Thursday, February 28, 2013

Speaking of the cost of health care...

From Time Magazine

Bitter Pill: Why Medical Bills Are Killing Us

The first of the 344 lines printed out across eight pages of his hospital bill - filled with indecipherable numerical codes and acronyms - seemed innocuous. But it set the tone for all that followed. It read, "1 ACETAMINOPHE TABS 325 MG." The charge was only $1.50, but it was for a generic version of a Tylenol pill. You can buy 100 of them on Amazon for $1.49 even without a hospital's purchasing power.

Dozens of midpriced items were embedded with similarly aggressive markups, like $283.00 for a "CHEST, PA AND LAT 71020." That's a simple chest X-ray, for which MD Anderson is routinely paid $20.44 when it treats a patient on Medicare, the government health care program for the elderly.

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