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Gazette Editorial

Don’t faint, nobody pays these bills

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Have you ever gotten a hospital bill listing items like “Band-Aid, $75” and “sterile supplies, $18,695,” the whole thing adding up to more money than you expect to make in the next five years? And you almost had a heart attack till you got to the bottom and found out that your copay was just $50 so you could breathe again? And have you ever wondered where those fantastic charges come from and how the ...


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comments

wmarincic
October 23, 2011
5:57 a.m.

[ Flag Post ]

Not very good reporting Strock. I left one job for another and I was out of work for about three weeeks with no insurance. I thought I was having a Stroke, thankfully it turned out to be Bells Palsey. I went to Ellis Emergency Room at 10:30 PM and was treated and released to go see other doctors in the comming months. The bill I got was over $1300 dollars for the emergency room visit and treatment. I had to pay almost $900 on a credit card immedietly or pay the complete bill over time.

It looks like Mr Rinaldi lied to you and you didn't get a 2nd opinion. Tsk Tsk. If you don't believe me I will be happy to sign a release and you can verify it. Give me a call, you have my number.

mathcircle
October 23, 2011
10:23 a.m.

[ Flag Post ]

Carl, I think it would be a good idea to talk to some more sources on the issue wmarincic raised.

Other journalists reporting on practices elsewhere have stated that bills to uninsured patients are much higher than the prices paid by insurance companies.

See, e.g., http://www.heraldtribune.com/article/201...

mathcircle
October 23, 2011
8:47 p.m.

[ Flag Post ]

Others have been covering this story for decades--and it does not seem to have gotten any better during that time.

I really think the glib statement in your article above to the effect that uninsured patients get "charged the same" as insured patients does not capture the true reality of the situation, in which actual charges are based on bargaining ability--and many uninsured patients, especially those who are ill, are not well equipped to bargain effectively.

See e.g.,

http://www.nytimes.com/1993/01/27/health...

http://www.rand.org/news/press/2009/12/0...

"US Hospitals: Chaos behind a veil of secrecy"
http://content.healthaffairs.org/content...

http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/0...

http://www.consumerreports.org/health/do...

http://abcnews.go.com/Health/lower-medic...

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