Prognosis: Profits
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Prognosis: Profits:  North Carolina patients pay more for many tests and procedures if their physician is employed by a hospital, an investigation by The News & Observer and The Charlotte Observer has found.

Modified: 12/16/12 06:24:23 AM
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Hospitals fight limits on office care

In the convoluted world of Medicare billing, hospital-owned clinics can collect far more than independent physicians for routine office visits.

Modified: 12/16/12 06:24:23 AM
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Doctors join hospitals, and prices soar

Cooper’s move comes amid antitrust investigations into hospitals in other states. It also follows a News & Observer story showing that large nonprofit hospitals are dramatically inflating prices on chemotherapy drugs at a time when they are cornering more of the market on cancer care.

Modified: 10/06/12 08:15:36 PM
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The letters cite a recent investigation by The News & Observer and The Charlotte Observer, which found that large nonprofit hospitals are dramatically inflating prices on chemotherapy drugs at a time when they are cornering more of the market on cancer care.

Modified: 09/29/12 08:49:27 PM
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Read the letter sent to Duke University Health Services
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N.C. nonprofit hospitals make big money on cancer drug markups
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Prognosis: Profits:  An analysis of data from more than 5,000 chemotherapy claims obtained by the newspapers also shows that hospitals and the doctors’ offices they own typically charge more for cancer drugs than independent clinics – sometimes much more. A News & Observer investigation earlier this year showed one key reason: By consolidating into large systems, hospitals have gained leverage to negotiate higher payments from insurance companies.

Modified: 09/23/12 06:52:29 AM
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N.C. hospitals charge more for chemo because they can, experts say
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Many private insurance companies pay doctors a percentage of the average sales price for a particular drug. Hospitals, on the other hand, set their own charges, and insurers often pay a percentage of those charges. That system gives hospitals far more control over what they are paid and allows them to increase revenue from cancer drugs.

Modified: 09/22/12 11:52:08 PM

A House subcommittee on Thursday rejected Gov. Bev Perdue’s plan to make hospital bills more transparent and understandable.

Modified: 05/25/12 07:27:34 AM
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Prognosis: Profits:  Charles Grassley, a leader on nonprofit issues, says Congress will act if hospitals don’t do better on care for the poor. State legislative leaders say they’ll push to repeal part of the sales tax exemption.

Modified: 04/30/12 05:06:08 AM
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An investigation by The News & Observer and The Charlotte Observer found that while North Carolina hospitals get tax breaks worth hundreds of millions, some are doing little to help the poor. Instead, many hospitals are pursuing uninsured patients with lawsuits or collections agencies that can destroy their credit.

Modified: 04/29/12 09:31:31 AM
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WakeMed seeks a smarter, cheaper emergency room
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PDF: Hospital charges vary in Triangle
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Raleigh hospital seeks approval for its plan to divert non-emergencies to other caregivers. So far, it has no takers.

Modified: 04/26/12 05:54:33 AM

They employ thousands, give to charity, and save lives. They rarely lose at the General Assembly, and they sometimes come in “with cleats high,” says one legislator.

Modified: 04/29/12 09:30:49 AM
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N.C. does little to protect patients
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Hospital bypasses county OK, gets legislators’ help
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North Carolina is not among the states that require hospitals to provide free care to needy patients or to notify patients about the availability of such care.

Modified: 04/29/12 09:30:49 AM
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N.C. hospitals build clout with money, personal contact

Last year, when Carolinas HealthCare System wasn’t getting what it wanted from Mecklenburg County, it turned to state legislators for quicker, more favorable, treatment.

Modified: 04/25/12 05:47:13 AM

In the Triangle, hospitals turn to collection agencies, which aggressively pursue payment, sometimes even after patients have paid. Those who don’t pay can be reported to credit agencies.

Modified: 04/29/12 09:32:25 AM
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Charlotte hospital system sues thousands of patients
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Credit cards issued for debt collection
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Hospitals can seize wages
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The patient as customer
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When buying a new car or TV, most consumers shop around and compare prices. But when it comes to medical care, cost is often an afterthought.

Modified: 04/29/12 09:32:25 AM
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Handling hospital bills
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Understand your insurance plan – deductibles, co-pays, maximum payouts, exclusions. Call ahead to the insurance company, hospital and doctor’s office to get estimates of the cost and what your share will be.

Modified: 04/24/12 07:21:42 AM

Prognosis: Profits:  Despite big tax breaks and nonprofit status, many hospitals – particularly in rural areas – offer little charity care.

Modified: 04/29/12 09:29:53 AM
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Tax breaks save nonprofits millions
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All but eight of North Carolina’s general hospitals are nonprofits. That means they pay no state or federal income taxes and no real estate taxes on hospital-related properties. Collectively, tax breaks save them hundreds of millions of dollars each year.

Modified: 04/23/12 04:42:32 PM
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Sampson Regional threatens a lawsuit. WakeMed, UNC send collection agencies.

Modified: 04/22/12 11:21:03 AM
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Prognosis: Profits-Mary Jo Warren

Complicated bills, multiple charges leave Cary woman steamed. Rex Hospital says it has changed its billing policy.

Modified: 02/06/13 02:54:54 PM
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North Carolina’s urban hospitals pile up the cash

Hospitals say few pay the full charge, but by starting with a high number, the institutions collect more cash

Modified: 02/06/13 02:54:54 PM
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In medical offices, new facility fees draw anger
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North Carolina’s urban hospitals pile up the cash

Twenty-five N.C. nonprofit hospital executives made total compensation exceeding $1 million in 2010 or 2011. Most worked for Novant Health or Carolinas HealthCare System.

Modified: 04/23/12 11:44:41 AM

They’re interest-free for a year. But when payments are missed, rates can rise sharply.

Modified: 04/24/12 07:43:30 AM

Wilkes Regional Medical uses that tactic, but it’s unclear how often.

Modified: 04/24/12 07:44:32 AM

Getting liens against homes ensures payment at some point. But some of the patients appear to be eligible for free or reduced-price care.

Modified: 04/24/12 07:35:48 AM

Contact the N&O newsroom

Thad Ogburn, metro editor
(919) 829-8987

Richard Stradling, deputy metro editor
(919) 829-4739

Deborah Jackson, night metro editor
(919) 829-8920

Newsroom main number: (919) 829-4520

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