Health + Wellness

2022 BET Hip Hop Awards Host Calls Out Healthcare System For “Robbing” Patients –

Fat Joe is excited to host the upcoming BET Hip Hop Awards and wants it to be a memorable night. However, over the past few months he’s been vocal about another issue – transparency in healthcare prices.

Though healthcare providers were supposed to start publishing the information over a year ago, the rapper alleges that the law isn’t being enforced and hospitals are still “robbing” their patients.

What Hospitals Are Supposed To Do

In January 2021, it became mandatory for hospitals to post the prices they have negotiated with insurers as well as any discounts that are offered to patients who are able to pay cash.

The rules expanded in July to include health insurers. By law, the insurers must publish the prices they have negotiated with all medical facilities and doctors. Those who don’t comply with the rules can face daily fines until they satisfy the regulations.

While a fine of $300 per day was established at the time the rules were put in place, it has since been upgraded to $5,500 for certain larger hospitals. 

The idea behind this requirement is that people will be able to make more informed decisions about their healthcare and the providers will be forced to have more streamlined prices moving forward. It would hopefully, eliminate the significant variation in costs across the country. It was noted that the figures provided might not be completely accurate for all procedures, but it would be better than having no information at all. 

What’s Been Happening

In a recent ad, Fat Joe teamed up with the group ‘Power to the Patients’ to allege that no one was policing the system that was put in place to help patients. Those allegations led to some investigations into what was actually happening with the regulations.

The results showed that he might as well have been right. While the relevant agencies were keeping track of what hospitals and healthcare providers were in compliance with the rules, the timelines for compliance with the regulations gave them a lot of room to drag their feet. 

For example, it can take months of non-compliance for a hospital to receive a warning letter. The hospital then has a further 90 days to respond to the letter.

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