From Pine View Farm

The Fee Hand of the Market 0

At the Inky, Harold Brubaker takes a look at hospital fees for various services that have been recently made available under a new federal regulation strongly opposed by hospitals and insurers. He concludes that they make no sense when exposed to the light. A snippet; follow the link for more.

The price for a simple knee MRI under Independence Blue Cross plans ranges from $330 at Einstein Medical Center Montgomery in East Norriton to $1,500 at Riddle Hospital in Media.

Those are the prices consumers with high-deductible plans would have to pay to scan their knee and find out how serious the source of their pain is.

And replacing that knee would cost from $12,300 to more than $44,000 under insurance plans that IBC sells to employers and individuals.

The notion, often promoted by persons who call themselves “conservative,” that someone who is sick will comparison-shop for health care has always been fanciful. The reality is that, if there is a choice, a patient will go where his or her doctor says, and, in rural areas, there is often little or no choice from the git-go. Add in a landscape of wildly variable and irrational pricing schemes, comparison shopping for health care becomes an impossible dream all-too-possible nightmare.


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