Healthcare overbilling is systemic fraud, Nader says

Political activist Ralph Nader recently drew attention to the problem of doctors and hospitals overcharging patients for healthcare services, a practice that costs at least $270 billion a year, counterpunch reported. About 80 percent of medical bills contain errors averaging $1,300 in the provider's favor, the article noted. Double billing, code unbundling and charges for phantom procedures are rampant. "For the corporate establishment," Nader wrote, "there are always easy ways out [when they're caught overbilling] such as confessing error but not intent ... They quickly correct the specific bill of its offending bloat and satisfy the complaining patient, but nothing changes overall." Bilkers must be challenged more often, according to Nader, to end what he described as "arguably our country's biggest commercial crime wave." Article