CBS 60 Minutes shines with “Hospitals: The cost of admission”

Gary Schwitzer is founder and publisher of HealthNewsReview.org.

If you didn’t see it, you should. It begins:

“If you want to know why health care costs so much in this country, consider this, it’s estimated that $210 billion a year — about 10 percent of all health expenditures — goes towards unnecessary tests and treatments and a big chunk of that comes right out of the pockets of American taxpayers in the form of Medicare and Medicaid payments.

For more than a year, we have been looking into the admission and billing practices of Health Management Associates. It’s the fourth largest for-profit hospital chain in the country with revenues of $5.8 billion last year, nearly half of that coming from Medicare and Medicaid programs. We talked to more than 100 current and former employees and we heard a similar story over and over: that HMA relentlessly pressured its doctors to admit more and more patients — regardless of medical need — in order to increase revenues.”

And it leaves you wondering how often this happens elsewhere.

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