Stop the price-gouging at the for-profit Hospital Corporation of America

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Stop the price-gouging at the for-profit Hospital Corporation of America

This petition had 149,325 supporters
Joe Weinzettle started this petition to Federal Trade Commission

On March 17, 2015, I was in a car accident. Despite telling the paramedics that I didn’t feel I needed medical attention, I was taken to a for-profit hospital run by Hospital Corporation of America (HCA). I arrived with no injuries and no complaints of pain, only what the hospital called a "mild condition". Staff insisted I get X-Rays and CT scans, nobody told me the prices whenever I asked. Three and half hours later, the only actual treatment I would receive was some IV fluids. When HCA sent the bill for my emergency room visit it would be for $45,000 dollars.

HCA, an organization that gained notoriety for having to pay the biggest fraud settlement in US history, is at again. This time, they are participating in some of the worst price-gouging in the industry. In my home state of Florida, HCA charges $20,000 more per patient than non-HCA hospitals, and $40,000 more for trauma patients. This is unfair, and it has to stop.

This petition calls upon the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to open an investigation into the pricing practices of HCA. We are at our most vulnerable when we seek medical attention, and we must be protected against price-gouging by for-profit healthcare companies like HCA.

Emergency room patients need consumer protection, fair pricing and price transparency. Having already been forced to go to the hospital, I didn’t believe I had a choice in the tests being administered and I definitely was not informed about the prices. HCA uses this to their advantage to charge up to 10 times the cost without even informing the patient. An example is one of the CT scans I received was billed for $13,748 dollars when HealthCare Bluebook values them at $500-$600.

It’s almost impossible for patients to avoid excessive overcharges if taken to an HCA-run facility. With HCA operating in 20 states, it is time for the FTC to take action. A 3-hour stay with no serious injuries should not cost someone $45,000 dollars. Please join me in standing up to the powerful for-profit healthcare company, HCA. Together, we can get the FTC to take action and stop their price-gouging.

Please contact the FTC if you have also experienced HCA price gouging or other unfair and deceptive practices: Bureau of Consumer Protection, Federal Trade Commission, 600 Pennsylvania Ave, NW Washington, DC 20580

 

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This petition had 149,325 supporters

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