The Corner

Healthcare Association: Enroll America Stat ‘Highly Inflated’

Enroll America, an organization pushing for Americans to sign up for health care under the Affordable Care Act, is — per a health-care source — using a “highly inflated” statistic to encourage enrollment. The website for Get Covered, a nonprofit campaign of Enroll America, tells readers that one reason they should sign up for coverage is that the average cost of an overnight hospital stay for an uninsured person is $10,000. 

Richard Gundling, the vice president for health-care financial practices at the Healthcare Financial Management Association, tells National Review Online that that number seems far from accurate. He e-mails:

That $10,000 figure for an uninsured patient appears highly inflated. Though the price across the country can vary, based on the 2011 Medicare Cost Report data, the average price per discharge is $9,223 and an average length of stay is 4.43 days. So that would compute to an average of $2,082 per day.  Many uninsured patients would qualify for financial assistance or charity care based on the hospital’s policy so it can be as low as $0.

Enroll America did not respond to an e-mailed request for the source of their $10,000 figure. 

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