Letters to the Editor

Heidi Mangelsdorf: Reasons for record profits

Regarding the Nov. 26 news article “UNC, Duke hospitals post record revenue”: I wonder how much of that profit is based on charging exorbitant fees for tests that were once cost effective?

In July 2014, I saw my oncologist for a regular checkup and had two routine labs performed: a blood count and chemistry panel. The total cost allowed by my insurance, BCBS of N.C., was $11.83. Having a high-deductible plan, I paid for these tests out of pocket.

Subsequently, the oncology practice was acquired by UNC Health Care, so in August 2015, I visited the same oncologist in a UNC outpatient clinic and had the same two lab tests performed. However, this time the labs were sent to Rex Hospital, and I was billed $246.24.

How will the cost of health care be affected when insurance companies pay large health care systems, such as UNC, 20 times more than independent labs for the exact same blood tests?

Shame on the large health care systems for their record profits at the expense of the patients to whom they are providing care.

Heidi Mangelsdorf