hospital
  • Dallas Regional Medical Center
  • Laredo Medical Center
  • South Texas Health System
  • Lake Granbury Medical Center
  • National Park Medical Center
  • Southside Regional Medical Center
  • Regional Hospital of Jackson
  • Lakeway Regional Hospital
  • Dyersburg Regional Medical Center
  • Medical Center of Southeastern Oklahoma
  • Doctors Hospital of Manteca
  • Doctors Medical Center
  • Olympia Medical Center
South Carolina
  • Springs Memorial Hospital
The hospitals included in the study claim to offer “significant” discounts for uninsured and underinsured patients. According to The Washington Post, hospital officials said if these discounts were included in the study, a different picture would have emerged:
“The Federation of American Hospitals, which represents for-profit hospitals, said the listed hospitals provided nearly $450 million in uncompensated care in 2012 alone. Including the discounts ‘would have had a significant effect on the charge-to-cost-ratio reported, and therefore the implications of the study’s results.’”
As a result of such extreme rate hikes, experts also note that other insurance premiums for policies such as auto and worker’s compensation, and even Obamacare, are likely to increase.

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