What many people (including Mr. Lazarus, apparently) do not realize is that nursing care is bundled into the room charge at the hospital. You are not paying $4000 a night simply to spend the night in a hospital room. You are paying $4000 for 24 hours of nursing care and other related ancillary services while in the hospital. I do not know if $4000 is too much or too little to be paying for 24 hours of nursing care; that would seem to depend on the level of care needed and required. Either way, if nursing care were billed as a separate line item, this one charge at least would be slightly less opaque. It makes little sense to me that skilled care is rolled up into the room charge.
sneebler: "Is this OECD paper about US health expenditures what you're after? "
Overall, the evidence suggests that prices for health services and goods are substantially higher in the United States than elsewhere. This is an important cause of higher health spending in the United States.
Table 2 shows where [the US] does less. It does not have many physicians relative to its population; it does not have a lot of doctor consultations; it does not have a lot of hospital beds, or hospitals stays, when compared with other countries, and when people go to hospital, they do not stay for long. All these data on health care activities suggest that US health spending should be low compared with other countries.
On the other hand, the US health system does do a lot of interventions. Table 3 shows that it has a lot of expensive diagnostic equipment, which it uses a lot. And it does a lot of elective surgery – the sort of activities where it is not always clearcut about whether a particular intervention is necessary or not.
ODiV: "They justify the exorbitant cost by saying that doctors will go elsewhere if they're paid more."
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