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February 21st, 2013
11:41 PM ET

Who profits off your hospital bills?

In partnership with Time, CNN's Drew Griffin reports on why medical bills in the U.S. are so exorbitant, and who in the health care industry is making off with a small fortune.

Watch Part I of the report:

Read 4 ways to control your health care costs

soundoff (7 Responses)
  1. Ben

    Kudos to tacking an important, multifaceted problem. It is however criminal that the role of insurance companies was all but completely overlooked in this article. The concept of chargemaster has heavy involvement by insurance companies. And while it's debatable if Ron Germain deserves $1.8m, how do you account for CEOs of insurance companies making $20m, given that they contribute absolutely NOTHING to the care of the patient? Highly disappointing if not unlikely that a problem a log fold more important was completely overlooked. Another important issue completely neglected is that 90% of healthcare costs occur in the last year of life. Any discussion of cost cannot ignore discussions about what that care should entail or look like. Also, a discussion of nonprofits is warranted. Nonprofit organizations are not precluded from making profit; the profit however does have to return to their basic mission. This includes new equipment, buildings, staff, etc. Healthcare costs desperately need to be curtailed, but the hospital is only one, and by far not the most important, cog in this process.

    February 26, 2013 at 8:54 am |
  2. Judy Jarrett

    I'm a senior and this travesty committed upon the sick and the poor is incomprehensible to someone raised in my times.We always respected and trusted the medical profession. I hate to admit the corruption of Washington's elected representaives that allow themselves to be bought by a lobby group that is 3 times the size of the oil and wall street lobby.I agree that nothing will change unless we keep this in the news!!!!!!! Thank You Time and CNN! Keep up the good invetigative reporting.

    February 25, 2013 at 3:37 pm |
  3. D Scott

    About 8 years ago my father was placed in a Nursing Home. He had Early stage dementia.
    His doctor Monitored His condition. She found that My Father had Kidney Stones.
    She wanted to Have Surgery Done on both Kidneys To Remove the Stones.
    My Father Was Going downhill fast with the Dementia. I saw No good Outcome to a
    Surgery. She and I talked. Very good that I had a good Medical Background.
    I did ask Her what the outcome Might be For my Father, Knowing that this Procedure
    Was not going to make his Short life better. BTW, My Lawyer had already been notified, and we had a DNR
    And NO Extreme measures for Him.
    She Relented, and Made Him Comfortable for His days left on this earth.
    So, How much Money was she to gain from this Surgery??
    It is Years ago, But I am Still Angry.
    Good Luck to all, and Be Armed With Information.
    D

    February 25, 2013 at 7:16 am |
  4. Barbara Keller

    As a primary caregiver for my parents, elderly in laws and most recently my neighbor, I know the costs that come with medical issues. You are forced to fight every step of the way, from the admission well into the stay. There are guidelines that an eldery patient must face in order to be admitted into the hospital even though they are having trouble breathing, cant walk, etc. I know first hand and experienced such "madness" from going through cancer with both my mom and mother in law, do you have a referral, before a procedure can even begin they need to contact Medicare, PCPs, medicaid it is frustrating and unheard of that in the United States this is happening and being pushed under the rug. Hospitals, CEOS, CFOs, and making millions on their patients, bonuses, perks, cars, etc. EVERYONE should have INSURANCE!! Either way you face an uphill battle once discharged with mounting medical costs. I volunteer my time as a patient advocate for my neighbor, I wish I could help more. This is a start with this story, keep it in the NEWS.

    February 23, 2013 at 8:58 am |
  5. Bernadette Hodson

    I am a graduate of Marquette University in Medical Technology, so I know a bit. My God, will the medical
    profession and the hospitals stop Anderson Cooper's report on medicine. Today, when I went to the dermotologist,
    my fears were verified. They are out to stop Anderson from these reports. I began to wake up when my daughter
    ,now 36 and a premie baby of 750gms(1lb, 10oz) was given to the wild at 18 dispite Medicare, Tricare and Medicaid.
    Through them away after we have made enough money on them??? What can I say...all the Republican
    military officers think their medicine is great and yes, they deserve it, but I believe it would be considered
    socialized medicine.
    Will Doctors ever work together, like the Mayo brothers wanted, or will they all continue to think they are Gods
    despite the ranging in their classes. That they deserve good salaries for their education is not a question, but
    to think they are all top ranking in their fields is absurd. Orthopedic doctors need to look at their certification and
    not claim that they are experts in all orthopedic areas as they, and some HMO"s claim them to be. They need
    to look at their specialty in orthopedics and have certifications in certain areas: knees, hips or upper needs of
    the arms and wrists. At present. orthopedic licensed doctors can do it all and HMO's will take the cheapest
    wonder MD that does it all. Doctors need to work together as was the establishment of the Mayo brothers believed.
    thank you,..B Hodson

    February 22, 2013 at 10:42 pm |
  6. Tim

    After reading the piece in Time, and watching the videos on CNN, I can't understand why this is not being shouted from the rooftops. The entire healthcare industry is committing robbery, and the world just looks the other way (as long as their insured). Seems like the only conversation going on is about being 'insured', nothings being said about 'cost'. I've experienced some of this while dealing with the MAYO clinic in Jacksonville FL when my mother was dying with cancer; Medicare paid all of her expenses, most or which were for services and goods she never received. When I contacted Medicare, they said they would not investigate because the amount did not exceed their threshold (the bill was for over $150k, and she never even took a treatment). Please continue this truely worthy conversation, don't let it die out like it has so many times before. This needs to be THE story that won't go away!!!

    February 22, 2013 at 6:19 pm |
    • Bernadette Hodson

      Tim, I am surprised to hear this about Mayo's and medicare,but you must realize that 95% of the people in this
      country do not recognize their humanity and are willing, granted through insurance, that humanity is not an issue and that medicine is their God. Alleluia, to the field of medicine and all it is making financially at the expense of our lives.
      It will definitely add to the demise of this country at the cost increase of 20% and above annually. Bernadette HOdson

      February 22, 2013 at 10:52 pm |