Taking it out on the uninsured

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

One thought on “Taking it out on the uninsured”

  1. Once again, the media gets only some of it correct, and totally crashes on the rest. Discounts are offered to self pay patients all the time; it’s called charity care. Those whose income hinders their ability to pay their hospital bills can apply for discounts on their balances, which even includes, at times, having the entire balance written off.

    The story also doesn’t address the reality of why hospital bills are so high, which is the fault of those very same insurance companies, including Medicare and Medicaid, that most citizens want to hold up as the bastions of civility. If I’m wrong, ask me why most of the hospital in this country are losing money, and why hospitals across the country are closing at an alarming rate.

    There’s many issues; but I’m sure y’all know that already.

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