Sunday, February 24, 2013

Secrets of medical costs

Someone referred me to this article which I read with great interest. First I started with this video:
Then I read the article called the "Bitter Pill: Why Medical Costs are Killing Us"

FInally I watched the second video where the writer answers questions on reactions to this story:

So where does all this education leave me? I am not as smart as I thought I was.

All along I was blaming high medical costs on pharmaceutical manufacturers who were passing on the research costs long after they were paid to the patients through high drug payments. I was blaming insurance companies for high insurance premiums, denial of claims for stupid reasons, and general ignorance.

I did not know that hospitals are a big part of the problem with their secret lists, huge mark ups, and high profits - even if they are non profit. They hide behind the HIPAA laws on patient privacy to hide their 'chargemaster' list of billing amounts.

There is also the issue of the standard CYA tests ordered by doctors out of fear of lawsuits instead of best treatment for the patient. But that is another blog post.

My take away from these videos and article is that our health care system is more messed up than I previously thought. People are getting rich at the costs of the poorest people or the ones forced into bankruptcy due to medical bills. More action needs to be take in this area.

While the Healthcare Reform Act focuses on getting insurance and medical care for more American's, it does not go far enough in addressing the financial side of patient billing and who pockets the money at the end.

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