What hospitals charge the uninsured
Steven Brill's exposé on hospital pricing in Time magazine predictably provoked from the American Hospital Association a statement seeking to correct the impression left by Mr. Brill that the United States hospital industry is hugely profitable. In this regard, the association can cite not only its own regularly published data, but also data from the independent and authoritative Medicare Payment Advisory Commission, or Medpac, established by Congress to advise it on paying the providers of health care for treating Medicare patients. The hospital association also correctly points out that under the pervasive price discrimination that is the hallmark of American health care, the profit margin a hospital earns is the product of a complicated financial juggling act among its mix of payers.
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