The uncontrollable cost of healthcare services
Can you imagine walking into a hospital patient's room, giving your standard OT spiel (My name is Sarah. I am from Occupational Therapy. Are you familiar with Occupational therapy?.......) and concluding with "would you like to pay $238 for an OT evaluation?"
The New York Times just ran an article entitled "Cost for a New Hip? Hospitals are Stumped." The premise is that a student made phone calls to 100+ hospitals asking how much it would cost for her 62 y/o, uninsured but able to pay out of pocket, grandmother to receive a total hip replacement. Most hospitals were perplexed by the question and the resulting quotes ranged from $11,100 to $125,798.
Despite the current push for reigning in health care costs, the article illustrates how difficult it can be for consumers seeking competitive prices when healthcare pricing is so difficult to understand, as hospitals have seemingly had little pressure to be transparent about the cost of different services.
It will be interesting to see how these hospitals respond to the mounting pressure for transparency and competitive pricing. For OT specifically, the evidence is pointing towards the need to get better at justifying the $238 for our service.