Next Avenue: A promising idea for avoiding surprise medical bills

This article is reprinted by permission from NextAvenue.org. It is part of the Political Issues and Policies Special Report.

Two of the most upsetting things for patients are the high cost of health care and the surprise — sometimes indecipherable, sometimes nonstop — hospital bills. But something known as “bundled medical payments” might relieve both of those and possibly provide you with better health care.

With bundled medical payments, patients are told before the medical procedure exactly what the whole shebang will cost, and pay a flat fee up front. Think of it as prix fixe health care.

With a bundled payment, you wouldn’t get one bill from the surgeon, one from the anesthesiologist, one from the hospital, one for physical therapy and so on, the way you normally do now.

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