Really? Try this one on for size:
According to the American Action Forum, Medicare currently lists 1.7k procedures that are required to be performed in a hospital in order to qualify for Medicare reimbursement. Yet, many of these procedures are regularly performed in Ambulatory Surgical Centers (ASCs) for significantly less $$$s than those performed in hospitals.
Better yet, ASCs--which are identical to hospitals in terms of available equipment and staff—demonstrate similar patient outcomes with fewer infections. They afe also on average ~75% cheaper than hospitals.
No problem, if the patient is privately insured or pays for the procedure out of pocket. But, if the patient is on Medicare, forget the ACS. Just go straight to the hospital and let the "government" pay full freight.
How so? For the ASC procedures that Medicare reimburses, it's at lower rates than those for hospitals. To wit:
- ASCs receive 56% of what hospitals receive for performing an identical procedure.
- Medicare uses different measures to calculate inflation when looking at hospitals and ASCs. Hospitals receive inflation increases that are 300% higher than ASCs.
The Motley Monk reported previously on one ACS--The Surgery Center of Oklahoma--which is transparent in its pricing. For example, a $40k hip replacement (the average price charged at most American hospitals) is $19.4k at the Surgery Center of Oklahoma.
It really is too bad that the 48% of Americans who pay taxes and foot the bill for everyone else don’t “get it.” The government is wasting their money, all the while trumpeting how it's helping poor and middle class workers with waste-riddled entitlements. Obamacare was sold as the entitlement program that would reverse this long history of wasteful spending by bending down the healthcare cost curve.
Evidently, President Obama is too busy golfing to check out the facts. After alll, his advisors have had them in their possession for quite a while. Or, is it that he really does detest free market capitalism?
Let the discussion begin…
To read the American Action Forum report, click on the following link:
"Ambulatory Surgical Centers and Medicare."
To read The Motley Monk’s previous post about ASCs, click on the following link: