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.

Or... you can just click this button to open the Pages posting window right away.

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

LGF User's Guide
Recent Pages
Randall Gross
SeaWorld Pulls Staff From Water in Killer Whale Shows
SeaWorld Entertainment will end the practice of having trainers in the water during killer whale shows, reported WTVJ-TV in Miami. After a trainer died in 2010 during a show with a killer whale, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration ...

9 hours, 22 minutes ago
Views: 156 • Comments: 1
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 0
FemNaziBitch
New York City Will Pay $10 Million to Settle Wrongful Conviction Case - ProPublica
New York City has agreed to pay $10 million to settle a wrongful conviction lawsuit filed by Jabbar Collins, who spent 15 years in prison for a murder he did not commit. The settlement announced today concludes a decades-long ...

14 hours, 9 minutes ago
Views: 136 • Comments: 0
Tweets: 1 • Rating: 1
CriticalDragon1177
The Japan Times - Can Japan show the West how to live peacefully with Islam?
Nicolas Gattig on Islam in Japan. Off course ignorant Islamophobic wingnut Bryan Fischer Is happy they "don't" allow Muslims in Japan. Man is he going to be upset if he reads this. Long ago, in another life, I went to ...

2 days, 7 hours ago
Views: 448 • Comments: 3
Tweets: 3 • Rating: 4
Rightwingconspirator
Photography Is Not A Crime
re: #274 NJDhockeyfan re: #262 NJDhockeyfan re: #259 jaunte So lets keep this in mind for Ferguson-Shoot an unarmed man in the head under color of authority and leave town with your identity protected. Take a picture of a protest, ...

2 days, 8 hours ago
Views: 269 • Comments: 0
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 1
Laughing Gas
Scumbag “HBD believer” claims Michael Brown charged officer
WARNING: LINK TO HATE SITE He links to some ijreview, a right wing site: This guy makes me sick.

2 days, 10 hours ago
Views: 563 • Comments: 6
Tweets: 1 • Rating: 0
BadExampleMan
“Growth” and Some Jellyfish
This piece was basically just to use up some scraps I had sitting around. I liked the way the frit lace turned out but I didn't really have a use for it. I've been on a jellyfish kick lately. This ...

6 days ago
Views: 312 • Comments: 0
Tweets: 1 • Rating: 2
Pie-onist Overlord
Police Investigating Whether Rabbi’s Miami Killing a Hate Crime
More: Police Investigating Whether Rabbi's Miami Killing a Hate Crime (Reuters) - Police in Miami investigating the killing of a 60-year-old Orthodox rabbi over the weekend said on Monday they haven't yet decided whether the shooting was a hate crime. ...

1 week, 2 days ago
Views: 544 • Comments: 0
Tweets: 1 • Rating: 1
Romantic Heretic
The War Photo No One Would Publish
An interesting story on a photograph taken during Desert Storm that no news outlet in the US would publish. It is one of those photos that stares straight at the horror of war. It's hideous, stomach turning...and something that should ...

1 week, 4 days ago
Views: 1,290 • Comments: 8
Tweets: 4 • Rating: 7
Bubblehead II
Live web Cams on Oahu, Hawaii
Couple of live web cams for Oahu. H/T to explore.org Turtle Bay - East and Ehukai Beach, Oahu Sunrise isn't for a couple more hours so there isn't much to see. But should get interesting after daybreak.

1 week, 6 days ago
Views: 704 • Comments: 0
Tweets: 3 • Rating: 5
 Frank says:

Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible.