Study: Metro hospitals fall short on affordable health care
Many metro Atlanta hospitals should do more to improve access to health care for the low-income and uninsured, a new study has concluded.
The report by the Hospital Accountability Project found:
- The hospitals mark up costs by 150 to 700 percent. Self-paying patients, who can least afford it, get a much smaller discount than insured patients whose rates are negotiated by their insurer.
- Some barely meet state standards for providing free medical care — generally 3 to 3.5 percent of revenue. The most expensive hospital in the region, North Fulton Medical Center, failed to meet those requirements, which it accepted as part of a state permitting process.
- They don’t promote financial aid for uninsured patients. Only half of the 34 surveyed hospitals post legally-required signage to let consumers know about available financial aid programs.
Georgia Watch, the non-profit consumer group, produced the report with funding from Community Catalyst, a national non-profit advocacy organization. You can read all about it here.