A Wall Street Journal review of hospitals’ newly available price transparency data found that hospitals were routinely charging uninsured and cash-paying patients rates higher than those negotiated by payers, writes Fierce Healthcare.
In a sample of 1,550 hospitals, 21% billed these patients at the highest rates for the majority of the healthcare services included in the WSJ’s analysis. For 11% of the hospital sample, the cash rates for every reviewed service were higher than insurers’ rates or were tied for the highest rate. Further, a review of 1,166 hospitals that shared Medicare Advantage plan rates suggested that uninsured patients’ fees were 3.6 times higher than the average paid by these plans. The WSJ noted that these types of practices were common among the hospitals of major nonprofits.