America’s corporate hospital systems are in a new era of scrutiny and they know it. They’ve been repeatedly called out for engaging in harmful anti-competitive practices that drive up costs for patients and employers. Their “political firewall” is crumbling.
Now, the American Hospital Association is in full panic mode, launching a new ad campaign in Washington to try and perpetuate these practices. But the momentum for reform is very real.
Throughout the year, Congress has held a series of major hearings about ways hospitals are driving up health care costs. And lawmakers are now primed to enact several key pillars of reform that Better Solutions has been fighting for to rein in excessive price markups, improve transparency, and ensure fair and honest billing.
Already, six House and Senate committees have conducted a combined eleven hearings and markups scrutinizing hospitals’ anti-competitive practices. To boot, a bipartisan bill awaits floor action in the House, which might be why hospitals are pushing the panic button.
Stories like these from around the county demonstrate why hospital reform has become such an urgent priority for Congress:
One woman was billed $809 by a UCLA-affiliated clinic for a plastic boot for her broken foot. She found the exact same boot on Amazon for $80–nearly a 1,000% markup.
Medical debt from one $5,000 hospital bill for a simple case of pink eye that took four years to pay off.
A 340B hospital in Chicago charged a patient $38,398 for a single shot of a cancer infusion when it is likely that the hospital only paid $260.
So, while hospitals flail and scramble to protect their profits, Better Solutions for Healthcare will keep shining a spotlight on these serious issues.