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The Boston Globe



Fees need to be seen in wider context of array of costs

The article Hospital charges bring a backlash” (Page A1, March 11) does not provide adequate background or context for the charges. Hospital facility fees need to be understood in the wider context of the health care delivery and payment systems.

Hospitals serve their communities through their main facilities, but also by supporting physicians and an array of medical and societal services that are not directly reimbursed by Medicare, Medicaid, or private insurers. These real but unrecognized hospital costs include providing 24-seven emergency care, disaster preparedness, backup services for other providers, medical education and research, and the full cost of caring for the uninsured and underinsured.

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