Monday, August 14, 2006

Health Care Pricing Challenge

Interesting piece from last Sunday's Chicago Tribune regarding how difficult it is to find accurate negotiated costs regarding health care services rendered here in Chicago (and I suspect other places, too). But the real culprits here are not the hospitals, in my view, but the insurers.

Why? Remember that hospitals do not sell patients their insurance, insurers do. To 'help' people reduce their premiums, we now have high-deductible insurance plans offered to employees. But insurers won't disclose the pre-negotiated costs they have arranged with hospitals, and hospitals don't want these pre-negotiated reimbursements disclosed so they can negotiate an even better reimbursement rate with another insuring competitor (call it the "business of healthcare)."

And for a litle more irony? The insurers determine which hospitals you can go to anyway! So "patient's chosing where they receive care" is nothing more than a marketing ploy to entice patients into thinking they're empowered in this process.

I wonder where things will be in another 10-20 years when I really need health care services?


No comments: