| Opinion/The Review

Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

The Hospital-Insurance Complex: A mortal blow?

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

Letters home ...

Traveling abroad for personal, educational or professional reasons?

Why not share your impressions — and those of residents of foreign countries about the United States — with Trib readers in 150 words?

The world's a big place. Bring it home with Letters Home.

Contact Colin McNickle (412-320-7836 or

Daily Photo Galleries

'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

Monday, Feb. 3, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

Heritage Valley Health System just might have started a revolution. But it's likely not the one it thinks or necessarily wants.

The health network, with hospitals in Sewickley and Brighton, says it will be the first in the region to post on its website the prices of 25 common outpatient procedures, applicable only to the uninsured. It wants “self-payers” to know in advance what their obligations will be. Now there's a novel idea, eh?

But if ever there were a crack in a wall that deserves to be a gaping hole in advance of the wall toppling, hospital pricing is it. And if this sets the stage for all prices to be posted — for those without insurance and those with and industrywide — the real and necessary revolution in health care soon could be pounding on the door.

Posted prices for all will lead to competition among hospitals and lower prices. But, and more importantly, it will go a long way in arresting what we'll call the Hospital-Insurance Complex. As insurance has devolved to cover just about everything and for a modest co-pay — and unnecessarily increasing utilization rates in the process — hospitals have been able to jack up prices.

But not only will posting prices lower consumer costs, it should force insurance carriers to make their product what it's supposed to be — coverage only for catastrophic medical events.

Only then will the beast that is health care begin to be tamed.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.



Show commenting policy

Most-Read Editorials

  1. EPA diktats: Pushing back
  2. Sunday pops
  3. The Box
  4. Kittanning Laurels & Lances
  5. Jamestown revealed: History comes alive
  6. The Connellsville Redevelopment Authority: Facts & findings
  7. Pittsburgh Laurels & Lances
  8. Saturday essay: Garden chances
  9. Regional growth
  10. Yes, the IRS targeted conservatives
  11. The Fiat Chrysler mess: Government’s virus