In an emergency, companies aren’t allowed to inflate their prices. It’s illegal.
For example, if a hurricane, tornado, or other natural disaster has devastated your area, your local hardware store cannot simply decide to charge you
an astronomical fee for a power generator. Many companies have been fined for doing this.
Then, just to be fair and for sake of argument, there's non-emergency price gouging:
While Christmas time price gouging is legal, even encouraged in some situations, other non-emergency situational price gouging is illegal. Sporting
event ticket scalping is illegal and while it goes by another name, scalping tickets is nothing more than price gouging at its best. Someone wants to
see a sporting event and someone else has tickets to spare. However, the bureaucracy of groups such as the NFL and NCAA do not want people getting
into their own loss of profits so they have lobbied the government to make such swaps illegal. Ticket scalping seems like a harmless exchange.
Especially when it comes to wants, rather than needs, I can not see objections to price gouging; it’s a win-win situation.
So, given the fact that your body is your temple, when you need a doctor immediately, every cell in your body has gone into overdrive and a State of
Emergency has been declared.
Let’s think about this for a moment because most of us have been in this situation before or will be at some point in their lives.
An accident has occurred and you have no other option than to go to the emergency room. It’s out of the question for you to make an appointment with
your doctor and wait for him/her to see you. Even the recording at the doctor’s office instructs you to go to the hospital if it is an emergency.
If you’re not bleeding to death and don’t need an ambulance to pick you up, you’re stuck knowing that if you go to the emergency room rather
than waiting to see a doctor, it’s going to hit you harder in the pocket book.
What should you know before going to the E.R.? The national average E.R. visit costs $383, while the national average doctor’s office visit is
approximately $60. Unnecessary E.R. visits can delay care for those with true emergencies, and cost billions of dollars.
Then, there’s the urgent care centers or “doc in a box” places where you can go if it’s the weekend or a holiday and your primary care
physician isn’t available right away.
Here’s a breakdown on the price comparisons between these places and an ER visit:
"Streptococcal pharyngitis" usually appears suddenly with severe sore throat pain. It can be particularly frightening for children, is highly
contagious, and requires immediate treatment, but an urgent care center will charge just $111 for a visit and an ER $531.
Urinary Tract Infections
Experts recommend you see a doctor as soon as you experience urinary tract infection symptoms. Treatment at urgent care will run $110, as opposed
to $665 for a visit to the ER
This common childhood ailment will run $110 at an urgent care center and $400 at an ER.
Upper Respiratory Infections
It's particularly important that those with asthma or emphysema deal with upper respiratory infections before they turn into pneumonia. Urgent care
will charge $111, with the average ER bill coming to $486. If you're experiencing severe difficulties breathing, however, check with an urgent
care center to ascertain if you should go directly to an ER for treatment.
So, given that price gouging is illegal for companies to inflate their prices in the event of an emergency, why are hospitals immune from such laws
Given that health care in the US is part of the “social war” going on right now, I thought this to be an interesting topic to discuss. Especially
since it’s getting into the dreaded cold and flu season, are the American people being gouged by our hospitals when our body is in a State of
From the prices listed and compared, it would seem so. I'd understand if the cost was $50 or $75 higher, but hundreds? It seems quite unethical to me
and reform is in order.
Edit to Add:
I understand that going to the ER for superficial injuries and illnesses delays help for those who need care immeidately, but nothing says that the ER
could simply instruct them to go to the Urgent Care Center. Many are located right beside hospitals.
edit on 26-10-2011 by Afterthought because: (no reason given)