Skip to comments.Bitter Pill: Why Medical Bills Are Killing Us
Posted on 02/22/2013 9:44:29 PM PST by Seizethecarp
When Sean Recchi, a 42-year-old from Lancaster, Ohio, was told last March that he had non-Hodgkins lymphoma, his wife Stephanie knew she had to get him to MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. Stephanies father had been treated there 10 years earlier, and she and her family credited the doctors and nurses at MD Anderson with extending his life by at least eight years.
Stephanie was then told by a billing clerk that the estimated cost of Seans visit just to be examined for six days so a treatment plan could be devised would be $48,900, due in advance.
About a week later, Stephanie had to ask her mother for $35,000 more so Sean could begin the treatment the doctors had decided was urgent.
The total cost, in advance, for Sean to get his treatment plan and initial doses of chemotherapy was $83,900.
One night last summer at her home near Stamford, Conn., a 64-year-old former sales clerk whom Ill call Janice S. felt chest pains. She was taken four miles by ambulance to the emergency room at Stamford Hospital, officially a nonprofit institution. After about three hours of tests and some brief encounters with a doctor, she was told she had indigestion and sent home. That was the good news.
The bad news was the bill: $995 for the ambulance ride, $3,000 for the doctors and $17,000 for the hospital in sum, $21,000 for a false alarm.
(Excerpt) Read more at healthland.time.com ...
The shortage of psychiatrists in SW FL is so severe that they are able to refuse to accept Medicare participation and still fill their appointments with wealthy patients.
So poorer seniors won’t be able to “keep your doctor” if he dumps Medicare, which happened in my family on Jan 1, 2013.
When profits are 26% of revenue, they are doing a lot more than charging for those who cannot pay.
Although it is officially a nonprofit unit of the University of Texas, MD Anderson has revenue that exceeds the cost of the world-class care it provides by so much that its operating profit for the fiscal year 2010, the most recent annual report it filed with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, was $531 million. Thats a profit margin of 26% on revenue of $2.05 billion, an astounding result for such a service-intensive enterprise.
In fifty years, it will make little difference if old Martha dies in 2013 or 2018. Either way, Martha will be gone and probably forgotten. However, if in fifty years, taxpayers are still paying for Martha's extra five years, that will make a difference. Right now, our country is becoming flooded with old Marthas.
If old people want to spend a lot of money to unnecessarily extend their miserable lives, it should be their own money. The taxpayer is tapped out.
Expensive, wasteful spending to unnecessarily extend lives should be left up to the individual on a "pay as you go" basis. Pay as you go - and, when you stop paying, it's time for you to go.
If you think health care is expensive now, wait until you see what it costs when it's free. -- P. J. O'Rourke
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