New research from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health found evidence that 50 U.S. hospitals are charging uninsured patients more than 10 times the cost of care. In some cases, hospitals marked up prices more than 12 times the actual cost of care!
Even hospital patients with health insurance can be affected by price gouging if they are treated at hospitals out of their network. Other groups affected by price gouging are the uninsured and hospital patients using workers’ compensation.
Insurance companies and federal programs like Medicare negotiate with hospitals to bring down the cost of medical bills, but uninsured and out-of-network patients do not have this luxury. Inexpensive items such as bandages can be itemized on the final bill, sometimes costing hundreds of dollars.
How Does This Study Affect Medical Bills For People In Kansas And Missouri?
Fortunately, none of the 50 hospitals mentioned in the study are in Kansas or Missouri. Although the Johns Hopkins study mentions price markups of 10 times or higher, the average nationwide markup is 3.4 times the actual cost of care, still enough to cause lasting financial damage to unsuspecting people.
Some patients will have no warning or say in how much hospital visits will cost. There is no way to plan how hospital bills in the tens of thousands of dollars will affect monthly mortgage or credit card payments. Stuck with burdensome medical bills, some uninsured and out-of-network patients will face wage garnishments, compounding other existing financial problems.
There are options for discharging unsecured medical debt, such as Chapter 7 bankruptcy. By contacting a bankruptcy attorney, individuals can learn what options are available for discharging medical bills.
The Sader Law Firm – Kansas City Bankruptcy Attorneys