A new report from FAIR Health found that hospitals are vastly over-billing patients and their insurer for complex COVID-19 cases.
Complex COVID-19 cases, which can include ventilation, lab tests, intensive care, blood components and other services yield an average negotiated rate of $98,139 the study finds.
But data shows hospitals are billing far more than that agreed-to amount.
In fact, on average, hospitals are charging three times the negotiated rate – or $317,810 to be exact – per patient with a complex COVID-19 case.
Charges likes this are a prime example of why healthcare costs are getting higher and higher.
When hospitals bill more than $300,000 for less than$100,000 worth of care, that extra $200,000 is paid for by the consumer in the form of higher premiums.
During the pandemic many payers have taken extra steps to enhance coverage and shield patients from typical cost-shares and expenses.
Those measures, however, are largely undermined when a hospital turns around and triples the cost of care.
Regulators and policy makers need to pay close attention to these billing practices and ensure consumers aren’t left holding a $200,000 bag.