Public Forum Will Delve Into High Costs Of Health Care

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With health care in the headlines, the Universal Health Care Foundation of Connecticut is hosting a public forum Monday at Quinnipiac University’s North Haven campus that will feature a panel of experts weighing in on the high costs of health care.

The forum, “Drowning in Health Care Costs: All Hands on Deck,” features prominent author Steven Brill, whose 36-page cover story in Time magazine in February 2013 delved into the arbitrary and largely hidden system of hospital pricing. Brill will be joined by Patrick Charmel, president and CEO of Griffin Hospital in Derby, and Kevin Lembo, state comptroller. Journalist Susan Campbell, a contributor to the Connecticut Health I-Team, will moderate the discussion.

The event is the first in a series of forums planned by the foundation and its parent organization, the Connecticut Health Advancement and Research Trust (CHART), to discuss health care challenges facing the state. Frances G. Padilla, president of the foundation, said pricing was chosen as the first topic because “one of the biggest issues which needs to be tackled is reining in costs, while also improving outcomes.”

Brill’s Time article found that hospitals arbitrarily set prices based on an internal list known as the “chargemaster.” Prices vary from hospital to hospital and often are 10 times the actual cost of an item. Brill also questions why the U.S. restricts the single biggest buyer—Medicare—from being able to negotiate the price of drugs.

The event will be held from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. (networking and light refreshments will precede the 11:30 panel) in the auditorium of the Center for Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, ?Quinnipiac University North Haven Campus, ?370 Bassett Road? in North Haven.

Tickets are $25 for general admission, discounted to $10 for students.  Admission is free to Quinnipiac students, staff and faculty.

To register in advance, click here.


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