Robyn Blumner reflects on Time Magazine’s recent article on hospital costs (paywall). A nugget:
Brill’s excellent 25,000-word expose, “Bitter Pill: Why Medical Bills Are Killing Us,” sheds light on this opaque world where even nonprofit hospitals, with their tax exemptions and do-gooder images, are profit-generating machines that mercilessly squeeze uninsured patients until they have no assets left.
In nonprofit hospitals where top executives often are paid lavish compensation of $1 million or more, Brill documents how patients are gouged, charged hundreds of dollars for X-rays and other services that Medicare would have reimbursed at little more than $20. In one typical case, a dose of life-saving cancer medicine, already expensive at $4,000, was marked up by the hospital to $13,700 — with no explanation given.
It’s the free market* at work.
Except that, in this case, it’s a seller’s market, so the magickal mystickal competition fairy need not apply.