Out-of-Control Hospital Charges Come Under Scrutiny

by Richard Bukata, MD on April 16, 2013, in Emergency Physicians Monthly

A recent Time Magazine cover article is the latest in a series of eye-opening reports about runaway hospital charges. Here we break down some of the critical numbers to know.

It is unequivocally clear that we need to reduce the amount of money spent on healthcare. Nobody disagrees with this. Between the aging of Baby Boomers and the 30+ million newly insured patients under Obamacare, the perfect storm of healthcare consumption has been created.

Among the many challenges associated with making American healthcare more cost-effective is the irrationality of patient bills. Have you ever seen a patient’s ED bill, or better yet, a hospital bill? They are generally indecipherable except for the bottom line – the total. And the total is invariably an astronomical amount when compared with what we know as physicians to be the true value of what was delivered.