Are Hospital Charge Master Rates Unreasonable?

“It has been common for hospitals to raise their Charge Master rates substantially every year in an effort to win higher reimbursement rates from health insurers.”

Buying hospital care is like buying a new car; the sticker price has no relationship to reality and is an arbitrary number. It gives the provider of goods an advantage to negotiate down from a high number  rather than up from a low number (Huh?).

And, doesn’t it feel good to have been able to save money?

Chargemaster Lawsuit

Editor’s Note: A friend of ours in East Texas called us the other day. “Bill, you always told me that cash is king. I have in my hands an outstanding bill for about $2,600 that the insurance did not pay for my wife’s recent hospital stay. What advice can you give me in getting this dawg bill reduced.” “It’s easy Larry, just call the hospital, and ask them if they will take 50 cents on the dollar if you pay them today.” Twenty minutes later Larry called; “Bill, I owe your a case of beer. It took about 15 minutes on the phone to get the bill reduced in half!”

There are companies out there that will help timid health care consumers in negotiating hospital bills for a percentage of savings. In this case, if we had made the call, and if we were in the business of helping consumers for a percentage of the savings to be realized, we would have made about $300 for 15 minutes of work. What a way to make a living! We’d be driving a cadallac by Xmas if we were to start a claim negotiating business for timid consumers. Got to love timid people!

Larry is retired. If he ever gets the itch to make a little pocket money, maybe he should advertise ” I ASSIST TIMID HEALTH CARE CONSUMERS FOR FREE.”