An article from The Morning News in Arkansas discusses the standard but outrageous practice of hospitals billing the uninsured at a rate that is a multiple of what insurance companies pay. Ironically, The American Hospital Association has contended that if it offers discounts to the uninsured it may fun afoul of Federal billing rules. Apparently someone has to pay the retail rate, and it’s those unfortunate people who don’t have insurance.
The article notes that this situation helps explain why such a high percentage of personal bankruptcies are due to medical bills, as reported in a recent Harvard study.
The newspaper suggests that patients demand a discount rather than paying their bills.March 20, 2005