Tag Archives: hospitals

INVESTIGATION: Hospitals Ignoring Price Transparency Rule Rack Up Billion-Dollar Profits, by Adam Andrzejewski

Wouldn’t you like to have an idea what your medical care is going to cost you before your receive it? From Adam Andrzejewski at openthebooks.substack.com:


It was an historic, bipartisan healthcare reform. In 2020, President Donald Trump proposed and the Biden Administration finalized the transparency rule whereby hospitals were forced to open their books and post their prices for healthcare services online and in real time.

Blatantly, though, hospitals are refusing to comply. As of January 1, 86-percent of hospitals were not complying with the transparency rule according to an investigation by the organization Patient Rights Advocate.

One year after the rule went into effect, a staggering 857 out of the 1,000 hospitals surveyed refused to open their pricing books or were non-compliant.

In 2021, three of the largest hospital systems in the country – HCA Healthcare, CommonSpirit Health, and Ascension — made a collective $120 billion. Yet, those systems still weren’t posting their prices online by January 2022.

Even smaller “non-profit” hospital groups, like, UPMC in Pittsburgh, were non-compliant. However, in 2020, their CEO made $9 million; between 2016 and 2020, he was paid $34.7 million.

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Hospitals No Longer Required to Report COVID Deaths, HHS Says, by Dr. Joseph Mercola

“The Science” before which we are all supposed to bow when it makes its pronouncements on Covid or climate change, apparently doesn’t even require raw data. It’s just that powerful, so no need to know how many people are actually dying of Covid. From Dr. Joseph Mercola at childrenshealthdefense.org:

Without data, the foundation of scientific analysis, researchers can’t draw conclusions, which leaves public health experts unable to accurately make recommendations.

Story at-a-glance:

  • The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has stopped mandatory hospital reporting of COVID-19 deaths and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is hiding data about the effectiveness of the booster shots in people aged 18 to 64, or those least likely to benefit from the shot.
  • The New York Post notes the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) overruled an expert advisory committee and the CDC overruled their own experts to promote the booster to all age groups. Scientists must use Israeli data, which show little to no difference in those boosted or not boosted until people are over age 65.
  • The CDC justifies not releasing the data saying it was “not ready for prime time,” as it would be misinterpreted and is based on 10% of the population, or the same sample size that has been used for influenza statistics for years.
  • Data from independent researchers and insurance companies recording all-cause death rates show the number who have died in 2021 after the release of the vaccine far exceeds the all-cause death rate in 2020 during the height of the infection.
  • It is easy to understand why the HHS and CDC want to hide this data from scrutiny as it’s more difficult to ignore with each passing day that the infection didn’t kill the number of people health experts claimed and that the vaccine is killing far more than the virus is.

Data is the foundation of scientific analysis. Without data, researchers are left unable to draw conclusions, which leaves public health experts unable to accurately make recommendations.

But that appears to be exactly what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Health and Human Services (HHS) are doing. The CDC is hiding data and the HHS is no longer collecting data, which one U.S. official has called “incomprehensible.”

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Free Market Medical System? by Hunter Lewis

A lot of things are called “free market” and capitalism that are not. That would include the US medical system. From Hunter Lewis at lewrockwell.com:

In this Fox article, Edward K. Glassman, my long ago Harvard classmate, author of Dow 36,000 (predicting Dow at that level by 2005), and current director of the George W. Bush Institute, extolls our free market medical system. The first reader to comment agrees that we have a “ free market” system, but thinks that “ profit based healthcare” should be “outlawed.” Another reader thinks that we actually have “socialized medicine.”

So what do we have? I think the most apt description would be crony capitalist medicine, one in which powerful special interests conspire with government officials to create legally mandated monopolies, with the specific goal of thwarting free market competition.

Here is how it actually works:

 1. Most people wonder why there are no visible prices in medicine. You only find out what the charge has been after the service has been delivered. There actually are prices, controlled prices, but you aren’t supposed to know what they are. Each year a committee of the American Medical Association recommends a set of prices to Medicare. The committee is dominated by medical specialists, so specialists tend to do particularly well. Medicare is actually run, not by government, but by private insurance companies, and these companies adopt these prices for private insurance purposes as well.

Congress further sweetened this price controlled system for hospitals by requiring Medicare to pay  more for the same service if provided by  hospital employees. This has inevitably led to local hospitals buying out most of the surrounding private medical practices, which has in turn created local medical service monopolies that feed patients to the hospital for its more costly services.

2. These monopolies are further sweetened for doctors by legally barring nurses, chiropractors, four year trained naturopathic doctors, and other health professionals from using the full extent of their medical training. In this way, the supply of medical services is constrained, which further raises prices.

To continue reading: Free Market Medical System?

Obamacare Set To Drive New Wave Of Hospital Bankruptcies, by Tyler Durden

In Washington, nothing succeeds like failure. Obamacare’s massive failure sets the stage for complete government control of medicine.  Republicans’ failure to slay this monster means it will morph into something even more incompetent and deadly. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

Back in 2008, one of the biggest arguments in favor of Obamacare was that the legislation would help alleviate bad debt at hospitals created by people who required emergency care but didn’t have health insurance or the financial means to cover their treatment.  Of course, like most promises made about Obamacare, the exact opposite of the Left’s original theories has played out in reality as restructuring lawyers are now warning that the healthcare industry is about to experience a massive wave of hospital bankruptcies.  Per Bloomberg:

 A wave of hospitals and other medical companies are likely to restructure their debt or file for bankruptcy in the coming year,following the recent spate of failing retailers and energy drillers, according to restructuring professionals. Regulatory changes, technological advances and the rise of urgent-care centers have created a “perfect storm” for health-care companies, said David Neier, a partner in the New York office of law firm Winston & Strawn LLC.

Some signs are already there: Health-care bankruptcy filings have more than tripled this year according to data compiled by Bloomberg, and an index of Chapter 11 filings by companies with more than $1 million of assets has reached record highs in four of the last six quarters, according to law firm Polsinelli PC. Junk bonds from companies in the industry have dropped 1.4 percent this month, a steeper decline than the broader high-yield market, according to Bloomberg Barclays index data.

Since 1997, health-care cases have made up only 5.25 percent of all U.S. bankruptcy filings, according to Bloomberg data. Year to date, they already comprise 7.25 percent of all filings. Emergency-room operator Adeptus Health, cancer-care provider 21st Century Oncology, and cancer treatment specialist California Proton Treatment are the largest filings. Those statistics exclude pharmaceutical company Concordia, which is restructuring in Canada, and Preferred Care Inc., one of the U.S.’s largest nursing home groups, operating 108 assisted living facilities.


To continue reading: Obamacare Set To Drive New Wave Of Hospital Bankruptcies

How the Government Ruined U.S. Healthcare — and What We Can Actually Do About It, by Alice Salles

You may have heard this before from SLL. When government regulates an industry at the behest of sundry do-gooders, the regulated industry has every incentive to capture the regulatory apparatus. For the do-gooders, they are off to their next crusade. From Alice Salles at theantimedia.org:

Government’s meddling in the healthcare business has been disastrous from the get-go.

Since 1910, when Republican William Taft gave in to the American Medical Association’s lobbying efforts, most administrations have passed new healthcare regulations. With each new law or set of new regulations, restrictions on the healthcare market went further, until at some point in the 1980s, people began to notice the cost of healthcare had skyrocketed.

This is not an accident. It’s by design.

As regulators allowed special interests to help design policy, everything from medical education to drugs became dominated by virtual monopolies that wouldn’t have otherwise existed if not for government’s notion that intervening in people’s lives is part of their job.

But how did costs go up, and why didn’t this happen overnight?

It wasn’t until 1972 that President Richard Nixon restricted the supply of hospitals by requiring institutions to provide a certificate-of-need.

Just a couple years later, in 1974, the president also strengthened unions for hospital workers by boosting pension protections, which raise the cost for both those who run hospitals and taxpayers in cases of institutions that rely on government subsidies. This move also helped force doctors who once owned and ran their own hospitals to merge into provider monopolies. These, in turn, are often only able to keep their doors open with the help of government subsidies.

This artificial restriction on healthcare access had yet another harsh consequence: overworked doctors.

But they weren’t the first to feel the consequences hit home. As the number of hospitals and clinics became further restricted and the healthcare industry became obsessed with simple compliance, patients were the first to feel abandoned.

To continue reading: How the Government Ruined U.S. Healthcare — and What We Can Actually Do About It

It Said That? 2/5/15

From the National Center for Policy Analysis, “Certificate-of-Need Laws Mean Fewer Services for Patients,” at ncpa.org:

Thirty-five states have certificate-of-need (CON) laws, which limit the entry and expansion of new health care facilities. In a new study from the Mercatus Center, Christopher Koopman and Thomas Stratmann explain why these laws don’t work.

Why would states prevent the entry of new health care providers? In general, say the authors, policymakers believed CON laws would control health care costs by reducing overinvestment in health care facilities.

In 14 states, policymakers created “charity care” requirements. They believed that they could better provide health care for the poor by limiting the number of facilities in an area. States would give health care providers a certificate to construct a new facility or expand, in exchange for the provider increasing care for its poor residents. The expectation was that by essentially creating health care monopolies, providers with CONs could charge higher prices than they would otherwise face in a competitive market, creating greater profits. With those profits, states expected providers to cover losses from providing uncompensated care to low-income residents. As Koopman and Stratmann put it: “In effect, those who can pay are charged higher prices to subsidize those who cannot.”

Has it worked? No, say Koopman and Stratmann – they haven’t increased charity care. They have, however, resulted in fewer facilities and equipment:

On average, the United States has 362 hospital beds per 100,000 people. CON states have 99 fewer beds.

On average in the United States, there are six hospitals offering MRIs for every 500,000 people. In CON states, 2.5 fewer hospitals per 500,000 residents offer MRI services.

Similarly, there are generally nine hospitals per 500,000 people that offer CT scans in the United States, but that figure is 37 percent lower in CON states.

In short, certificate-of-need laws merely decrease the supply of health care services by limiting competition, resulting in fewer choices and options for patients.

Source: Christopher Koopman and Thomas Stratmann, “Certificate-of-Need Laws: Implications for New Hampshire,” Mercatus Center, February 4, 2015.


If you let state governments decide how many hospitals can operate rather than the market, you “decrease the supply of health care services.” Good thing that with Obamacare, we’ve turned over even more of the medical sector of the economy to the government.