Marriage is love.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Our Healthcare System is Complete Bullsh*t...

...and anyone who dares to "complain" about it is called a "commie" or a "socialist"...

An article in today's NY Times really hits it on the head. I have excerpted the complete article here, boldings done by Julien's List.

Being a Patient

Treated for Illness, Then Lost in

Labyrinth of Bills

When Bracha Klausner returned home after an extended hospital stay for a ruptured intestine three years ago, she found stacks of mail from doctors and hospitals waiting for her.

There were so many envelopes - some of them very thick - that at first, Mrs. Klausner, 77, could not bring herself to open them, and she stored them in large shopping bags in her Manhattan apartment.

When she finally did open some of the envelopes, there were pages filled with dozens of carefully detailed items, each accompanied by a service code: "Partial thrombo 2300214 102.00," "KUB Flat 2651040 466.00."

On the 15th page or so of each bill, a "balance forward" line listed amounts in the tens of thousands of dollars. One totaled $77,858.04.

Another mailing, from her insurance company, clearly said, in large type, "This is not a bill." But she could make no sense of the remark codes: "G7 - Your benefit is based on the difference between Medicare's allowable expense and the amount Medicare paid" or "QN - Your claim may have been separated for processing purposes."


The system is so impenetrable that it mystifies even the most knowledgeable.

"I'm the president's senior adviser on health information technology, and when I get an E.O.B. for my 4-year-old's care, I can't figure out what happened, or what I'm supposed to do," said Dr. David Brailer, National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, whose office is in the Department of Health and Human Services. "I can't figure out what care it was related to or who did what."


(this is the part that is the biggest of above-mentioned bullsh*t):

In the days before managed care, most insurance plans operated on a fee-for-service basis. Patients paid 20 percent of medical fees; insurers paid 80 percent. But as health care costs have continued to rise, many patients are being required to pay an ever-larger part of their medical bills, and deductibles continue to increase. And to keep the system churning, close to 30 cents of every dollar spent on health care goes for administration, much of it spent generating bills and explanations of benefits.