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“Hospital Pricings Guaranteed to Shock You”

People are becoming increasingly aware that many hospitals have very peculiar pricing mechanisms.  Recently, I had first hand exposure to the extreme variations in charges for the same procedure.  A chest MRI costs the insurance company over $2,500 but an individual could personally pay for the same procedure for $650.  In April 2013, University of California San Francisco researchers set out to find out how much an appendectomy cost among 19,000 patients in California. An appendectomy varied in price from $1,529 to $182,955, the researchers stated in the journal, Archives of Internal Medicine.  Dr. Timothy McBride, a professor and health policy analyst at Washington University in St. Louis, said, “For some reasons that are probably quite legitimate, they pad these prices to cover what economists might call fixed costs.”

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