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September 01, 2009


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This is why our health system has issues. If consumers looked at the actual bills, paid their own bills then got reimbursed from insurance, or had HSA's to pay out of, consumers would be more apt to make sure they are getting the best deal on healthcare.

We had a baby 3 months ago. We had a $100 deductible for the whole thing (great insurance carried by my wife who had the baby and then quit to stay home). We got the hospital bill for the no complications labor, and it was $7000. They charged for every pill, blankets, etc. They also charged us $200 for a lactation consultation and breast pump usage that we never had happen. We had the baby on the weekend and they told us that the consultations only happened during weekdays.

I probably should have fought it but it wan't coming out of my pocket so there was no incentive. I admit I am part of the problem I guess.

Unfortunately, we can't make informed decisions about what we're going to do because no doctors offices will let you know the price of anything until long after it's done.

FMF, who are "she" and "he" that are speaking in the quoted section?

Last year, I had a staph infection. I went to the doctor and afterwards was charged for the visit, and there was an extra charge for a 'surgical examination' or something like that. An extra $100 for him to put on rubber gloves and look at my infection site. I would have called to fight it, but my insurance paid for it so I had little incentive to.

Normally I would have done it anyway since I realize that this is part of the problem, but I was very, very busy at this period of time so I didn't even try to make it a priority.

Spivey --

Unfortunately MSNBC's Red Tape Chronicles only lets you link to their homepage. Click the link above and then scroll down until you see their post titled "RX for Saving" and you can get the details on the he and she.

We all pay for the wasted time in bean counting, when nurses have to devote time to measuring tape and counting pills to increase the insurance and hospital factories' profits rather than helping patients. Doctors have to hire people to process the forms. Insurance clerks practice medicine without a license when they tell doctors what they can and cannot do with their patients.

For-profit insurance adds about a third to the cost.

Every little thing is inflated to deal with the insurance companies. One of the junkiest of pay-yourself health insurance is the kind that just knocks the price down to what it would be if the insurance companies were not involved in the first place.

Best to keep as well as one can to avoid the excess procedures, high costs, and unnecessary medications that are too often part of our industrial medical complex. If you do get checked into a hospital, beware the hospital infections that take down many patients, such as my elderly father who survived the operation, but not the exotic bacteria in the hospital.

My mom is in a rehab facility to gain her strength back after spending 6 days in the hospital with pneumonia. She is on oxygen 24/7 and has limited mobility. The hospital doctor told me she would be in rehab for four days. After she got there, the doctor at the facility told us she would be there 7-14 days. I'm an hour away so I couldn't go to the facility right away. I went yesterday (her third day) and first the physical therapist said she would be there until next Tuesday. I explained to her my mom's condition and that she was not going to get much better no matter how many leg lifts they had her do. I was polite but very insistent. Next I talked to the nurse practitioner in charge of her case. At first we agreed on her going home on Friday. Then after we talked to my mom and I promised to stay with her the first night, we decided she could go home Wednesday. She is on Medicare and they pay 100% for days 1-20 but I explained to them that was not the point. It doesn't matter who is paying, she didn't need to be there that long. Now I get the exciting job of going through her hospital bills when they start coming in. Yikes! Hopefully the links you provided will help me.

I just (yesterday) got a bill from my eye doctor for having an eyelash removed during the course of a contact lens fitting & exam. I didn't even know the eyelash was there until he mentioned it. He used his 'special' forceps and removed it.

The charge? $114 of which $20 is covered by my insurance. I realize that I am lucky to have a vision plan, but this annoys me! I also appreciate the years of education that these professionals go through. I called the office today and they offered to reduce the balance due by 50%. I guess that's better than paying $94. The billing lady actually told me, "Well, you didn't tell Dr. G. NOT to take it out or offer to do it yourself." It took all the self-restraint I had not to counter, "I DIDN'T KNOW YOU WERE GOING TO CHARGE ME $114!"

I had a medical procedure done about 10 months ago and requested an itemized bill so I could check charges, but honestly, I couldn't understand 80% of it! Everything was in medical jargon, and since I don't have a medical degree, I couldn't tell if I actually used all those things or had them done to me. It was a futile attempt; I gave up and paid the whole thing.

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