Hospitals are making billions by tacking on facility fees

    Hospitals are tacking on billions of dollars in facility fees to medical bills for routine care in outpatient centers they own, The Wall Street Journal reports. 

    Once an occasional annoyance, the fees are now the norm—and in some places they are becoming nearly impossible to avoid, data shows. As hospitals press on with acquisitions, snapping up medical groups and tacking on the additional charges, the fees are becoming more prevalent. 

    The fees raise prices by hundreds of dollars for widely used and standard medical care, including colonoscopies, mammograms and heart screenings. 

    Physicians and economists say that the added cost isn’t justified. Medicare advisers said last year the federal insurer likely overpaid for a sample of services by about $6 billion in 2021 because of the fees. 

    Hospitals say facility fees help offset the extra costs they incur in meeting federal regulations. Read the full story.