"The total cost, in advance, for Sean to get his treatment plan and initial doses of chemotherapy was $83,900…The first of the 344 lines printed out across eight pages of his hospital bill — filled with indecipherable numerical codes and acronyms — seemed innocuous. But it set the tone for all that followed. It read, “1 ACETAMINOPHE TABS 325 MG.” The charge was only $1.50, but it was for a generic version of a Tylenol pill. You can buy 100 of them on Amazon for $1.49 even without a hospital’s purchasing power. Dozens of midpriced items were embedded with similarly aggressive markups, like $283.00 for a “CHEST, PA AND LAT 71020.” That’s a simple chest X-ray, for which MD Anderson is routinely paid $20.44 when it treats a patient on Medicare, the government health care program for the elderly.
Every person in the US should read this article. Time Magazine has performed a notable public service in researching and publishing this piece.
What is revealed here is that much of the cost inflation in American health care is simply created sui generis by health care institutions that reason backwards from desired income to the creative imagining of what they would like prices to the consumer to be.
Non profit business are often the most profitable from the point of the view of those who run them. This is a prime example. pl