I got the wrong inference from Lakers Fan's letter. I can see what you mean Kuki and I also can see where one could draw the inference which did I.
The fact of the matter is Lakers Fan is still right. I personally learned just how much from a CBS 60 minutes presentation probably over a decade ago! To just give an overview, a woman went to 60 minutes following her husband's death to find out just why her insurance company paid so much even though she was "well heeled" (meaning why would she care?). Originally, she had gone to the hospital for a copy of the bill which they gave her. She realized that what they gave her could not have possibly have been less detailed! She went back, frequently, for I think it was close too if not a year to see a specific individual who handled the billing. Everytime she went back the person whom she had to see was "out of the office," "on vacation," "out sick," etc., etc. etc.
CBS I think rigged her with a disguised camera. If I remember correctly she kept going back until finally, the woman was "in." She demanded a TRUE itemized bill and so she was provided one and it stunned her and CBS. No one could figure out as an example I remember, even though listed, what a "Mucus removal system" was and why it cost so much. I really hesitate to say because I honestly don't remember the figure but I THINK it was well over 100 dollars. You know what it was? TISSUES!!! Turned out the bill was crammed with such misleading terms and over charges. So CBS went to the carrier and asked if they knew that for which they were paying. An executive said that they did. Then why, 60 minutes asked, did they pay such outrageous charges. He replied that they receive so many bills that they don't have time to closely audit each one so they just pay the claim! When the insurance exec had the bill audited it showed that the insurance carrier had overpayed in the THOUSANDS of dollars, which in that instance of course, was returned to the carrier.
I have no idea whether or not there were industry wide changes to corral such flagrant abuse by, I remember a well known NYC Hospital but forget which one. I leave it to you to draw your own conclusions. I shall never forget that episode.