Jan 14, 2014

Study: US hopsitals are over charging

Data shows Hernando hospitals are price gouging.

A study released on Jan. 6, 2014, by National Nurses United, shows that half of all US hospitals on the top 10 list for price gouging are in Florida, and two of those are in Hernando County.

Details reveal that Brooksville Regional has been price gouging their patients at a rate of 1083 percent. Oak Hill inflates their charges by 1052 percent. 

Top 10 Most Expensive Hospitals in the U.S.
(by total charges as a percent of total costs)
1-      Meadowlands Hospital Medical Center, Secaucus, NJ – 1192%
2-      Paul B. Hall Regional Medical Center, Painsville, KY – 1186%
3-      Orange Park Medical Center, Orange Park, FL – 1139%
4-      North Okaloosa Medical Center, Crestview, FL – 1137%
5-      Gadsden Regional Medical Center, Gadsden, AL – 1128%
6-      Bayonne Medical Center, Bayonne, NJ – 1084%
7-      Brooksville Regional Hospital, Brooksville, FL – 1083%
8-      Heart of Florida Regional Medical Center, Davenport, FL – 1058%
9-      Chestnut Hill Hospital, Philadelphia, PA – 1058%
10-    Oak Hill Hospital, Spring Hill, FL – 1052%

So, what makes Brooksville Regional and Oak Hill hospitals among the most over-priced in the country? 

The study was based on official Medicare Cost Reports, and according to Census data, Hernando County has a higher percentage of seniors at 26.8 percent, than the state average of only 18.2 percent. 

Since millions of Florida seniors have Medicare to cover their primary health insurance costs, could there be a connection between the type of health insurance plan a patient has and hospital price gouging?  

With health care costs skyrocketing and taking an ever-larger chunk out of the federal budget, waste, fraud and abuse on the part of for-profit hospitals appears to be a significant part of problem.

No other industrialized country earth allows private, profit-based companies so much power over their health care networks. Perhaps that is also why America has the most expensive system in the world.

Sources and more info:

Author’s note: The opinions and commentary included in this report are based on the author’s original reporting and independent analysis of official documents and public information.

Jan 4, 2014

Is Congress deliberately creating poverty in America?

What happens in Washington can change lives thousands of miles away, whether people realize it or not. Ideally, elected representatives work on laws intended to make the lives of their constituents better. However, that has not been the case of late. 

Budget cuts to food stamps and unemployment benefits are having a real effect on American families; they are sending more of them from the middle-class into poverty.
The Republican leadership leading the charge on stark austerity measures claim they will eventually lead to prosperity for more Americans. Precisely how and when remains vague. In the meantime, while millions find themselves unable to find work and with government assistance cut off, the lofty idealism of smaller government is actually creating more poverty in a nation with more millionaires than any other on earth.

Read the full article here.

Image: Poverty in America during the Great Depression/wikipedia