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Tom

Oh boy. The Obama admin just released a huge amount of medical billing data regarding HC costs.
I have read lightly about the so called "Charge Masters".
But this is very disturbing to me:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/08/hospital-prices-cost-difference...

Here's the openening two paragraphs:

"When a patient arrives at Bayonne Hospital Center in New Jersey requiring treatment for the respiratory ailment known as COPD, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, she faces an official price tag of $99,690.

Less than 30 miles away in the Bronx, N.Y., the Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center charges only $7,044 for the same treatment, according to a massive federal database of national health care costs made public on Wednesday."

And as far as medicla insurance goes listen to this snip as well:
""The charge masters are totally irrational," Robert Laszewski, a former health insurance company executive who consults for health care companies as president of Alexandria, Va.-based Health Policy and Strategy Associates, wrote in an email to The Huffington Post.

Hospitals used to base prices on health care costs and on the need for profit that would, among other things, enable them to make investments in their facilities, Laszewski explained. "They became the baseline from which the hospitals started," he wrote. But over time, hospitals raised charges in anticipation of negotiating discounts with private health insurance companies while maintaining their revenue streams, he said."

Sounds a little like Harris Teeter raise that price from $1.99 to $2.99 over 3 weeks then run a sale at $2.49.
Sounds like what hospitals are doing to insurance company's
I'll have to read a little more in this one
But I maintain my position that government healthcare (probably along the lines of the Japanese system) would be the BIGGEST benefit the U.S. government could give to businesses to spur our economy.

Pricing in the U.S. is out of control apparently

Vog

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