Hospital billed charges are a major cause of unaffordable health care. I received a bill for more than $12,000 per day for hospital care, and another one for more than $19,000 for an outpatient surgery procedure. No one pays these outrageous charges.
Government programs have rate schedules and do not hesitate to simply deny bogus charges. Individuals without insurance can’t and usually don’t pay billed charges. If they could afford to pay, they would probably have insurance. Insurance companies negotiate fees, frequently based on a discount from billed charges or a flat rate of some kind. Whether rate schedules or negotiated fees, all payments begin with some reduction from billed charges.
Higher billed charges equal higher actual payments. This impacts all of us through increased insurance premiums, greater copayments and deductibles, and more spending of our tax dollars. Health insurance will never be affordable until the government does something to curb costs. Carges should be regulated, and alternative delivery systems such as stand-alone outpatient surgery centers should be encouraged rather than practically prohibited as in Kentucky.
If President Donald Trump could fix this problem, he would have something he could proudly call Trumpcare.
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Jimmy D. Helton