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America's hefty hospital costs and their often dire outcomes

A recent New York Times article is truly revealing for the information it imparts on the high cost of medical care throughout the country, including in Florida.

We have noted in past posts that medical debt is a common catalyst that tips many individuals and families over a financial cliff. For millions of Americans, treatment for a medical condition comes with a painful catch, namely this: The price tag for necessary care is so egregiously expensive that it presents an insurmountable challenge.

For many cash-strapped people, debt relief is an imperative. Luckily, many persons overwhelmingly burdened by medical bills are able to gain a fresh financial start following candid consultation with an experienced debt relief attorney and recourse to bankruptcy.

Here is what is driving some of the frustration and stark despair confronting many people who seek medical care. As reported in the Times, a single day spent in an American hospital costs a patient on average in excess of $4,000. Prices for supplies and goods can often be 30-40 times higher -- or more -- than what they can be purchased for online or in pharmacies and other retail outlets.

Disgruntled patients sometimes remark that they could simply go abroad for equally competent care at a much lower price, and experts say that they are correct in thinking so. According to the group International Federation of Health Plans, that same outlay for a single day in an American hospital could suffice for five days or more in many other developed nations. Moreover, some economists conclude, states the Times, that “hospitals in other developed countries often provide high-quality care, with better outcomes in comparatively no-frills environments.”

Most people don’t need to be told that medical care comes with staggeringly high costs in the United States: They are reminded of that every time they get a hospital bill.

And unless those costs go down, medical debt will continue to be a predominant cause underlying bankruptcy filings across the country.

Source: New York Times, "As hospital prices soar, a stitch tops $500," Elisabeth Rosenthal, Dec. 3, 2013

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