Saving Money on Hospital Bills
According to the National Coalition on Health Care Costs and the American Hospital Association:
- Health care spending in the United States reached $1.7 trillion in 2003 and was projected to reach $1.8 trillion in 2004.
- Spending on health care has increased by 46% since 1998.
- Health care spending is 4.3 times spending on national defense.
Several factors contribute to this increase. According to the American Hospital Association, these factors include:
- Rising costs for goods and services hospitals need to provide care - This includes employee wages, benefits, drugs, medical devices, food, linens, and other supplies.
- Higher demand for care - Chronic diseases and an aging population are using more hospital services.
- Increased intensity of care - More sophisticated treatment options and older, frailer patients mean more complex care.
To combat the rising costs of health care, you should keep a close eye on your hospital bill. According to a recent MSN Money article:
- Estimates on hospital overcharges run up to $10 billion a year.
- Overcharges make up approximately 5% of hospital bills.
The average overage is $1,300 per hospital stay.