Sunday, February 26, 2012

Yoo hoo, its about the patients

Its not about the money, its not about the money, its not about the money, its not about the money, its not about the money....

I can go on and on in an effort to pretend that all those cancer advances are about the patients and not about the money. But I know I am only pretending:
  • I do realize that businesses are out to make money.
  • I do believe that insurance was once intended to help people and not be about the money and people getting rich. 
  • I do believe that medical advances can be very expensive to develop.
  • I do try to believe that the health care industry - from doctors and nurses to health insurance to drug and device manufacturers - at some level does really care about the patients.
But I have a real problem when I read about people who:
  • Can't afford their insurance premiums because they are so high due to their health issues
  • Can't afford their co-payments because they are in the thousands for a single round of chemo
  • Co-payments are so uneven that one patient pays a couple of dollars and another patient pays a few thousand for the same medication
  • Hospitals look for ways to make more money and then claim its in the best interest of the patient - hospitals have patients come in for an injection because they can make more money than if they taught the patient how to self administer.
  • Medical bills are a leading cause of bankruptcies.
"“Patients have to pay more for their premiums, more for their copayments, more for their deductibles. It’s become harder to afford what we have, and what we have is becoming not only more costly but also complex,’’ said Dr. Michael Hassett, a cancer specialist and policy researcher at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston.

Insurers also are being squeezed by laws that require coverage and restrict premiums. And the burden is growing on Medicare, which in some cases pays for treatments and tests not shown to benefit patients.

Why have costs escalated so much? To some extent, it is the price of success.

Cancer deaths have been declining in America since the early 1990s. Two out of 3 people now live at least five years after a cancer diagnosis, up from 1 of 2 in the ’70s, says the American Society of Clinical Oncology."

Sorry. I don't believe its the price of success. Yes I believe that medical advances probably do cost more but I also believe some people are getting really rich. And that some people are forced to make a decision between feeding themselves and their families and getting much needed medical treatment.

2 comments:

RCHI said...

Unfortunately, I can only agree with you. But what aggravates the situations is unhealthy living. Big insurers are hedging their capital against the likelihood of disease in an overweight, smoking, driving population.

cancer said...

The cost of treatment of cancer is very high still now.Sometimes it is beyond the capacity of developing countries people.