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Hospital bills

List confirms my suspicions

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How timely! Your article "Hospital bills" Sunday in the Local section really opened my eyes and confirms my suspicion the Swedish group and particularly Swedish/Edmonds Hospital is trying to make up the huge difference between what they bill and what they are paid by Medicare by instituting a "facility fee" every time you visit one of their doctors whose office is in a building on their campus. These buildings include: Swedish/Edmonds Pavilion (primary care); rehabilitation; breast center; and cancer institute. And they may well apply to visits to Kruger Clinic; Stevens Professional Center (directly across 76th Avenue West) and the 76th Professional Commons just off 220th Street Southwest shown on their site map as being part of the Edmonds Campus.
A significant number of the physicians practicing in these buildings are (their) direct Swedish employees. And if you are visiting one of them, it's going to cost you $25 to walk in the front door. That's $25 every time you go to your doctor. Prostate cancer patients that elect beam radiation as a course of treatment are faced with a payment of $650 (five days a week for five weeks) not for any kind of treatment but just the privilege of walking through the front door.
In your report, Providence Regional Medical Center Everett showed well but rumor has it they are already providing many business and technical operations for Swedish/Edmonds and are poised for a complete take over. Virginia Mason Medical Center seems to have consistently high marks for low costs. In the most recent issue of AARP The Magazine, it was identified as the only "Top Hospital for Safety" in Washington state. I see they have a clinic in Lynnwood. I'm sure they have quality doctors. I wonder if they charge admission.
Tony Ryan

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