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Sun., Aug. 5, 2012

Disparity in medical bills

An important point is never mentioned in discussions about the cost of medical care: Why is there such an enormous difference between what a cash-paying patient is charged and what an insurance company is charged?

I have firsthand knowledge of a local hospital that billed $10,370 for one overnight stay for low pulse rate observation only, nothing else. No treatment. The hospital accepted $1,736 insurance and patient co-pay combined. If there had been no insurance, the patient would have had to pay $10,370.

A major problem in current health care costs is the enormous difference in the total amount a cash-paying patient is required to pay compared to the total amount a patient’s insurance pays combined with the patient’s co-pay. There is a staggering difference. A cash-paying patient will be required to pay anywhere from four to 10 times the insurance-approved amount.

Most pharmacies have the same policy.

Do the terms profiteering and price-gouging come to mind?

Why has Congress not acted to remedy this?

Wally Bacon

Deer Park

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