The Motley Fool Discussion Boards

Previous Page

Retirement Discussions / Retire Early CampFIRE


Subject:  Time cover story: why medical costs are rising Date:  2/23/2013  11:55 AM
Author:  CCinOC Number:  672740 of 807718

Simple lab work done during a few days in the hospital can cost more than a car. A trip to the emergency room for chest pains that turn out to be indigestion brings a bill that can exceed the price of a semester at college. When we debate health care policy in America, we seem to jump right to the issue of who should pay the bills, blowing past what should be the first question: Why exactly are the bills so high?

Steven Brill spent seven months analyzing hundreds of bill from hospitals, doctors, and drug companies and medical equipment manufacturers to find out who is setting such high prices and pocketing the biggest profits. What he discovered, outlined in detail in the cover story of the new issue of TIME, will radically change the way you think about our medical institutions:

~ Hospitals arbitrarily set prices based on a mysterious internal list known as the “chargemaster.” These prices vary from hospital to hospital and are often ten times the actual cost