Exasperation abounds over lavish profiteering by doctors and hospitals

Doctors and hospitals have become nothing less than unhinged with the numbers they put into their medical bills compared to what rational, reasonable patients expect to pay, new media reports show. Kaiser Health News Service — and Vox, the online information site — deserve consumers’ thanks for their running exposes of excessive medical bills. These stories have zeroed in on billing practices that can’t help but provoke an outcry. These include attempts by doctors and hospital to gouge patients for hard to account for and difficult to prevent “out of network” charges, which insurers decline to cover. They also include cases involving steep sums owed due to “balance billing,” in which doctors and hospitals not only take insurers’ “acceptable” reimbursements but then demand yet more payment from patients for the uncovered amounts. Continue reading

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