A San Francisco hospital named after Mark Zuckerberg is offsetting its public healthcare costs by sending expensive bills to privately-insured patients, according to a media report.
Zuckerberg San Francisco General reportedly billed a bike rider over $20,000 for a broken arm after her private insurance paid nearly $4000 to the hospital, an amount the insurer thought was reasonable for an arm splint.
“A spokesperson for the hospital confirmed that ZSFG does not accept any private health insurance, describing this as a normal billing practice,” according to a report by left-leaning Vox News. “He said the hospital’s focus is on serving those with public health coverage — even if that means offsetting those costs with high bills for the privately insured.”
On its web site, ZSFG declares that “everyone is welcome here” regardless of their financial situation or immigration status:
Everyone is welcome here, no matter your ability to pay, lack of insurance, or immigration status. We’re much more than a medical facility; we’re a health care community promoting good health for all San Franciscans.
We’re part of a large group of neighborhood clinics and healthcare providers, the San Francisco Health Network. In partnership, we provide primary care for all ages, specialty care, dentistry, emergency and trauma care, and acute care for the people of San Francisco.
Because the Zuckerberg hospital doesn’t participate in the negotiated-cost networks of private health insurers, privately-insured patients are charged tens of thousands more for services that are significantly less at other hospitals.
“Our mission is to serve people who are underserved because of their financial needs,” the spokesperson also stated. “We have to be attuned to that population.”
Unfortunately for the bike rider, she didn’t have much choice in what hospital to go to while riding semi-conscious in the back of an ambulance.
Mark Zuckerberg donated $75 million to the hospital in 2015.