Many patients have been surprised to see a “facility fee” on top of charges for in-office services and procedures provided to them by practices. Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen has asked the state’s hospitals for a list of their affiliated providers by December 6 after receiving numerous complaints from consumers who were not informed about the fees. A “facility fee” is what hospitals say they have to charge patients of practices they have acquired because acquiring an independent practice increases their overall costs. Jepsen wants a list for patients so that they have the option of going somewhere else if they don’t want to be charged a fee which is a separate and sometimes expensive fee.
Emerging trends in Connecticut and throughout the country point towards heavy healthcare industry consolidation where hospitals are merging with other hospitals and acquiring medical practices. Jepsen notes that it’s especially important for consumers to understand this shift and the associated costs.