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Hospitals put too much onus on patients

Re “Hospital charges bring a backlash” (Page A1, March 11): The amounts patients are paying for “facility fees” when their doctor’s office is bought up by a large hospital corporation are indeed egregious. Facility fees originally made sense when procedures could be done with greater safety in large health care facilities than in doctors’ offices. But now they are nothing more than an archaic billing subterfuge.

From the quotes of spokespeople in the Globe article, it seems clear that hospitals have no interest in correcting this situation. They blame the patients themselves for not having better insurance policies or for failing to diligently shop for each and every office visit. The idea that doctor’s offices have any idea of what the patient is ultimately going to be charged is a myth that has been debunked many times over.

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This problem can easily be fixed by establishing a single-payer national health program that would ensure value for all of us in our health care purchasing. When we are sick, we want to focus on our visit to the doctor, not our financial health.

Dr. Jason Kelley

White River Junction, Vt.

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