Rising Hospital bills have been a major financial burden for many elderly as they frequent hospitals more often with age. Individuals paying the most are the underinsured or out of network patients. It is also a large burden on the tax funded social programs that pick up costs for some individuals. This goes across both state and national levels. Community Health Systems Inc is a large for profit company that owns half of the top 50 hospitals with the highest cost mark up for services. This indicates a monopoly like presence in the hospital industry that is profiting up to 1200% for hospital services. Bringing these studies to light may allow government regulations to step in and curb some of these astronomical costs that are crippling the health care services industry consumers.
This issue hits close to home for Age In Place Home Care that currently services a very large portion of Southeastern Pennsylvania. To give an example “Southeastern Pennsylvania has a significant cluster of high-price-tag hospitals. Of the 50 hospitals in the nation with the highest markups over cost, six are in Philadelphia and its surrounding counties, according to an analysis published Monday; a seventh is 50 miles north. Only Florida, with 20 hospitals on the list scattered around the state, had more than Pennsylvania.
Some health economists believe that inflated charges have an even broader impact by adding clout to hospitals’ negotiations with insurers, effectively increasing premiums for all consumers. Hospital markups have increased dramatically nationwide in recent years. An exception is Maryland, where the state rate-setting agency restricts them. The practice actually added to hospital profits by encouraging efficiencies, said Robert B. Murray, a consultant who headed the agency for 17 years. Increasing mergers plus acquisitions of doctor practices are giving health systems more leverage with insurers, he said. Another trend – rising admissions through emergency rooms – leaves more patients, some seriously injured – stranded at out-of-network hospitals that bill at list price.”
The source article has since been removed from Philly.com