Tue 11 Dec, 2012 01:31 am
when our medical system is a primo wealth redistribution channel without hardly a word being said?
Why the huge disparity between what a hospital charges for an MRI and what a stand-alone clinic such as Shields charges? Newton-Wellesley said that it costs a lot to keep a hospital open 24 hours a day. Hospitals lose a lot of money on some services and make it up other other services. MRIs or other tests are a way to make up for money lost on services such as mental health.
And hospitals say they lose money taking care of patients with Medicare — that’s mostly for the elderly — or Medicaid government insurance mostly for the poor. So private insurance payers like me end up paying more for these tests so that the hospitals can have everything balance in the end.
While Shields lab doesn't have the overhead of a hospital, Tom Shields, the company’s president, says charging more for an MRI to make up for losing money on other services is just a sign that health care finances are really broken. "You’re reimbursing for diagnostic imaging at a very high rate to justify the underpayment for other lines of health care. It’s sort of like justifying the $500 Ace bandage. The logic isn’t there."