Thursday, May 10, 2007

Hospitals Gouge Neediest

According to Health Affairs (May-June issue), American hospitals charged uninsured patients an average of 2.5 times what it charges health insurers. For profits' markup was more pronounced at a 4.1 ratio whereas public hospitals upped the ante by a ratio of 2.49. The study by the 2004 study's author, Gerard F. Anderson, director for the Center for Hospital Finance and Management at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, stated "Over time, the uninsured have been paying higher and higher prices for hospital care compared to what the insured population pays. The markup on hospital care for these individuals, especially for those who can afford it least, are unjustifiable." If this basic inequity is not corrected, universal health care will remedy the problem. Satisfactorily or not may be an open question.


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