Thursday, March 27, 2008

Somebody's Gotta Pay!

I'm tired of everyone thinking healthcare is a free lunch.
  • Politicians are busy convincing everyone to vote for them to make healthcare free. Won't someone still have to pay? To make things worse, people in healthcare who know that conservative votes are better for them personally sometimes decide in blocks that liberals will help their businesses.
  • Insurance companies act like they don't have to pay claims. If you have ever worked near healthcare, you understand this phenomenon. It is ridiculous. A patient can have authorization for a procedure, but say the patient gets sick and the procedure gets pushed back a day and the office forgets to change the date of the authorizaton. Cha-ching for the carrier--they don't have to pay. Again, I say ridiculous.
  • Consumers pretend they didn't understand they had financial responsibility in hopes of dodging bills. This is just the American Way. Doctors are rich and need to provide free services to the community, right?
  • Doctors learned from pharmas, who spent the last couple of decades and about a bazillion dollars convincing them they should indeed have everything for free. I have seen RFPs that list requirements to include "Free software, free training, free support..." INCREDIBLE. File 13.

I'm self-employed, so my family insurance bill is about $1,400/month. I pay $25 per doctor visit. A copay for Rx is listed as $25 but seriously unknown (sort of like airfare). For two monthly Rx, the total is $80. For a specialist consult last year, I got a patient responsibility bill for $700. Like a true American, I ignored it. More importantly, I don't think this number will go down with a universal healthcare plan, but I do think that my tax responsibility will go way up.

If you are actually reading this blog, you already know the problem. The big question do we change attitudes? How else can Health IT be profitable?

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