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Letter: Transparency needed in medical billing

Editor, Gazette-Journal:

Would you buy a car without knowing its price or condition? Why not? You go to a doctor, clinic or hospital and spend much more over the course of a lifetime. Obamacare may not be the magic elixir to tame this monster, but it must change. One cannot get a fair estimate of what your procedure will cost because the system is designed to confuse, and insurance companies are no better.

There are documents that show that for your local hospital to do, for example, a blood test coded xyz (for illustration purposes) is to be billed at $XX.XX. Every service, every item provided, every procedure has a unique code the hospitals, insurance providers and government programs use for billing. Yet try to get a detailed estimate that you can comparison shop. You get more vague statements than answers. Why are providers’ cost books not available and why the large disparity in charges from one hospital to the next?

Ask yourself, why do I get a bill for nearly twice...

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