Re "Viva Mexico's rational health care system" (Forum, April 7): After reading this column, one might be left with the impression California hospitals are fleecing patients and insurance companies.
The data sheets mentioned show that two area hospitals named after a Sacramento founder had net profits of just 5 percent for 2012. This does not seem excessive.
I must also point out that contrary to implications in the column, Medicare reimbursement for most charges calculated from the chargemaster list run from 5 to 20 percent. I know this from patient insurance statements of billed and approved charges, which they have at times brought to me with questions, and also from my own and my family's insurance statements.
As an example, Medicare approved $605 out of billed charges of $6,900 on my recent outpatient procedure.
Medical care in Mexico can be very good and is much cheaper than here for the uninsured, but not cheaper due to profit-taking by California hospitals.
-- Craig Pfeiffer, M.D., Carmichael