mark up their pricing to exorbitant rates. Insured patients and outpatients have the negotiating power of their insurer to get those prices down, but the uninsured have no such leverage. Some hospitals offer programs to help the uninsured, but bill collectors and collection agencies go for the full amount when trying to collect on a debt. Furthermore, there are few if any reliable ways to “shop” for the best service at the best price. The worst of all, the geographic distribution of those hospitals with the highest markups is really uneven, as are the programs to help those who can’t otherwise pay for services. Really interesting article, and thought-provoking.