In January 2015 , author Steven Brill published ‘America’s Bitter Pill’, a hard hitting exposé on the wanton abuse in the healthcare industry. This short graphic highlights just a fraction of the incredibly inflated hospital costs that patients face every day.
- 1. Tylenol = $15 – $15 per individual pill, for a total of $345 during average patient stay
- Plastic Bag = $8 – Plastic bags cost a grocery store 2 cents, at the hospital it’s 8 bucks.
- Box of tissues = $8 – Usually labeled as “mucus recovery system”
- Gloves = $53 And keep in mind, that’s $53 EVERY TIME a doctor or nurse has to put them on, so hopefully you don’t have to stay more than an hour.
- Cup for medicine = $10 – The CUP, not the actual medicine, is $10 a piece. Usually counts up to over $500 a stay.
- Marking pen = $18 – A simple pen that marks the incisions where the surgeon will cut.
- Cuff, BP Adult = $20 – Whenever a nurse checks your blood pressure. You don’t get to keep the cuff.
- Oral admin. fee = $7 – Whenever a nurse has to hand you medicine. Usually comes to about $90 per stay
- Holding your newborn = $39 – Just wait until you get home.
- Sterile water IV bag = $800 – Manufacturing cost… about one dollar.
Many times patients are subject to “overtreatment”. ⅓ of patients obtain identical treatments for no reason. For example, the USA provides twice as much MRI’s than any other country.
Approx. Two thirds of healthcare dollars are taken by Insurance companies, yet they provide little to zero value.
Patients are asked to sign an “Authorization for Treatment,” and a “Statement of Financial Responsibility”, Although neither the patient nor the hospital know exactly how much these open ended charges will be.
It seems that American hospitals carry the worst aspects of capitalism and socialism. They are for profits organizations, but by law, they must treat everyone. Competition drives down prices, benefiting the consumer, but because there is no competition, they can charge whatever they want. Some counties have adopted the practice to set price limits on hospitals. The USA has yet to do that.