Posted: 1:11 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 27, 2013
By Rick Couri
While that may not be the average bill for good old saltwater it’s not far off.
Investigation into the billing of more than 100 patients found that one woman was charged $91 for one unit of saline plus $127 to administer the fluid. The cost to the hospital for the saline itself was 86 cents.
That patient needed a total of six liters of saline during her three day stay at White Plains Hospital in new York. The facility paid $5.16 for the IV bags she required but they charged her $546.
The work was done by a New York Times writer named Nina Bernstein, she blames the outrageous costs on the "secrecy that helps keep prices high."
She theorizes that there are so many middle men and hands on all the products they “so obscure prices and profits that even participants cannot say what the simplest component of care actually costs, let alone what it should cost."
Her final assessment is the current system "leaves taxpayers and patients alike with an inflated bottom line and little or no way to challenge it."