Obstacles for Obama's health panel
President Obama's plan to control Medicare spending - an expert board of cost-cutters - might have trouble even coming into existence.
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#1 Oct 6, 2012
You don't need a board you simply need a regulation to stop price gouging billing with honest billing. In other words no more 100 dollar aspirin to make up the difference between the insurers contracted price and a desired fee. Hospitals in particular should be forced to itemize and have a standard margin/billing structure. Shouldn't be able to charge one patient 100 dollars for aspirin and another 10 dollars.
A standard fee schedule should be mandatory. Not what ever you can get away with billing. Same for Medicare. If Medicare thinks hearty surgery is price A then the hospital and doctor will have to settle for price A and not make up the difference by jacking the price of the room.
But upfront honest pricing means many practices and 'systems' will actually have to compete for money. Many are already advertising for your dollars now. They won't say it but they want your insurance dollars. The patient or consumer should be able to shop medical services just as any other service.
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