I am not going to dig too deep into this topic today, but after my recent experience it becomes more and more apparent that we need a universal single payer system and that pricing for health care services is completely out of control.
Early in October, I had my second annual MRI to look for changes in my pituitary tumor. I am on Medicare.
The procedure was done in a prominent local hospital who billed my insurance company: $6,178.00. I paid a co-pay of $35, Insurance paid $280.00, I paid an additional $75, and the hospital made an adjustment of $5,787 (this may total differently because I dropped the cents involved). So the hospital just wrote off the majority of their fees. Did they lose money on the process? Does it really only cost @$400 to perform? If I didn’t have Medicare, would I pay $6,178? This is nuts.
And then there’s the radiologist who read the MRI and wrote up the report who said the stuff in my head is unremarkable (ouch that hurt!). He billed $571 and insurance paid $113 and that’s it. WTF?
I am not complaining about any of the healthcare that I have received…but the way we pay for it or don’t pay for it is absolutely nuts. Medical providers deserve to make a decent living due to the skill and education they bring into the room…and healthcare facilities are in the same boat. But really, transparency in pricing…equal expectations in responsibility…and consistent and timely payment of fees…needs to be addressed for every American.