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Required reading

August 4, 2013

The July 28 edition of the Sun-Gazette carried the front page headline, "What's the deal with patient charges?" Adjacent to the article was a rather creative illustration comparing the costs of......

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(5)

Capricorn1

Aug-04-13 3:36 AM

John, if this is a synopsis of Mr. Brill's investigation, it sounds like he's leaving the reader with more questions than answers. Does the article actually answer the questions you listed?

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mikekerstetter

Aug-04-13 7:57 AM

Yes, it does. This is something I learned while I was a member of a local fire department and was responsible for ambulance billing. We had a company that did the billing for us once the information was gathered. They also kept us compliant with Medicare/Medicaid regulations. It's a lot of rules and regs. But basically everyone charges more for their services so that they can recoup their costs through Medicare. Medicaid doesn't even come close to paying for the service, so they pretty much lose money on Medicaid patients. They can make deals with insurance companies for payments they will accept, but according to Medicare Regulations they have to collect full price from those that are paying out of pocket.

Medical billing as a complicated affair, to say the least.

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MrShaman

Aug-04-13 7:58 AM

"How are health insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies, medical testing laboratories, medical equipment manufacturers and the federal government involved in this nation's failure to provide cost-effective medical care to all of our citizens?" - How are health insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies, medical testing laboratories, medical equipment manufacturers and the federal government involved in this nation's failure to provide cost-effective medical care to all of our citizens?" - John B. Raymond

*

It's STILL called "Medicare D"!!!!!

*

See:

Sacramento Gray Panthers Prescription Drug Plan Medicare Part D

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CMReeder

Aug-04-13 7:59 AM

You have to read the article. The article does name advocacy groups that help people navigate the billing system of hospitals. The investigative report shows how prices for medical procedures are so out of control.

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CMReeder

Aug-04-13 8:12 AM

Here is some other discrepancies the article points out. In a cancer treatment center one nurse for 12 patients. Each patients get charged for that nurse at full rate. The nurse doesn't get that as fee for her work, she gets a much lower hourly rate. You get charge for medication which turns out to be Tylenol, one capsule of Tylenol charge by the hospital is more than a whole bottle you can purchase off a shelf at your local drug store.

Hospitals rely on a automated pricing controlled by a system set up on their computer. Too many patients and their families do not question the charges.

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