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Los Angeles Times column | Health care costs

Jack Needleman, Fred W. and Pamela K. Wasserman Professor and Chair of the Department of Health Policy and Management, was quoted in a Los Angeles Times column about the high cost of health care in the United States. 

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Fountain Valley resident Jennifer Moore makes a really good point. “When you take your car to the mechanic, they give you a written estimate before they touch it,” she told me. “So why is it that when you go to the hospital, you have no idea how much something will cost until the bill arrives?” Moreover, why are prices so completely different from one healthcare provider to another?

Fun fact: Sixty-two healthcare chief executives made a combined $1.1 billion in compensation last year, according to Axios . That’s tens of millions of dollars more than what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention spent on preventing chronic diseases.

“Chargemasters have grown increasingly unrelated to hospital costs,” said Jack Needleman, a professor of health policy and management at UCLA. He said he routinely sees chargemaster prices that are “two or more times” the actual cost of treatment.

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