The organization noted in a press statement that another recent study by FAIR Health found that average hospital charges for a Covid-19 patient with no comorbidity or complication were $42,486, while patients with major complications during their treatment are charged an average of $74,310.
“Unpayable charges are a calamity for our patients, too many of whom avoid—at great risk to their health—the medical care they need due to the high cost, or they become burdened by devastating debt, hounded by bill collectors or driven into bankruptcy,” said Jean Ross, a registered nurse and co-president of NNU.
Based on Medicare cost reports for more than 4,000 hospitals in fiscal year 2018—the most recent data available—NNU’s study found that the 100 most expensive hospitals in the U.S. charge between $1,129 and $1,808 for every $100 of their actual healthcare costs. Nationwide, hospitals’ markups for healthcare costs have doubled over the past two decades, with medical centers charging an average of $417 for every $100 they actually spend providing care.
Such exorbitant costs can drive people with Covid-19 away from seeking treatment—putting themselves and their communities at risk—and have been pointed to numerous times this year by advocates for Medicare for All, under which everyone in the U.S. would be enrolled in the popular Medicare program, allowing the program to limit price gouging for all patients through its bulk purchasing power.
Jesus: Hey, Dad? God: Yes, Son? Jesus: Western civilization followed me home. Can I keep it? God: Certainly not! And put it down this minute--you don't know where it's been! Tom Robbins in Another Roadside Attraction