Thursday, April 15, 2010

Why does health care cost so much

I stole the chart on this post from the Economix blog at the NY Times, who stole it from a Harvard prof. This is something that has driven me crazy for years. I am a person who pays for his own medical insurance, and therefore has a high deductible policy. Whenever I go to the doctor, they send the bill to my insurance company, who then sends it back to them telling them I have to pay. Then I get a letter from the insurance company denying coverage, and another telling me how they price was reduced, then I get one from the medical center telling me the same thing before I finally get a bill. All of this nonsense just cost me a lot of money, and did nothing to make me healthier.

Now, think about when you go to the doctor. As you are escorted to where the actual health care workers will see you, how many people do you walk past? Those people aren't healing anyone. They are just there to make sure your doctor gets paid. Freaking CRAZY!!!

Unfortunately, the new health care bill does nothing to attack this problem.


How 'bout some banana pudding with a splash (or two) of whiskey? said...

At ease, sparky! I was one of those admitting/registration folks - not making you any healthier - for years. This process is not merely there for the physicians, nurses, technicians and the facility to get paid to provide health care services for you. Registration is also a way of recording these services and treatments to your personal medical record with a date stamp, for future reference, to provide an accurate history of the health care you received.

Health care is not as simple and one-time-only as a shopping trip to the grocery store. Who really cares when I last bought a bunch of bananas and gallon of milk? It is a permanent part of your body: past, present and future. Physicians actually value being able to look up a patient's history to view prior treatments, allergies, actions and recommendations; their own treatment and visits with the specific patient as well as other healthcare providers treating the same patient. Without those registration folks creating an account number for your specific visit, and then having this account/visit logged into your permanent medical record, I can only imagine what a tracking and sorting mess this would be. I value knowing that this visit history is created by other non-health care workers; I certainly won't remember the specific dates, treatments, prescriptions and reactions that are linked to my various health-related appointments. And I really don't want to see my health care provider going through the mechanics of registering my visit - they have better things to do with their time like making people feel better!

The registration, account creation process is certainly not integral to actually making you feel anybetter, but it is all part of a bigger picture which can, hopefully, make you feel better and keep you healthy.

PhishyPaul said...

"Who really cares when I last bought a bunch of bananas and gallon of milk?".........

Answer: Google

RalphMariedeLargo said...
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