Why can't US healthcare have a law limiting out-of-network rates?Feb 4
US is the most expensive country for healthcare costs. While there are minor reasons like lifestyle, guns, drugs which make more people need medical treatment, the real reason is predatory pricing. Identical products and services are sold for vastly different prices based on the buyer's (or insurance provider's) capabilities. In-network and out-of-network costs can easily differ by 5000% or higher with sometimes zero transparency.
So why doesn't US Congress pass a simple law that says prices of goods and services should be transparent and out-of-network prices and in-network prices cannot differ by more than 100%?
Won't that bring fair market economics lowering healthcare prices while simultaneously retaining the benefits of capitalism?
- Apple hbdeegbbotMany people love getting fucked in the ass by healthcare companies, cable companies, energy companies and all the other monopolistic entities. They think if they vote for a socialist system they might help the poor people or even worse the immigrants. So they vote against any candidate who tries.
- Why will any lab offer a lower price when they are already offering the lowest possible price to their in-network customers?
The issue is not one of price ceiling, it's about price gouging. That free market dynamic you describe only happens when there is one price. It immediately fails when a good can have multiple widely different prices.
Again every hospital can charge $500 but they must not be allowed to charge $5 to anyone.Feb 52
- Nurx lorfw46I don’t get it either. I’m not from the US either and it’s hard to get used to the US healthcare system. It makes zero sense.
- Because volume discounts, economies of scale, and negotiating leverage.
Why not mandate in-network prices have to be raised to out-of-network levels? I’m sure you’d see a lot more suppliers provide services.
The reason is because the market is 100% better at determining prices than a bureaucrat.
- Sure, raise in-network prices, but the key idea is to have a market! That can only happen when the price of a good is fixed or uniform. If the price itself isn't fixed you don't have a market at all. Take the airline seats as an example - airlines can have business class and economy class seats and charge widely different prices for them, but they cannot prohibit the business class passengers from buying economy class if they want. But medical industry gets away with exactly this!
- Well this has nothing to do with politics of who pays for healthcare but the pricing of health care itself. You actually explained my analogy - sure you can buy whatever service you want, but, not at fair market value, because there is no fair market! A fair market only exists when a good is offered at the same price to everyone.
- Yes of course an airline can and does price differently and sure Amazon can purchase from a cheaper source, but they have to offer the same product and whatever price they choose to everyone! That's where things differ with the medical industry, where the seller demands the price based on the buyer's capabilities.
- So Costco is a good example too - members of Costco get a discount typically under 10% of prices you get in a regular shop. But healthcare in-network prices aren't discounts by a long shot. They are the normal rates and out of network rates are higher by as much as 5000%. In a normal market like the one Costco operates such a thing is impossible. But not in healthcare!
- What bias? Try giving this link an actual read and see what I mean...
- Well, I have HSA so I know it costs me $300 to see a doctor but I really don't know how much it actually costs. Sure the insurance company breaks it down for me, but I have absolutely no idea how much it costs my colleague who has a different plan. The reason is there isn't a single price at all! That's the whole problem.
- Microsoft unfangedIt’s the entire supply chain that’s fucked. Sure they charge $500 for a bag of saline, $40 for a pill of ibuprofen, $10 for a Dixie cup, and $80 to hold your newborn. Similarly they charge the surgeon $450 for a scalpel that’s slightly modified, you can do the modification yourself with a $15 scalpel and 5 minuets.
Then insurance only pays 10-20% of list prices. The problem is when they don’t extend those same negotiated rates to regular people.
In terms of price transparency it would be great if along with the charge master they also would be required to publish city, county, state, and national averages pre and post negotiations for procedures. A nominal price list is worthless. This would allow realistic expectations and easy to find cheapest location and easy price comparisons to determine if a location is expensive or not.
- Government must be out of health insurance business.
They fucked a lot with Obamacare already.
Socialist way we’d have to pay + 10-15% for insurance.