ER and Hospital Monopolies drive healthcare costs

In his recent Op-Ed contribution, [Blame Emergency Rooms for the Out-of-Control Cost of Health Care, New York Times, September 5, 2018] Dr. Glenn Melnick astutely calls out the devious and cynical method hospitals use their emergency departments and “billed charges” to take advantage of the public’s need for emergency care to drive up the cost of all hospital-based services. Dr. Melnick proposes regulations to cap billed charges at a percent of contracted rates. Such strong medicine may be necessary in such a dysfunctional system. But another option involves unleashing the power of disruptive innovation. At the heart of the problem is the continued monopoly power of the hospital. Legislatures, regulators and communities have been fooled into protecting these outdated, wasteful and self-serving institutions in the misguided name of jobs, health, and science. Most modern healthcare can and should be delivered outside of the hospital in emerging, tech-powered, modern facilities. - Sanders DiPiero

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