Front Street Hospital : Uninsured Charges And Collections Essay

894 Words Sep 6th, 2016 4 Pages
Front Street Hospital: Uninsured Charges and Collections (pg. 237 of Cases in Healthcare Finance, 5th edition)
It is quite clear from the text’s exposition on the policy, billing, and collection habits of certain not-for-profit hospitals that serious injustices were being committed against uninsured patients. These injustices were primarily financial in nature – although physical and psychological trauma almost always followed – and they reveal the systematic nature of the abuse. By setting “rack rates” – an extremely expensive set rate for medical procedures – as the ‘standard fare’ for all patients, while simultaneously granting clear and enormous discounts for those insured through third-party entities, the not-for-profit hospitals unconscionably imposed a colossal burden on anyone paying out of pocket.
It is also clear that the hospitals themselves were not the only unethical actors engaged in this austerity program, but that the insurance companies themselves invariably benefited from the financial strictures imposed upon the indigent. Insurance companies would benefit tremendously through the enrollment process due to patient’s inability to pay the almost unbearable rack rate set by the hospitals. Very often a medical procedure that would cost $12,000 would cost only $2,000 if covered by an HMO - that is an almost 90 percent discount in price for people insured! The not-for-profit hospitals surely relied upon and rejoiced under the aegis of politically and…

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