Tuesday, September 26, 2006

A Disproportionate Share

Hospitalizations are the single most expensive component of the U.S. health care system and more than 60 percent of hospital bills in 2004 were sent to federal and state governments for Medicare and Medicaid patients, a new federal study says.

It get's worse . . .

The study reported in 2004 hospital bills totaled $790 billion, and $475 billion of that amount was billed to Medicare and Medicaid patients. The charges do not include physician fees.

Medicare bills totaled $363 billion, or 46 percent, and Medicaid, $112 billion or 14.1 percent. Charges to private insurers amounted to $252 billion or nearly a third of all billings, the AHRQ study showed

Medicare & Medicaid patients are roughly 40% of the insured population, yet they usurp 60% of the resources.
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