US108 - Eliminate Price Discrimination in Healthcare
Healthcare providers negotiate prices with insurance companies and Medicare, leaving smaller insurers and especially individuals without insurance paying much more. Individuals are often charged 5-10X more than insurance companies, so they have to get insurance to avoid being gouged.
The function of insurance companies is to pool risk to better absorb unexpected costs, not to negotiate group discounts. These days, individuals must pay an insurance company - like a protection racket - to make sure they get reasonable prices.
The price from a given healthcare provider for a given service should be the same regardless of who pays. The price should be determined by cost (plus a fair profit if private).
From my little experience being a private practitioner in mental health, the process of insurance companies is giving me a headache; however, I'm realizing their purpose much more now. Although they are used as a 'protection racket', they are most likely able to negotiate rates b/c in return they give us (practitioners) referrals. So, that works out in our favor, but what about the clients?--So, if I take private pay clients on then according to the ethics, for majority of cases, I must charge them the full price which is higher than what insurances will pay. It's not fair; however, how can we ethically take on individuals who otherwise could not afford therapy unless insurance companies are involved? It's a frustrating process nonetheless.
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