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Tue Dec 25, 2012, 06:40 AM

hospital 'facility fees' boosting medical bills, and not just for hospital care

http://www.nationofchange.org/hospital-facility-fees-boosting-medical-bills-and-not-just-hospital-care-1356362401




After Vermont hospitals started buying up the medical practices of local physicians, state Sen. Kevin Mullin of Rutland, began hearing complaints that prices some patients were paying for routine medical care had soared.

One family accustomed to paying about $120 in out-of-pocket costs for doctor visits and other medical services was outraged when they ended up forking over more than $1,000 for similar visits, Mullin said, mostly for seeing doctors whose practices had been bought out by a local hospital.

“The only thing that was different was the office was hospital-owned,” said Mullin, a Republican. “All of a sudden everything was charged differently.”

The root of these increases are controversial charges known as “facility fees,” and they are routinely tacked on to patients’ bills not just for services actually provided in hospitals, but also by outpatient care centers and doctors’ offices simply because they’ve been purchased by hospital-based health care systems. Hospitals argue they can’t afford to keep the doors open without facility fees.

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Reply hospital 'facility fees' boosting medical bills, and not just for hospital care (Original post)
xchrom Dec 2012 OP
Aerows Dec 2012 #1
area51 Dec 2012 #13
no_hypocrisy Dec 2012 #2
Mojorabbit Dec 2012 #11
Aerows Dec 2012 #14
glowing Dec 2012 #3
blueclown Dec 2012 #4
dotymed Dec 2012 #5
WinkyDink Dec 2012 #6
raouldukelives Dec 2012 #10
salin Dec 2012 #7
xchrom Dec 2012 #8
Lugnut Dec 2012 #9
dotymed Dec 2012 #12

Response to xchrom (Original post)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 06:57 AM

1. Greed

Other nations wouldn't put up with that, but of course we can't regulate a damn thing in this country in relation to health care.

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Response to Aerows (Reply #1)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 08:48 AM

13. +1 n/t

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 07:43 AM

2. My father sold his practice to two doctors who in turn sold that practice to a local hospital.

The doctors are now employees of the hospital.

Not only do they lose the ability to charge for services rendered but they lose their ability to admit, discharge, or even treat their patients in the same hospital. You have a doctor in the office and a different doctor in the hospital.


BERNIE!!!!!!

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Response to no_hypocrisy (Reply #2)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 02:11 AM

11. The hospital corp here wanted to buy my husband's practice

He has been doing this too long to take orders from anyone so he turned them down. This is what will kill medicine as we know it IMO. Putting it under control of a corporation who's only real interest is the bottom line is a travesty. We hardly see any young docs going into solo practice anymore. They are almost all hired as employees of hospitals.

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Response to Mojorabbit (Reply #11)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 11:40 AM

14. Kill medicine

as we know it in the United States. Other countries don't put up with this.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 09:52 AM

3. Yes, these hospital groups are causing a real headache

at the moment for us too. They have become a big monopoly in my area with so many facilities tied to them, that the Insurance Company we have, United Healthcare has balked at paying the outrageous prices for routine check ups.

So now, the hospital group is refusing to see patients that have United (this is affecting about 600,000 people in the area), and most hospitals are in the network. It's gotten so bad that city officials in the Tampa Bay Area are asking the 2 parties to sit down and come up with a solution. Eventually, someone is going to have to give.

What the private hospital groups have figured out is that if they are big enough and own the "network", then they can charge higher rates as a whole, rather than individual offices having to negotiate prices at very small prices. In the meantime, we are paying for insurance that doesn't really work (and United isn't small by any stretch of the imagination). Basically, no one gives a shit about the people who are paying for their insurance and are unable to access their Drs. They are playing chicken with people's lives and health care.

Once again, privatizing health care is a racket. And it is doing nobody any good. There should be a regulated cost chart for service costs by the govt to keep the costs in check. And for God's sake, subsidize schooling so that Drs aren't in debt up to their eyeballs after spending years in training and learning...

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 09:54 AM

4. Where is the DOJ?

This type of vertical integration is very harmful to consumers. Looks to me like a violation of anti-trust law.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 10:11 AM

5. They have just added another middleman

who, of course, must make a profit, for doing nothing. Unchecked capitalism has become SOP in America. We are too busy bailing the water out of our boats to take to the streets, en masse, and demand massive changes....now. Of course, as we sink deeper, we may, as a nation, actually grow a backbone and force change. This is so reminiscent of the 20's and 30's..
Now that all of the consumer protections (real ones) have been repealed by the elite (who own the MSM also) we are sinking ever faster.
BTW, I watched a clip (in a different DU post) the other day. President Obama remarking that he was a staunch "free trader" no mention of fair trade of course...
We are their "cash crop." I am changing my political party to Socialist. I want leaders like Bernie Sanders. Back in the day, the Socialist party was a contender until "they" began jailing its leaders and demonizing the word "socialist." It is past time for a real come-back.
Honestly, just imagine how much change we could accomplish for the poor if they were actually treated as equals instead of prey.
Anyone who claims to be a Christian while they dedicate their lives to amassing wealth has never learned their religion...

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Response to dotymed (Reply #5)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 10:19 AM

6. 100% agree, especially with your final statement.

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Response to dotymed (Reply #5)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 02:04 PM

10. To the coporate power brokers everything is a means to an end.

Especially religion. They equate it with whatever is the hardest sell. From wars of economic conquest to the plundering of the earths eternal beauty for short sighted personal enrichment.
Of course according to the Bible they are committing the worst sin of all. Invoking Christianity into actions that are against Christianity. Using it as a cudgel to force people into thoughts & deeds which are inherently anti-Christian. Since it takes a Christian to commit the worst sin, only a Christian has the power to be anti-Christian.
A pagan could never fall as far in the eyes of God as one who has pledged themselves to the word and used it to commit sins against humanity.
Be a good day for them to ponder these words.

“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves."

Their end will correspond to their deeds.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 12:46 PM

7. what ever happened to business plans before acquisitions

I call bulloney. If they "can't afford to stay in business" then they took on too much debt for the acquisitions - and they shouldn't have received the financing for such expansion/buyouts.

Meanwhile small business loans are nearly frozen - even if the business has good credit. If a small business applied for a loan for expansion and the business plan included jacking up basic fees 800% - it would be soundly rejected.

But if you are a growing hospital chain - and financiers want a slice of the blood squeezed from turnips to pay those exponentially larger fees - then have at it - public good be damned! "There's gold in them thar hills!" BTW these same folks are the ones who are screaming for entitlement cuts to "cut the deficit" while lobbying to get even larger tax cuts. Ironic, eh.

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Response to salin (Reply #7)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 01:16 PM

8. +1

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 01:23 PM

9. I was hit by a faciity fee 7 years ago.

There was a phantom $60 charge on my bill that I questioned. When I was told that's what it was I flipped out. When I questioned why I had to pay for the privilege of walking through their door they waived the fee but I never went back there from any reason. It's a big rip-off and one more reason for eliminating parasitic health insurance companies.

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Response to Lugnut (Reply #9)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 08:37 AM

12. During my last heart attack, the ambulance took me to the local (deadly) hospital

to stabilize me before they took me Vanderbilt. Seriously, while I was suffering on a gurney, a woman came to my bedside and asked me how I wanted to pay the $100 E.R. charge. (I think I said "fuck off") This charge was not the bill (although it was in the bill) for my treatment. It was a surcharge for using the E.R.. I complained, called my insurance co., etc...I had to pay it.

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