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  • Health Care System rant.

    It is pretty simple. The administration of the health care system is ridiculous!

    This year we had a baby. He had pneumonia in the first month so had to go to the emergency room a few times.

    Then I had to get a hernia operation. It was misdiagnosed in the beginning because it was a small one so I had to get a CAT scan to actually determine the fact I had a hernia.

    All of this, except for my wife gynecologist and the surgeon for my surgery, took place at the same hospital.

    But there are total of, get this, 17 accounts! 17 freaking accounts!

    Not only that but these 17 accounts are handled by 9 different offices! And they are not just logically different. They are all in different locations in the US. Only two of them even communicate from what I can figure.

    For example one of the accounts end in 51006 and the other ends in 41006. They are sent to the same building but different offices. I sent a $500 payment and a $196 but switched them. The $196 payed it off in full. Trying to straighten this mess out took, literally, months.

    Total medical bills for this year is over 40k. My surgery, which only took 15 minutes, was 20k. The cat scans where a total of 3k.

    How much of this was just to pay the administrative costs?

    One side effect of this is that they are not getting their money as fast as they should. I could not pay all my portion of the bills (something like $6k) when due so I set up payments for most of them. If there was one or two accounts I could pay off large chunks per month. But because I have to split them up between the 13 accounts I couldn't pay off immediately each is only getting about 20-30 per month.

    Another side effect is that I am risking my credit every month. If I forget one payment it reduces my credit rating. Seeing how many of the accounts are different by only a number or two and slightly different names this isn't as difficult as it might seem.

    It is insane.

    Rant over for now.
    Iím not racists, I have republican friends. Radio show host.
    - "The essence of tyranny is the denial of complexity". -Jacob Burkhardt
    - "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds" - Emerson
    - "People should not be afraid of it's government, government should be afraid of it's People." - Line from V for Vendetta
    - If software were as unreliable as economic theory, there wouldn't be a plane made of anything other than paper that could get off the ground. Jim Fawcette
    - "Let me now state what seems to me the decisive objection to any conservatism which deserves to be called such. It is that by its very nature it cannot offer an alternative to the direction in which we are moving." -Friedrich Hayek
    - "Don't waist your time on me your already the voice inside my head." Blink 182 to my wife

  • #2
    Re: Health Care System rant.

    Credit ratings are for suckers. Why don't you go somewhere else if you don't like how they bill you?
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    • #3
      Re: Health Care System rant.

      Originally posted by CingularDuality View Post
      Credit ratings are for suckers. Why don't you go somewhere else if you don't like how they bill you?
      Couple of reasons.

      The pediatrician for our kids is associated with the hospital, as is my doctor. I like and trust both of them. It isn't their fault.

      Second is that this hospital is very convenient. Only a couple minutes drive. Others are anywhere from 30-45 minutes away.

      And I don't think it is all that different at other hospitals. Just for my daughters bi-yearly in office checkups I get a couple of different bills. My mother had a number of accounts when she had her pacemaker implanted. Six if I recall correctly.

      Maybe I am just shocked because this is really the first time I had to deal with the billing directly. My previous insurance covered almost everything except for co-pays.
      Iím not racists, I have republican friends. Radio show host.
      - "The essence of tyranny is the denial of complexity". -Jacob Burkhardt
      - "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds" - Emerson
      - "People should not be afraid of it's government, government should be afraid of it's People." - Line from V for Vendetta
      - If software were as unreliable as economic theory, there wouldn't be a plane made of anything other than paper that could get off the ground. Jim Fawcette
      - "Let me now state what seems to me the decisive objection to any conservatism which deserves to be called such. It is that by its very nature it cannot offer an alternative to the direction in which we are moving." -Friedrich Hayek
      - "Don't waist your time on me your already the voice inside my head." Blink 182 to my wife

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      • #4
        Re: Health Care System rant.

        In Singapore, hospitals are required to post prices. Such a simple and awesome idea.
        A policy of freedom for the individual is the only truly progressive policy. -F.A. Hayek

        "$250,000 a year won't get me to Central Park West."

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        • #5
          Re: Health Care System rant.

          Life is hard!

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          • #6
            Re: Health Care System rant.

            If everybody just said "Life is hard" and accepted it, doing nothing about it, we would be living in caves.
            Iím not racists, I have republican friends. Radio show host.
            - "The essence of tyranny is the denial of complexity". -Jacob Burkhardt
            - "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds" - Emerson
            - "People should not be afraid of it's government, government should be afraid of it's People." - Line from V for Vendetta
            - If software were as unreliable as economic theory, there wouldn't be a plane made of anything other than paper that could get off the ground. Jim Fawcette
            - "Let me now state what seems to me the decisive objection to any conservatism which deserves to be called such. It is that by its very nature it cannot offer an alternative to the direction in which we are moving." -Friedrich Hayek
            - "Don't waist your time on me your already the voice inside my head." Blink 182 to my wife

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Health Care System rant.

              The reason there are so many accounts is due to the fact that you have so many different departments in the hospital involved, which generally have their own department, the fact that each doctor can bill you for his/her time if they don't work directly for the hospital and of course due to privacy and people not sharing information. It sux, but that is the American health care system.

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              • #8
                Re: Health Care System rant.

                The reason you have so many bills is that many hospitals are "Staffed" by contract doctors/Physician practices. Itís like having a store in a mall (very simplified.) Each practice may have diffferent billing procedures, methods and may have associations with different insurance companies and billing companies.
                The ďMedical systemĒ is best described as a non-system. No standard format exists.

                My advice is find a provider in your area that is all inclusive and staffed by a single medical practice/hospital operator. I work for Kaiser and its all in-house, Medical, surgery, billing.

                Another thing you can do is pay out of pocket and bill the insurance companies yourself. This practice is becoming more common here in California as Doctors groups donít want to supply the service themselves (billing operations are expensive to run)

                Sarcoma
                Sarcoma.

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                • #9
                  Re: Health Care System rant.

                  I'm an x-ray tech, and all this ranting reminds me of the hospital where I did my clinics. They were completely obsessed with being the best. As the techs that do your exams (whether it x-ray, CT, MR, US, etc) can only do so much, it really has to be a team. The entire two years I was in clinics there, the hospital was constantly working to improve the administration aspect: registration, order forms, and exam entry into the databases. Our feedback was very good, but a constant hit was taken in the registration and billing columns. On top of imaging we were required to understand and be able to do all parts of a patient's visit including registration, so that (I think) we could empathize better with how much it truly, truly sucked.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Health Care System rant.

                    Originally posted by CingularDuality View Post
                    Credit ratings are for suckers. Why don't you go somewhere else if you don't like how they bill you?
                    It's not the hospital, it's the insurance companies. This is a topic I could go off on a 3 page rant about as I work in that industry. The insurance companies do more to ruin health care then any bad doctor ever could. Health insurance companies inflate the costs of health care, lower the quality of the actual care you get and also on the other end cause the high costs of malpractice insurance for the medical staff. Then add in the state gov't corruption and you have a huge mess.

                    It will almost defintely be worth the 75-100 bucks it would cost to go visit a lawyer to explain your states laws and how they effect your situation.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Health Care System rant.

                      Originally posted by Morganan View Post
                      It will almost defintely be worth the 75-100 bucks it would cost to go visit a lawyer to explain your states laws and how they effect your situation.
                      I doubt it, as I am perfectly content with my doctor and my insurance.

                      I am considering switching to a high deductible plan with an HSA, though.
                      Become a supporting member!
                      Buy a Tactical Duck!
                      Take the world's smallest political quiz! "I was touched by His Noodly Appendage."
                      TacticalGamer TX LAN/BBQ Veteran:

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                      • #12
                        Re: Health Care System rant.

                        Originally posted by El_Gringo_Grande View Post
                        If everybody just said "Life is hard" and accepted it, doing nothing about it, we would be living in caves.
                        I spent 14 hours at ER and hospital yesterday, so please forgive me if I'm cranky: not the way I had planned to spend my 5th wedding anniversary.

                        I think you can spend a lot of time and effort trying to fix the hospitals without spending very much time or effort improving the way you handle your personal affairs. If you are having a hard time managing these different account numbers, I suggest you try Quicken, a spreadsheet, a legal pad, or a napkin that you store somewhere you can find it. Paying your bills on time is your problem, so take ownership of that and quit bitching like it's the hospital's fault that you worry about your credit rating. Just a suggestion.

                        If you continue to seek action from these organizations, I recommend that you ask a lot of questions and try to understand what legal and regulatory requirements are driving their administrative practices.

                        I agree that things could be a lot better, but you will, I think, make little progress until you start thinking and acting like a responsible partner by nailing your responsibilities in the process and improving your understanding of the factors that affect hospitals' behavior, instead of just ranting.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Health Care System rant.

                          Originally posted by CingularDuality View Post
                          I doubt it, as I am perfectly content with my doctor and my insurance.

                          I am considering switching to a high deductible plan with an HSA, though.
                          I didnt mean you in particular, that part was directed at the OP.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Health Care System rant.

                            Originally posted by CingularDuality View Post
                            I am considering switching to a high deductible plan with an HSA, though.

                            I just saw an article somewhere (I think it was the kansas city parents newpaper/magazine free thing you can get everywhere hee) that said that health insurance with high deductibles actually were bad for kids. Why? Because a lot of (poorer) parents will often not take a kid in until they are really sure the kid is sick. They don't want to risk paying a lot of money at the doctor's office just to find out it's nothing. Which means that when it is something, it often goes non or under treated for too long.

                            But for young healthy person, that's not a bad idea.
                            "Sympathy means a lot, coming from Kulmar. I didn't think it was possible.
                            Good luck getting rid of your disease. If you're infected, though, stay away--I can't afford to be a zombie right now.
                            " Ednos


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                            • #15
                              Re: Health Care System rant.

                              Originally posted by leejo View Post
                              I spent 14 hours at ER and hospital yesterday, so please forgive me if I'm cranky: not the way I had planned to spend my 5th wedding anniversary.

                              I think you can spend a lot of time and effort trying to fix the hospitals without spending very much time or effort improving the way you handle your personal affairs. If you are having a hard time managing these different account numbers, I suggest you try Quicken, a spreadsheet, a legal pad, or a napkin that you store somewhere you can find it. Paying your bills on time is your problem, so take ownership of that and quit bitching like it's the hospital's fault that you worry about your credit rating. Just a suggestion.

                              If you continue to seek action from these organizations, I recommend that you ask a lot of questions and try to understand what legal and regulatory requirements are driving their administrative practices.

                              I agree that things could be a lot better, but you will, I think, make little progress until you start thinking and acting like a responsible partner by nailing your responsibilities in the process and improving your understanding of the factors that affect hospitals' behavior, instead of just ranting.
                              I am sure this was written with the best of intents, but has very little with what he is trying to get at.

                              There is no reason for there being 17 accounts in the first place. It is just a way for the individual companies to make more money off of hard working people. They will tell you its because each one of the specialists belongs to another medical group. No one really works for the hospitals anymore. The surgeons all have their own private practices outside of the hospital and use it for a place to actually do surgeries. Why would you want to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars of your own money, to houses a place to perform your art when the city already has.

                              Doctors, surgeons, specialists, and the schools and teachers that tought them are all crooked individuals. The doctors all demand six figure incomes so they have enough cash to pay off loans and then drive the six figure car they cant really afford anyway due to the house they never really live in with the wife that spends more in one months on BS then I make in six months.

                              Then these same doctors become teachers at the schools they graduated from, demanding the same or higher income they had as doctors, so the schools have to increase the tuitions to cover the costs of not only the teachers or professors (got forbid you call them teachers) but also the cost of the coaches that are hired for the football and basketball teams and the fields or courts to be played on (dont get me going here either another racket in our school system). And the cycle continues, with future doctors heading out into their fields even more in debt then the previous generation. Intent on bankrupting you and me, so they can afford the house, trophy wife/ husband, exotic cars and life styles the rest of us could only see on Entertainment channel.

                              Please dont mistake what I say as a cry for socialism in our hospital. I just think better business practices need to be implemented. People need to remember, the goal of life is not to see how many toys and trophies you can die with. But I truly believe its to improve all life on this world.

                              |TG-IRR|

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