- posted 9 years ago
This is one of the first pieces I've seen that documents prices for medical services. I hope it may be helpful to some for more accurate planning purposes.
It's interesting that in all other business that I can think of at the moment, pricing is not only "disclosed" but is wantonly advertised. Even attorneys will tell you their hourly rates - even if they don't tell you they charge $30 bucks for each e-mail. Hospitals, however, instruct insurance companies to keep their prices secret. The article referenced goes into this in some depth.
Please, no one even begin to think I'm in favor of forcing hospitals to give services for free, or under some 'price control' scheme from government. But I do think hospitals should publish and distribute price lists for services. If that were routinely and responsibly done, we could all make much better evaluations of what we are paying insurance companies for - versus what we would pay in cash - and how much we are getting in return.
My position on all this health care debate is that cash for services is the best way to go. Capitalism and free markets assume anti-trust laws and regulation will be enforced to keep them fair and competitive. Under those circumstances, the consumer chooses, not the government.