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Adam Ruins Everything – The Real Reason Hospitals Are So Expensive | truTV

What could be
the downside? Oh, there are a ton. For starters, how ’bout
the fact that this place rips off folks
like you every day. Whatever. I know the hospital
is expensive, but it is worth it
if I get the best treatment. No, it isn’t. American health care
is not the best in the world. But despite that, we spend more
per person annually on health care than any
other developed nation. And a big part
of the reason for that is that American hospitals
overcharge patients massively. (music playing,
cheering and applause) This neck brace
is worth $20. But the hospital
charged him… $154. This I.V. bag cost
less than a buck. But she was
charged $137. These are real prices, folks. Hold up. Wildly inflated health care costs? This sounds like the work of politicians to me. Was it Obamacare? Trump Aid,
McConnell Med? What did you do?! I’m not a politician. I’m just a boring
white guy. Why does this
keep happening? Sorry, Rachel,
but this time, it’s not
the politicians’ fault. The problem starts
with something called the “Chargemaster.” The Chargemaster is a secret
document full of insane prices that hospitals use to charge
us whatever they want. Let’s go on a trip through
the history of medical billing. Well, I’d rather not. (Adam)
A hundred years ago, hospital pricing was pretty simple. We take the cost
of providing care and add a little on top
to make a profit. One amputation
costs us five bucks. So we’ll charge you 6.50. But after the rise
of insurance companies, hospital billing got
complicated, in part because these gigantic corporations
demanded gigantic discounts. We send you thousands
of patients every day. So, we want… half off
all your prices. We can’t afford that. So, to please these powerful
insurance companies, hospitals cooked up a plan. I’ve got it. We’ll make up a really,
high fake price, and then give you
a discount off that. Hey, as long as I get to tell
my boss we got it cheaper. (laughter) (laughter) (Adam)
And in less than a century, health care prices went from
reasonable to nonsensical. Let’s make one Tylenol $37. Three stitches, $2200. Ooh, here’s a pitch. What if we made rectal exams 69– Nah, that’s too silly
even for me. ♪♪ These crazily
inflated prices are kept in the hospital’s Chargemaster. (coughs) It’s actually a computer file.
But the book is more dramatic. $7 for a single alcohol swab?
That’s ridiculous. And true. Well, I only
pay my premium. If they wanna rip off my
insurance company with their
fake prices, what do I care? If you ever lose insurance,
you’ll care. Because here’s
the really evil part. If you don’t
have insurance, you actually get charged
these fake prices. (studio audience
cheering and applauding) Let’s see,
heart X-rays. That’ll be $33,000. I can’t afford that. No problem, we’ll just
garnish your wages. Oh, bogus. Wait, they actually
charge people without insurance fake prices? Yeah. That is terrible. Well, thankfully,
I have insurance, so the Chargemaster
doesn’t affect me. Unfortunately,
it does. Even if you’re insured,
you can get billed Chargemaster prices
if you go out-of-network. And anything can be out-of-network. The hospital you go to,
the equipment used to treat you. Even the doctors you see. Arrow specialist. Out-of-network,
I am very expensive. Hospitals make
a ton of money overcharging out-of-network patients. It’s a real cash cow
and we all get milked. (cow mooing) Worse, every hospital
has its own Chargemaster. A treatment that costs
7,000 at one hospital could cost a hundred grand
down the road. And you can’t comparison shop when you’re dying. Which hospital
do you want? Money Bags Medical or St. Vincent’s
Discount Sick House? Money Bags it is. Plus, since your insurance
company faces inflated costs, That can trickle down to you in
the form of… higher premiums. Oh, surprisingly painless. Wait till
you get the bill. (cow mooing) How do they
get away with this? Simple, the health care industry
spends more on lobbying than the oil and defense industries combined. (cash register rings) (men babbling) Thanks, Doc. I’ll take care
of you real nice. Say, does this
cyst look normal? Oh, God. So, how can I stop it? What do I do? Honestly, nothing. We need to go
to the hospital, so they have no incentive
to change how they do business. And politicians have spent
decades arguing over how to pay the bill instead of asking why
the bill is so high? Until they do, we’re
stuck with this system. God, what if I get fired
and lose my insurance? I would be ruined! I feel so anxious. (woman over PA) Rachel, the doctor
will see you now. Down the hall and to your left. Well, then,
if I’m gonna get ripped off, I might as well score
some antibiotics. I wanna be done
with this cold, and those miracle drugs are
worth whatever they cost. Even if it means the end
of modern medicine? You are the worst person
I have ever met, and I work in finance.

About Bill McCormick

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