Facility Fees at Hospital-Owned Physician Offices Drive Up Cost of Care

Hospitals can charge patients facility fees of more than $1,000 if they see physicians who work in an office that is owned by the hospital, according to a report by The Boston Globe.

The nationwide trend of hospitals acquiring physician practices has facilitated the spread of this practice, which can drive up the cost of routine visits and procedures for both insurers and patients.

According to The Boston Globe, Medicare pays $44 more for a 15-minute office visit in a hospital-owed office than in an independent office. Other procedures, such as laser eye surgery, cost Medicare $738 more in a facility owned by a hospital. The cost increase also burdens patients, who end up paying more, according to the report.

It can be difficult for physician offices to eliminate the fees themselves, because hospitals do the billing and sometimes to not specify where the patient was treated, according to the report.

Hospitals say the facility fees help pay for technology in the physician offices and also help cover hospital costs, The Boston Globe reported.

More Articles on Physician Group Acquisition:

The Christ Hospital in Ohio Acquires Two Physician Groups
Physician Practice Acquisitions Will Be Critical for Community Hospitals Under Healthcare Reform

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