by Rob Saint Laurent, M.Ed
It has been well established that US hospitals and their affiliated associations have fought vigorously against legislation that would have required these essential institutions to provide transparency of their rates for services.
Stalling to inform the public of what they were paying for—procedures and allied services, and interfering with how and what their insurance providers negotiated for payment with healthcare providers, has continuously been blocked or, at the very least, ignored.
How did this come about? Well, it may have been sparked by practices that have been cloaked by darkness and manipulation of pricing. Case in point, it was discovered and reported, many patients trapped on the medical merry-go-round had been billed extraordinary amounts of money for the same care. In 2012 researchers found that hospitals in California had charged ‘customers’ (consumers of healthcare services) between $1529-$182,955 for simple appendectomies. It was found that this scale of healthcare pricing put an undue burden on the public, and it had to be addressed.