Trauma patients, who have no choice in where the ambulance takes them, are being charged as much as $33,000 the moment they enter a Florida trauma center. That money doesn’t account for X-rays or treatment; it’s just a cover charge, and thousands of patients have been billed more for it than for their actual medical care. The Tampa Bay Times, in an unprecedented data analysis, found that this fee, pushed a decade ago by industry lobbyists, has spiraled out of control. Taking it to unprecedented heights: One of the nation’s largest for-profit hospital chains, Hospital Corporation of America.
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