How Much Will My Heart Attack Cost?

Check this out. If you liked yesterday’s riff about the stupidity of requiring DTC drug advertisements to include the medication’s “list” price, you will love this one. Today we see that in their never-ending quest to provide healthcare pricing “transparency,” the Feds are now requiring hospitals to post their master charge list on line. Every single thing that they might bill a patient for. Thousands of items, ranging from aspirin tablets to brain surgery. All posted at “list.” And what, pray tell, are patients expected to do with this “information.”  

Some interesting terminology included in this article. Like the description of this “information” as “useless” to the average patient. Yup. And the word “fiasco” being used to describe the outcome of this exercise. Uh-Huh!!!

Nonetheless, some do-gooder is quoted as describing this as a “tiny step forward” in the direction of transparency. People, any time useless stuff is distributed to unsuspecting recipients, clogging the system and taking attention off of doing real things to help patients understand healthcare pricing, I would argue it is a major step. Backwards!!!

Bottom Line. Somehow, we need to get the Federal Government (and everybody else!) to understand that “full disclosure” of meaningless pricing information about drugs, hospital costs or anything else for that matter is not a laudable public service. Rather, it is a travesty that actually detracts from accomplishing outcomes that really help patients.  

This is so evident that I am not sure why this is not understood. How can we help?

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