Pages

10 comments

Jump to bottom
1 Skip Intro  Sat, Feb 23, 2013 12:19:11pm
MD Anderson’s clinical billing and collection practices are similar to those of other major hospitals and academic medical centers.

i.e., Anderson has studied the loan sharking operations of the Mafia and found a way to make them more profitable.

Greatest country in the world, unless you get sick.

2 EiMitch  Sat, Feb 23, 2013 2:20:30pm

Still in the middle of reading this. I’ve already got two comments so far:

1 - You are quoting wa-a-a-ay too much of the article here, EC.

2 - It wasn’t that long ago there was a debate in another lgf page over whether its reasonable to get price estimates over the phone. Here is why the “no” side is completely wrong:

Stamford Hospital spokesman Scott Orstad told me that the $199.50 figure for the troponin test was taken from what he called the hospital’s chargemaster. The chargemaster, I learned, is every hospital’s internal price list. Decades ago it was a document the size of a phone book; now it’s a massive computer file, thousands of items long, maintained by every hospital.

In other words, the hospital has set those prices in advance. Even the “non-profit” hospitals do this. Our health is in the hands of f***ing thieves!

3 calochortus  Sat, Feb 23, 2013 3:07:11pm

re: #1 Skip Intro

There are classes for doctors and administrators on how to code bills to maximize your payments from insurance companies and presumably random uninsured patients as well.

4 Eclectic Cyborg  Sat, Feb 23, 2013 3:49:19pm

re: #2 EiMitch

Still in the middle of reading this. I’ve already got two comments so far:

1 - You are quoting wa-a-a-ay too much of the article here, EC.

2 - It wasn’t that long ago there was a debate in another lgf page over whether its reasonable to get price estimates over the phone. Here is why the “no” side is completely wrong:

In other words, the hospital has set those prices in advance. Even the “non-profit” hospitals do this. Our health is in the hands of f***ing thieves!

I’m surprised you say that, since it’s less than 3 pages of an 11 page article. I also wanted to quote a fair bit so that those who didn’t want to read the whole thing could at least get a sample of all it contained. There were a lot of things in it that shocked and saddened me so I felt compelled to share a fair bit of it.

5 EiMitch  Sat, Feb 23, 2013 4:37:50pm

re: #4 Eclectic Cyborg

Some publishers take exception to quoting 3 paragraphs, nevermind 3 pages. I don’t remember the exact word count, but there is only so much we can legally quote before we risk being accused of copyright infringement. I dunno if Time is cool with going over. But I know that alot news and journalist companies aren’t.

6 aagcobb  Sat, Feb 23, 2013 5:35:33pm

Looks like there is a lot of fat that can be cut to keep healthcare costs under control.

7 Achilles Tang  Sat, Feb 23, 2013 6:12:33pm

I only skimmed this, but the truth is there is nothing new here that hasn’t been just as true for years. The simplest example is how one uninsured person in a bed next to one that is insured can be charged twice as much for identical treatment (because they can screw the government easier?).

The other example in the news recently was an “experiment” calling hospitals all over the country to ask for a “quote” on a hip replacement. None of the hospitals were able to give an answer without repeated calls, but those who did gave numbers ranging from $11,000 to $129,000.

8 spiderx  Sat, Feb 23, 2013 7:50:28pm

The American health care system is pretty damn evil. I know evil is a strong word but I don’t know what other word to use here. Deranged? Psychopathic?

I have family in the UK and they are amazed that we put up with our health care system here. They can’t understand the mind set of the right wing in America. Most of my family in the UK are conservatives and even they support the NHS. The NHS isn’t a perfect system (right now there is a horrendous scandal with poor care resulting in deaths in Staffordshire) but neither is it s a system that is designed to suck as much money out of the sick as ours is.

It’s shocking that the hospital wouldn’t begin cancer treatment until they received payment in full. And even more shocking that the head administrator at this hospital receives a salary close to $2 million dollars. That kind of position in other western countries would never be paid that kind of money. I think the highest paid NHS manager makes 280k (in pounds) and that was a huge controversy in the UK.

Compare that to CEO’s of American health insurance companies where the average salary is several million.

9 EiMitch  Sat, Feb 23, 2013 11:18:02pm

re: #8 spiderx

Compare that to CEO’s of American health insurance companies where the average salary is several million.

Ironically, insurance companies used to help keep costs relatively low (for themselves and their own customers) compared to now. After all, it was obviously in their best interest to not pay more than they had to. But they’re now losing that battle. From the article:

But insurers are increasingly losing leverage because hospitals are consolidating by buying doctors’ practices and even rival hospitals. In that situation — in which the insurer needs the hospital more than the hospital needs the insurer — the pricing negotiation will be over discounts that work down from the chargemaster prices rather than up from what Medicare would pay.

In other words, even the for-profit health-insurance industry is getting price-gouged by hospitals. Thats one more painful irony, and another sign of how bad the situation has become.

Any reform effort that focuses on who’s paying instead of bringing the damn prices down is doomed to fail. Its that simple.

10 Renaissance_Man  Sun, Feb 24, 2013 11:39:14am

Every bit of this is true. Especially the conclusion:

Over the past few decades, we’ve enriched the labs, drug companies, medical device makers, hospital administrators and purveyors of CT scans, MRIs, canes and wheelchairs. Meanwhile, we’ve squeezed the doctors who don’t own their own clinics, don’t work as drug or device consultants or don’t otherwise game a system that is so gameable. And of course, we’ve squeezed everyone outside the system who gets stuck with the bills.

We’ve created a secure, prosperous island in an economy that is suffering under the weight of the riches those on the island extract.

And we’ve allowed those on the island and their lobbyists and allies to control the debate, diverting us from what Gerard Anderson, a health care economist at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, says is the obvious and only issue: “All the prices are too damn high.”

The US medical system is neither free market nor designed to provide health care. It is simply a very effective vehicle to transfer public wealth into the hands of a few people. Those of us that work in it struggle to actually care for patients despite the obstacles.

I have asked many times for the prices of the tests and procedures I personally order and perform, both so I can educate patients and for the purposes of research. I have been told, point blank, that I am not allowed to know. I find that unbelievable and repugnant.

Any characterisation of the US health care system as ‘free market’ is laughable. And yes, any reform effort that does not include price control does nothing about the core problem.


This page has been archived.
Comments are closed.

^ back to top ^

TwitterFacebook

Turn off all ads for a full year by subscribing!
For about 33 cents a day (per month) or 22 cents a day (per year), our subscription option turns off all advertisements at LGF!
Read more...

► LGF Headlines

  • Loading...

► Tweeted Articles

  • Loading...

► Tweeted Pages

  • Loading...

► Top 10 Comments

  • Loading...

► Bottom Comments

  • Loading...

► Recent Comments

  • Loading...

► Tools/Info

► Tag Cloud

► Contact

You must have Javascript enabled to use the contact form.
Your email:

Subject:

Message:


Messages may be published unless you request otherwise.
Tech Note:
Using the Contact Form
LGF Pages

This button leads to the main index of LGF Pages, our user-submitted articles. You can post your own LGF Pages simply by registering a free account with us.

Create a Page

This is the LGF Pages posting bookmarklet. To use it, drag this button to your browser's bookmark bar, and title it 'LGF Pages' (or whatever you like). Then browse to a site you want to post, select some text on the page to use for a quote, click the bookmarklet, and the Pages posting window will appear with the title, text, and any embedded video or audio files already filled in, ready to go.

Last updated: 2014-03-07 2:19 pm PST

LGF User's Guide
Recent Pages
Randall Gross
Fraternity Closes Chapter Following Vandalism of Statue
The chapter that might secretly want to wear pointy hoods to their toga parties... In the pre-dawn hours of Feb. 16, vandals placed a noose around the neck of the statue and draped over its face a pre-2003 Georgia state flag with a Confederate battle emblem. Three freshmen fraternity members from Georgia, whose names haven't been released, were accused in the incident. They were ...

44 minutes ago
Views: 45 • Comments: 0
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 0
MichaelJ
Live now - 2014 Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach - ASP World Tour
More: 2014 Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach - ASP Iconic Bells Beach in Victoria, Australia once again hosts the world's best surfers for the 41st running of the Bells Beach Contest. New feature in this broadcast: drone cam!

1 hour, 53 minutes ago
Views: 73 • Comments: 0
Tweets: 2 • Rating: 0
palmerskiss
Atheists, Mormon Scholars Talk Religion
A little debate never hurt nobody: Two groups came together Wednesday night to create understanding between groups commonly seen at odds. Two professors of history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints sat on a panel with two atheist experts for a discussion to dispel misconceptions and seek understanding. A debate seeks a winner, where discussions seek understanding, explained panel moderator Paul ...

1 hour, 54 minutes ago
Views: 51 • Comments: 2
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 1
cycroft
Russ Campbell’s Blog: Fiscal Conservatism Seems Alive and Well in Ottawa: 8,900 Public Service Jobs to Be Cut
When Con­ser­v­a­tives un­der Stephen Harper took of­fice in 2006, I was dis­ap­pointed at how much they re­sem­bled their pre­de­ces­sors when it came to their pen­chant for in­creas­ing the size of gov­ern­ment. More: Russ Campbell's Blog: Fiscal Conservatism Seems Alive and Well in Ottawa: 8,900 Public Service Jobs to Be Cut

5 hours, 39 minutes ago
Views: 72 • Comments: 0
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 0
Skip Intro
Why the Temperature of the Yellow Sea Is a Big Deal, and Other Questions About the South Korean Ferry Disaster
The boat ran into trouble several dozen miles from Jindo, an island that sticks out of South Korea's southwestern corner like a little toe. Jindo is surrounded by a group of even smaller islands that are slightly farther afield from the mainland. The ferry was curving around those small islands at the time it issued a distress call. What caused the disaster? We ...

6 hours, 47 minutes ago
Views: 179 • Comments: 2
Tweets: 20 • Rating: 0
FemNaziBitch
Bystander Effect, or Why This Week Has Been Really Scary
And if you have a friend or loved one who's survived an assault, here's a short list of things you should and shouldn't do to help out. Because if I've learned anything over the past few days, it's that watching someone you care for go through something like this can make you feel unbelievably helpless. But, in spite of that feeling, there are ...

10 hours, 27 minutes ago
Views: 152 • Comments: 1
Tweets: 1 • Rating: 0
Idle Drifter
Calgary stabbings: How knife crime in Canada can cause ‘moral panic’
What Calgary police chief Rick Hanson called the "worst mass murder" in the city's history didn't end at the barrel of a gun. Instead, the 22-year-old suspect identified on Tuesday as Matthew de Grood is accused of entering the kitchen at a house party, taking "a large knife" and using it to fatally stab four men and one woman, all of whom were students ...

1 day, 17 hours ago
Views: 179 • Comments: 4
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 0
aagcobb
New York Electoral College: State Joins National Popular Vote Interstate Compact.
Ben Mathis-Lilley, Slate: New York Electoral College: State Joins National Popular Vote Interstate Compact. Instead of pushing for a Constitutional amendment, which would have to be ratified in 38 states, advocates ask individual state legislatures to pass an agreement: that they'll pledge all their presidential electors to the winner of the national popular vote as soon as enough other states pass the law to ...

1 day, 23 hours ago
Views: 194 • Comments: 7
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 1
Political Atheist
The Insane History of Rockets at Jet Propulsion Laboratories
The Rocket Boys In the late 1930s, a group of Caltech graduate students were booted off campus after blowing up (part of!) their building during a rocket test gone awry. Unwilling to give up on the joy of semi-controlled explosions, the students and a few of their friends headed into the San Gabriel Mountains. They picked a deserted gully -- Arroyo Seco -- ...

2 days, 20 hours ago
Views: 230 • Comments: 0
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 2
iossarian
Drug Companies Want Your Money
Two thematically-related stories on the BBC at the moment: UK drug company Glaxo 'paid bribes to Polish doctors' UK drug company GlaxoSmithKline is facing a criminal investigation in Poland for allegedly bribing doctors, BBC Panorama has discovered. Tamiflu: Millions wasted on flu drug, claims major report Hundreds of millions of pounds may have been wasted on a drug for flu that works no better ...

3 days, 2 hours ago
Views: 246 • Comments: 0
Tweets: 8 • Rating: 0
 Frank says:

I'll do the stupid thing first and then you shy people follow...