The problem as I see it in regards to medical, is everyone wants to put the blame
some where else.
I worked in healthcare for many years and I know what they do. When I worked
in a hospital, I saw the prices they charged for many items.
Now mind you, that has been years ago. At that time, they charge something like
$10 for a tiny tube of toothpaste....good for about two or three brushings. They
charged approximately $25 for a plastic water pitcher that included a cup and
basin (worth about a buck in those days). In those days they had something
known as 'chux'. They probably still use them in nursing homes. Today they are
high quality, much different and heaven forbid if you looked at the price. But
even back then, they were awfully expensive. We would rush around with stickers
all over us. Every time we gave anything to a patient, incoming or additional,
we'd stick the sticker to our uniform. Then when we got to nursing station we'd
flip through the patience chart for their stickies...place the stickies. They were
coded labels. When the patient was released, their records go to the records
department and all the stickies go to billing. Needless to say, how often do you
think busy nursing department as well as other departments in the hospital,
remembered who's sticky was who's? I might have twenty or more stickies on
me....I would have to imput some info in their charts and then.....wait......was
this sticky Miss Smith or Miss Jones? Well, it's gotta go some where!
Today, they have a much better way of doing that but my guess is, many smaller
hospitals, smaller nursing homes, in smaller towns/cities, probably have old ways
of doing stuff.
So that is just one point of the billing crisis in the USA. Over charged for
various services and items plus possible over charging for services/products
I use Walmart pharmacy for my prescriptions. It's mostly covered by my insurance.
Some of my prescriptions are out of Canada. Walmart gets cheaper pricing from
Canada mostly on generic drugs. A drug for high blood pressure might be $100
for 30 and that same drug through Canada and Walmart will be $4. HUGE
difference and goes to show how much the Pharm industry is ripping people off.
In regards to nursing homes/long term care, you have good insurance than fine.
If you don't have good insurance, and you have anything at all, they take every
thing you got...your house, your land, etc. And if you are totally broke and have
nothing, you may still end up in the nursing home on State aid. If you are on
State aid, you most likely won't get as good a care as the rooms on the other
hall that have insurance or self pay.
Yes, $347 for my office visits. I am in a small rural town that takes me two
minutes to drive to my primary doctor. So, I am not sure if office visits would
generally be higher or lower in a regular/large city. My primary doctor is the
only doctor in this town. My last visit just recently, he looked at me and said
your blood pressure is up, I am doubling your lisinopril from 10 to 20. I said
ok. He said any problems? I said I am having some joint pain and he said
I'll prescribe you the best there is for arthritis but they cause ulcers so don't
take them every day. I said ok. He said bye, have a good day, I said you to.
Well I don't know in regards to not being able to pay the hospital bill. Some
hospitals in the USA are owned by ..... not sure how to say it..... Protestant
religions. For example I was born in a large catholic hospital outside of
Chicago. Where I presently live with have 'Baptist' hospitals. Some hospitals
are named after Saints. There are of course hospitals that are simply named
of the city or county. Some hospitals, have an indigent fund pool (for lack
of a better name). They may cover some or all of the medical procedures
and/or hospital bills. Mostly people simply go into debt owing that money
that is placed with credit bureau reporting. I'd say you'd be better off not
having anything because if you do have something, they'll take it to help
cover what you owe.
We had good insurance and my husband was retired, older than I. So he had
insurance and medicare. He had to check into the hospital that month for
about 3 days to go through many test before the actual heart surgery. A
couple of weeks later, he went in for the surgery. The surgery lasted about
6 hours. He was then in the intensive care heart surgery recovery area
for 12 days until he passed away.
Life is tough!