(NaturalNews) The American people are barely putting up a fight as they relinquish what little health freedoms they have left in exchange for Obamacare, the multi-billion dollar sick care travesty that will eliminate freedom of choice in health care. But the existing insurance-based health care system is hardly any better, having been built upon a fraudulent pricing and billing system that bilks patients and their insurance companies out of billions of dollars for over-inflated medical services.
Many people who rely on health insurance do not even realize that when they visit their doctors, the services they receive are carelessly, and oftentimes incorrectly, documented and billed, for instance. Patients are almost never told up front how much their visits will cost, and when all is said and done, unseemly sums of money are extracted from insurance companies for services that would hardly be worth a fraction of the amount paid out if they had been offered on a truly free market.
Additionally, medical coders, or the people responsible for "decoding" the notes scribbled on notepads or electronic tablets by doctors, often apply the wrong codes, add additional codes, or leave off code modifiers, which results in major billing errors. According to PricingHealthcare.com, a new website that will expose the fraud of the medical pricing system, many medical coders deliberately engage in "upcoding," or purposely using higher-cost codes to increase profits for providers.
"Medical pricing is basically a scam," explains PricingHealthcare.com, which plans to have an official beta launch in June. "Hospitals make it nearly impossible to find out costs until after the patient has already agreed to pay. There are few markets that could keep customers so much in the dark for so long and get away with it."
Virtually all insurance companies refuse to reveal their negotiated rates to patients
Once the medical coders have finalized their list of codes for an individual patient visit, it is then sent to the billing department, which is oftentimes not even located at the same medical office, and the final bill is eventually sent to the insurance company for payout. The amount the patient ends up paying, known as the negotiated insurance rate, is just a fraction of the actual amount billed for services rendered.
But the actually amount that insurance companies end up paying for each itemized medical code is largely unknown, as this negotiated rate is almost never revealed to policyholders. This means that, as an insured patient, you never really know what you are actually being charged for medical services -- you simply pay your monthly insurance premiums in addition to the "lower price" you are charged for medical services at each doctor visit.
This highly-unaccountable system breeds fraud, which is made even more evident by the fact that list or cash prices for medical services are typically far less than "insured" prices, which are divided between insurance companies and patients, and kept secret from the public. Because of this, PricingHealthcare.com has decided not only to bring the issue to light, but also to do something about it.
"In order to increase transparency, PricingHealthcare.com is going to publish prices from hospitals and other medical facilities," explained a representative from the site to Natural News. "This will make it possible to compare hospital prices side by side with other hospitals and clinics in each area."