Unsuspecting patients find themselves at the mercy of institutions tacking on the bills


(Wall Street Journal) — Hospitals are adding billions of dollars in facility fees to medical bills for routine care in outpatient centers they own. Once an annoyance, the fees are now pervasive, and in some places, they are becoming nearly impossible to avoid, data compiled for The Wall Street Journal show. The fees are spreading as hospitals press on with acquisitions, snapping up medical groups and tacking on the additional charges.

The fees raise prices by hundreds of dollars for widely used and standard medical care, including colonoscopies, mammograms and heart screening.

The added cost isn’t justified, physicians and economists say. Medicare advisers said last year the federal insurer likely overpaid for a sample of services by about $6 billion because of the fees in 2021.

Read the full WSJ article here.