Tracking Life Cycle Of A Medical Bill Reveals Astronomical Price Tag Just

first_imgTracking Life Cycle Of A Medical Bill Reveals Astronomical Price Tag Just For Collecting Payments Researchers broke down the expensive steps that go into processing a medical bill. Laura Cameron, then three months pregnant, tripped and fell in a parking lot and landed in the emergency room last May — her blood pressure was low and she was scared and in pain. She was flat on her back and plugged into a saline drip when a hospital employee approached her gurney to discuss how she would pay her hospital bill. Though both Cameron, 28, and her husband, Keith, have insurance, the bill would likely come to about $830, the representative said. If that sounded unmanageable, she offered, they could take out a loan through a bank that had a partnership with the hospital. (Luthra, 2/21) Healthcare in the United States is really expensive, and one of the reasons is that managing healthcare bills is really, really expensive. Just how expensive? At one large academic medical center, the cost of collecting payments for a single primary-care doctor is upward of $99,000 a year. And billing for primary-care visits is a bargain compared with billing for trips to the emergency room, a hospital stay or a surgical procedure, according to a report published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Assn. (Kaplan, 2/20) Do you have an exorbitant or baffling medical bill? Join the KHN and NPR’s Bill-of-the-Month Club and tell us about your experience. Kaiser Health News: Bad Bedside Manna: Bank Loans Signed In The Hospital Leave Patients Vulnerable This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.center_img Los Angeles Times: The U.S. Healthcare System Needs More Skills For Paying Bills, Study Shows Denver Post: Why Colorado’s Health Costs Are So High, According To A New Study  Coloradans pay significantly more for health care than people in four other states that were analyzed as part of a new study, and the reason shows how difficult it will be to lower costs here. Overall, when compared to other states in the study, health care costs in Colorado are 17 percent above average — making the state the biggest outlier, higher or lower, in the study. (Ingold, 2/20) And in other news on health care costs —last_img

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