Shamed for overcharging, hospitals raised their prices, again: The Washington Post

Filed Under: Costs, Providers

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Summary: “A year ago, a study about U.S. hospitals marking up prices by 1,000 percent generated headlines and outrage around the country,” Lena Sun writes at The Washington Post. “Twenty of those priciest hospitals are in Florida, and researchers at the University of Miami wanted to find out whether the negative publicity put pressure on the community hospitals to lower their charges. Hospitals are allowed to change their prices at any time, but many are growing more sensitive about their reputations. What the researchers found, however, was that naming and shaming did not work. The researchers looked at the 20 hospitals’ total charges in the quarter of a year before the publicity and compared them to charges in the same quarter following the publicity. There was no evidence that the negative publicity resulted in any reduction in charges. Instead, the authors found that overall charges were significantly higher after the publicity than in previous quarters.” Lena Sun, “Despite being shamed for overcharging patients, hospitals raised their prices, again,” The Washington Post.