The Incidental Economist corrects a story about an Oklahoma medical center which has posted its rates for various procedures online; an earlier version contended that the center could not accept Medicare while posting its prices:
Medicare pays ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs) based on an administrative pricing model. ASC rates are generally lower than hospital inpatient rates for the same procedure, which has fueled the huge shift to outpatient and freestanding ASC procedures in the US over the past few decades. The government doesn’t pay the posted rate – they have a fixed price.
A fixed price which is also public, if high. More likely is that the center can’t publicly state that it charges $400 for a procedure and then bill Medicare for $700 for that procedure. Good to know I’m not the only one for whom that Medicare claim raised eyebrows.