(Click to enlarge)
Here's the hospital bill from a relative who recently underwent spinal fusion surgery from one of our local hospitals. The person was in the hospital two days. I found it illustrative for several reasons:
(1) Its itemization was remarkably vague.
(2) It showed what hospitals are billing insurers for surgical procedures these days.
(3) It demonstrates where "costs" can be padded that help pay for other expenses incurred by hospitals.
If you were a money manager or policy maker responsible to cut healthcare costs, which line item in the above bill would seem like the most efficient place to cut costs?
I guess it's better not to think about this and just cut doctors' Medicare reimbursements another 10% or so this June.
Sad how the Leapfrog Group and AdvaMed, two large hospital and business (read: medical device business) consortiums, seem to keep harping on patient safety, pay for performance, and medical error reduction as ways to save costs, while not looking at the grotesqueness of their own partnership arrangements in the continuation of sky-rocketing healthcare costs.