From the article:
Late last summer Seema Verma, the administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, announced that beginning in 2019 most American hospitals would be required to post their full lists of “standard charges” for services rendered. You can now find many of these spreadsheets online, and they list medical codes and costs for everything from a Band-Aid to a new vagina.
It’s a practice that some hospitals and certain states have been using for years, though for Verma, the idea that a patient could print out a spreadsheet and comparison shop must be quite seductive, considering her conviction that the trouble with our unwieldy and exorbitantly priced healthcare system comes down to patients’ lack of incentive to take responsibility for themselves. According to Verma, the problem isn’t that the United States has the highest healthcare costs in the world, it’s that Americans don’t have the tools to find themselves a good bargain.
Source: Florida Hospital Charges $28,740 for Abortion
This is half the problem in the US. Most folks don’t realize if you go in hospital for care, the prices can be radically different hospital to hospital. There is no transparency, and no way to check costs because you can’t just call them up for a quote.
The $28,740 abortion was the bargain, because an abortion with a D&C was $33,703. I remember in the 1980s when you could get an abortion easier, as it was more available, and for like $800. What the ever loving fuck?!
The only medical field I have gotten clear cut quotes and cost lists has been for transgender related surgeries. That is because until a couple years ago it was all cash pay, and done by surgeons over on the cosmetic side of medicine. That meant they had to be able to provide direct quotes and transparent pricing.
Hell, my wife is getting facial feminization surgery, and we just went and saw several surgeons and got direct quotes. This included everything top to bottom. We made our decision on those factors.
If you need a hip or knee replacement surgery, you can’t get that from your surgeon. For one, they probably won’t know. They also go through the insurance system which is down right impossible to get info on until it’s all said and done.
How can we fix a medical pricing problem if we don’t even know the prices we are being charged?