Uninsured patients who seek trauma care at a Healthcare Corporation of America hospital will no longer be charged a special trauma fee, which sometimes added as much as $30,000 to their bills.
A yearlong investigation by The Tampa Bay Times found that Nashville-based HCA, which runs numerous hospitals in North Texas including Medical City Dallas and Denton Regional Medical Center, were charging uninsured patients more than any other hospital in Florida “even when they needed little more than first aid.”
The fees are in addition to what the hospital charges for medical procedures. However, as The Miami Herald wrote, the decision to stop the fees may not have a huge impact despite averaging $27,644 in Florida while its competitors averaged $6,754.
“Even so, waiving the trauma fees for uninsured HCA patients might have little impact. Hospitals generally collect only a portion of what they bill patients. And the amount collected from uninsured patients — compared to those covered by auto or health insurance policies — can be tiny.”
HCA told the newspaper that their hospitals collect $300 on average from uninsured patients.