Mid-Week Buzz

Cool Stuff

3D-printed tourbillon

Trump and the Nobel Peace prize

I haven't heard much about it lately. Blowing up the middle-east, defending the slaughter of Palestinians for a few million Sheldon Bucks sure didn't help and now this  North Korea threatens to pull out of Trump-Kim summit over denuclearization demands. At this point I'd say there's no chance.

Israel vs Gaza

Well,....we're past the death and destruction, the one-sided US media ignoring the situation, and on to the The Onion. Three good ones.

Crappy Media

From the BBC

If you're asking this question you either have your head stuck in the sand or are trying to manipulate public opinion.

Tax Cut

Oh, about that tax cut. We're taking it back by raising gas prices with unrest in the middle east.. . Why Rising Gasoline Prices Won’t Cut into Consumer Spending

Drug Prices

Oh, and your drug prices probably aren't going to go down.

Pharma Paid and Trump Delivered   I don't like the headline because most of the pharma takeover and price gouging started long before Trump. He's just the idiot who bought votes by saying he'd fix it when he really knew nothing about it and now isn't going to do anything other than talk. Still, some good lines in the post.
But this week in his long-awaited speech, Trump blamed foreign countries for high drug prices in the US and reversed his campaign pledge to use Medicare’s buying power to negotiate lower drug prices. Pharma stock prices rose; the shilling paid off.

Pharma has two lobbyists for every member of Congress. It spends more on lobbying than tobacco, oil and defense contractors combined. 

The US government is captured. Pharma operatives head both Health and Human Services and the FDA. The CDC Foundation which receives millions from corporations (not that it affects policies or anything) lists as donors Abbott, AbbVie, Bayer, AstraZeneca, Merck, Pfizer, GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals, Eli Lilly, Amgen, Genentech, Gilead and many more.

Health Care Costs - My Colonoscopy Bill

Had a colonoscopy last month and  got the bill today.

The only items on the bill were "doctor" and "hospital" charges. No detail at all.

The total charge was $5,100 of which they "wrote off for the insurance company" about $1,600 which made the total amount paid about $3,500. The Healthcare Blue Book says a fair price is around $2,300. So it seems a little on the high side especially for a poor rural Indiana hospital .

The doctor's charge was almost $1,900 (of the 5,040) for less than 45 minutes, a pretty good rate of about $2,500 per hour. The insurance company only paid him $300 which is quite a hit from what he wanted but still a pretty good rate of $400 per hour. I'm pretty sure he did 4, maybe 5 procedures before noon so at worst he had maybe a $1600 morning.  That'll make this month's Beemer payment.

The total Hospital charge was $3200 and the insurance paid the full amount.  I had the procedure without anesthesia and was out in about 4 hours including about an hour of just waiting around on the hospital bed because,... well, i don't know, something came up and the Dr. had to leave for a bit. I'd guess they billed the insurance company as if I had anesthesia and was there for most of the day just waking up. Anyway, that's about $800 an hour. The 4 or 5 procedures they did that morning probably netted them $15,000 to $20,000 in hospital charges.

Anyway it seems high for a very common procedure but they are the only hospital in about 40 mile radius. They can charge what they want.

The insurance company paid it all so it cost me nothing other than time and inflated future health care premiums.

The service wasn't to bad. I waited around by myself for about 2 of the 4 hours. The hospital had a lot of staff who didn't appear overworked. I watched several nurses stand around quite a bit while I laid there for a hour waiting on the Doctor.

Overall, It was a pretty good picture of US health care. Pretty good, though not great customer service, very high cost for a standard procedure, an opaque Hospital bill hiding the true cost of service, an Insurance company making profits in the middle, there was no way for me to price shop or negotiate a better price, the hospital has little incentive to keep costs down, the person receiving the service had no skin in the payment and,.... my health insurance costs about 20,000 per year for me and my family.

  • am I satisfied with my health care? Yes.
  • do I like my Doctor? Yes, A damned nice guy.
  • do I like the hospital? No, hard to deal with, monopolistic attitude.
  • do I like my insurance company? Not really, they're a tic on the system?
  • do I think it was way too expensive? Yes.
  • do I like my entire health care package, everything it takes to get my health care and get it paid for? Well, Not really, It's way to complicated and costly. Though for me the costs aren't too bad but I have a 1%'er's health insurance plan. For those without, it must be horribly costly.



No comments:

Post a Comment