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The Tylenol Debate: Can Hospitals be Sued for Excessive Markups on Medications and Devices?
(2013)
  • Alex Stein
Abstract

Steven Brill’s TIME MAGAZINE blockbuster article, Bitter Pill: Why Medical Bills are Killing Us, uncovers the CHARGEMASTER: a publicly undisclosed pricelist accountable for what we see in hospital bills. What we see there doesn’t look good: it includes acetaminophen sold for $1.50 a tablet (you can buy 100 of those for the same price at Amazon); $77 for a box of sterile gauze pads (Amazon’s prices vary between $6 and $11); $18 for a single diabetes test strip (sold for 54 cents by Amazon); $108 for antibacterial Bacitracin ointment (Amazon’s prices vary between $2.50 and $6.50); and so forth.

I address the legal implications of these findings and suggest that hospitals' extravagant billing exposes them to suits under consumer protection laws.

Keywords
  • hospitals,
  • consumer protection,
  • billing,
  • drugs,
  • medical devices
Publication Date
June 25, 2013
Citation Information
Alex Stein. "The Tylenol Debate: Can Hospitals be Sued for Excessive Markups on Medications and Devices?" Bill of Health, June 25, 2013