Hospitals will have to post prices online starting Jan. 1

Dec 30, 2018

  1. Northeast Agent
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    Northeast Agent Guru

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  2. somarco
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    somarco That Medicare Expert Guy

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    It may still prove to be confusing to consumers since standard rates are like list prices and don’t reflect what insurers and government

    And herein lies the problem.

    No one pays list price. Not ever. Never happens.

    But the folks in DC feel good making up rules in the spirit of consumer protection. In the end nothing they do changes things.



    programs pay.
     
    somarco, Dec 30, 2018
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  3. Newby
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    Newby Guru

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    It’s definitely a step in the right direction. The next one should be that everyone pays the same price. Regardless of insurance, Medicare, etc. everyone on an even playing field.
     
    Newby, Dec 30, 2018
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  4. somarco
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    somarco That Medicare Expert Guy

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    If/when that happens the entire health care system will collapse
     
    somarco, Dec 30, 2018
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  5. Newby
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    It’s held together with rubber bands now. People need to be price conscious when they use the healthcare system. They need to have skin n the game too. If they go to a more expensive hospital they need to pay more. If they go to a less expensive one they need to pay less. Just like the real world. That’s what will drive costs downward.

    Hospitals shouldn’t charge $10,000 to me and $2,000 to someone on “Special Deal Insurance” or even Medicare. Everyone should be able to get the same price.
     
    Newby, Dec 30, 2018
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  6. somarco
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    somarco That Medicare Expert Guy

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    Because of Obamacare almost everyone has higher deductibles, higher OOP and higher premiums.

    Providers, especially hospitals, lose money on Medicaid, Medicare and uninsured patients. Those losses are offset by patients with private insurance who pay more.

    In some situations health care is just like anything else in life. When you pay more you get more. In the case of health care higher prices usually mean a higher level of care.

    NHS hospitals are paid the same rate without regard to the level of care. When health care dollars are limited the result is rationed health care.

    Squeezing the health care balloon could lower the cost in dollar terms but the trade off is less access to care.
     
    somarco, Dec 31, 2018
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  7. Newby
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    I don’t agree that it would be less access to care. If they lose money on Medicare then they should charge more to Medicare. If they make way too much on private pay to make up for the losses to Medicare then that should come down. Everything needs to be REAL. No losses and gouging to make up for the losses. The system that has evolved is completely flawed.

    People are paying larger deductibles and co-pays but they have nothing to do with price shopping the services. No one does that. Because they are not rewarded for saving money. There is no payoff for the consumer. Even when patients are victims of billing fraud and/or errors they aren’t going to care much if it doesn’t affect their own out of pocket. So there is tons of waste and abuse.

    Once patients have a real handle and interest on prices the total cost of healthcare will come down. We all like eating at Ruth’s Chris but we eat at McDonalds a lot too. Why? Because we pay less. If it cost us the same either way we would go to Ruth’s Chris a lot more. And we would tip our waitress 85% if it didn’t cost us any extra.

    The way we pay for healthcare is broken.
     
    Newby, Dec 31, 2018
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  8. leevena
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    leevena Guru

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    I am sorry Newby, but I disagree with much of what you say and find some of your statements to be contradictory. I do believe that prices should be more transparent.

    Paying the same price for any product/service does not work, in any sector of the economy. A free pricing (not a fixed price for all) is needed to maintain availability of product. When you fix a price it has the result preventing the equating of the available supply which creates shortages.

    In your first post you advocate for same prices across all providers. In your second post you appear to contradict yourself, advocating for price differentials between hospitals will drive costs down.

    In your third post you argue that when healthcare dollars are limited, it does not decrease access to care. Of course it does. A simple review of countries with national, single payor healthcare will prove this.

    In your third post you advocate that if a hospital loses money on Medicare patients they should charge Medicare more. Medicare will not provide any additional monies beyond their fixed price.

    You advocate for everything (prices) to be real, yet you advocate for a fixed price. A fixed price is anything but real, it has little to no relationship to cost.

    Your analogy of Ruth Chris and McDonalds is very flawed. Ruth Chris has a much higher cost structure than a McDonalds. If prices were fixed Ruth Chris would be selling below cost, leading to losses, and McDonalds would more than likely have significantly higher profits.
     
    leevena, Dec 31, 2018
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  9. goillini52
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    goillini52 BUILD THAT WALL!!!

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    You point out that Newby's talking out of all 3 sides of his mouth. That's what "marketers" do. :laugh::yes:
     
  10. junkman
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    Market forces are SUPPOSED to regulate prices because of competition. We have no price competition between providers because individuals pay only the OOP and not the actual cost of service. Once they meet the OOP, they don't care what services cost.

    Providers throw a high price against the wall to see what sticks. It will remain this way until it isn't. Publishing list price is a beginning but we have a long way to go. I asked my Doc whether he could "survive" on Medicare reimbursement rates. He said "probably but the hospital couldn't".

    This talk of Medicare for all is another cluster headache. Providing healthcare for everyone and taxing to pay for it isn't the issue. Plan design is a huge issue. People "are satisfied with Medicare" only because they don't pay the premium. The current Medicare plan design with it's low deductibles and unlimited liability isn't something anyone that is paying the premium would choose.
     
    junkman, Jan 3, 2019
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