When we go out to eat, our checks rarely come with hidden surprises. Even that 18-percent included gratuity for parties of six or more is typically disclosed somewhere on the menu. But as anyone who's ever visited a doctor knows, that's not the case in America’s hospitals. Despite some discussion in the never-ending saga over health care reform about making medical bills easier to understand, they remain dense and opaque. That’s why The Pulse, a health and science program from Philadelphia Public Radio, created a new initiative called Clear Health Costs. They are collecting a database of medical bills and hope to show just how ridiculous paying for care has become. One of their listeners has made this abundantly clear with a little inspiration from the restaurant industry. Don Greenfield broke down a lunch bill the same way hospitals tend to break down their charges, and the result looks odd, to say the least. 68 cents for food and 88 cents for a trip to the bathroom? We’re glad restaurants charge the way they do.
Here is the whole breakdown.
We should note that Greenfield simply did this as an interesting thought experiment after thoroughly examining his wife’s medical bills over the last year.
If you want to contribute to the Clear Health Costs project, go to their database.