In response to my previous post talking about hospital overcharging being overstated, I got an interesting reply from someone about other ways that “overcharging” is happening in hospitals.
Some are overcharging according EMR upgrade coding errors. How about $720 for ONE nitro tablet. Insurance company did not catch it either. About 9 months after an EPIC implementation so how many people/Insurance were overcharged and never knew?
In the meantime a gastric band operation in the UK is $7500 average. In the US it is between $15k and $30k depending on State. Is that not overcharging?
The first one is really interesting. You can see how after implementation of an EHR in a hospital it would be easy to charge extra for something (even accidentally). There are so many details to look at during an EHR implementation that it’s easy to see how something could be overcharged. Plus, it’s probably not a surprise to many that the insurance company doesn’t catch many overcharges.
The second point they made isn’t an over charge as we were describing it. Although, the price disparity question is a really important one and could be considered over charging in healthcare. Just a different form.
I’ve long said that I think the biggest key to fixing the healthcare pricing problem is to infuse more transparency into the system. Once transparency gets applied to pricing, it usually gets resolved pretty quickly. The second piece to transparency is shifting the cost responsibility to patients. In the past, patients didn’t care since they just paid their co-pay. However, this is quickly changing with more high deductible plans. This shift will require price transparency and then healthcare will be held accountable for what they’re charging for their services.