Higher out-of-pocket costs, and pricey appendix removals

Filed Under: Costs, Patients

 

More evidence that the health-care marketplace is broken:

“CHICAGO AP — What do hospitals charge to remove an appendix? The startling answer is that it could be the same as the price of a refrigerator — or a house.Its a common, straightforward operation, so you might expect charges to be similar no matter where the surgery takes place. Yet a California study found huge disparities in patients bills — $1,500 to $180,000, with an average of $33,000.The researchers and other experts say the results arent unique to California and illustrate a broken system.” Appendix Removal: Huge Sticker Shock In Study : NPR.

And from Nina Bernstein at The New York Times:

“Despite a landmark settlement that was expected to increase coverage for out-of-network care, the nation’s largest health insurers have been switching to a new payment method that in most cases significantly increases the cost to the patient.

The settlement, reached in 2009, followed New York State’s accusation that the companies  manipulated data they used to price such care, shortchanging the nation’s patients by hundreds of millions of dollars.” Insurers Alter Cost Formula, and Patients Pay More: The New York Times.