There are some ironies here: Mr. Scott resigned as chief executive of Columbia/HCA, the huge for-profit hospitals chain, in 1997 in a scandal over the company’s Medicare billing and other business practices; the company ultimately admitted to 14 felonies and agreed to pay the Feds over $600 million, which was the largest fraud settlement in US history. Mr. Scott was not implicated and no charges were raised against him personally.
Mr. Scott has said that among the 50 U.S. hospitals with the highest price markup over cost, 20 are in Florida, the most of any state.
The paper reported: “Scott has maintained a tight focus on hospitals after many in the industry clashed with his position against expanding Medicaid to cover more people. Others, including the state’s insurance consumer advocate, have been examining surprise medical bills hitting consumers more broadly, to probe the role of insurers, government agencies, doctors and other medical providers as well.”
“In order to better understand the hardship placed on Floridians when they are presented with inflated hospital bills, we are asking those who believe they are a victim of hospital price gouging to share their stories with our Commission on Healthcare and Hospital Funding. We want to hear directly from Floridians who have suffered from this unfair practice so we can better empower patients to fight against price gouging at Florida hospitals.”
Bruce Rueben, president of the Florida Hospital Association, “called for a wider approach to transparency by creating what he called an All Payer Claims database.”
“The best way to truly empower patients, and to understand what drives costs, is to bring everyone in the health care continuum to the table. By utilizing data from all health care claims, a comprehensive database would provide meaningful information about health care quality, costs and access.”