Hospital Expenses

Dissident1's picture

Hospitals don't compete for your business. As a general rule, you don't even think about which hospital you are going to when you get sick or injured. In many events, you aren't even conscious to make such a decision.

Therefore, hospitals are given to believe that they are able to demand any amount of payment they wish. If they had to compete for your dollars, they would have to place limits on how much they charged. The lack of competition, however, means that they can basically charge whatever they feel like.

Insurance companies often oppose many of the charges that are incorporated on the hospital bill. Even personal doctors often attempt to impose charges unnecessarily, and insurance companies look warily for extraneous surcharges that are inconsistant with the needed treatment.

Unfortunately, when insurance companies refuse to pay, the bills do not go away. They return to haunt the person to whom services were rendered. Taking it to the courts cost even more money, so most people are simply stuck.

I am not sure exactly how to remedy such an outlandish situation. I only can say that it needs to be remedied. Perhaps there should be a way to "shop around" for hospital services, with an ID tag stating what hospital that you wish to go to should the need arise. You could wear it around your neck in case you are unconscious at the time. It would take a little effort, but would cause a sort of competitive environment that could bring down hospital cost a little.

It would be a start. Maybe.

I am become death, destroyer of worlds

GodStoleMyFriends's picture

I agree with you on some of

I agree with you on some of the points you made. The costs at hospitals do need to go down. I remember when my dad had a heart attack a couple of years ago they were charging him 8 bucks per Tylenol. He needed 6 a day. That's 48 dollars a day.

Fucking ridiculous.

However, the "Go to this Hospital Card" you mentioned would not work in some places. In small areas with no large cities there is usually only one hospital near by and in emergencies it would not be wise to drive long distances to the hospital of your choosing. Thus hospitals in areas with low population would not be affected.

"If only God would give me some clear sign! Like making a large deposit in my name at a Swiss Bank."-Woody Allen

"Atheism is life affirming in a way religion can never be."-Richard Dawkins

The shopping around could be

The shopping around could be useful for operations or thing that aren't need right away, but if you're bleeding out it might be hard to wait. Really the only way to fix this sort of thing is government or a flooding of the market. But I don't think we are going to be getting a flooding of the market a governmental ceiling on things might be in order. Maybe they'll pass a "Don't Break Dying Person's Balls" act... Also there could be an organization gov or private that appraises bills and things.

Dissident1's picture

When I mentioned shopping

When I mentioned shopping around, I was saying that you should shop around before your "bleeding out". Sort of like the way you shop for life insurance. You don't wait until after you die to look for it, you get it beforehand early on.

I am become death, destroyer of worlds


Whenever you build a hospital, don't just build one. Build 2 right next to each other. Then you have the competition.

It's so crazy it just might work.