Sunday, October 16, 2011

Hospital Bills and Health Care Issues

I know that lately this blog has become just a list of what I do each day, I apologize if it is boring you. I think it has been like that for a few reasons. First, it is what some of my blog readers are looking for I think, the people like my parents who I don't talk to all that often but want to know what is going on in my life more. I may put something here that they did not know about in our phone and text conversations. Second, its easy. Its much easier to post about the random things that happened over the weekend than to delve into various thoughts and questions, some of which are controversial. Third, it is just how I have been feeling. I have not had time or energy to mull over anything really interesting lately, I spend a lot of energy just making sure I am doing what I can to be healthy for baby and to not feel like crap.

So, how about a ranting post for a change? 

We got our bill from the hospital. Looking at the itemized list is ridiculous. There is something seriously wrong w/out hospital's charge people. I am not saying we got charged too much either, I am just saying that the itemized list is all wrong. I mean, the point of an itemized list is to explain why your bill is what it is, not to list random prices the hospital has assigned to things. This is how you end up getting charged $56 for a dose of Tylenol that, as they bill even stated, I administered to myself. What is costing money is not the tylenol, but rather the record keeping, and the nurses care and the doctors expertise, and the well equipped hospital that was ready to deal with me if things got worse. So why doesn't my bill even mention these things? Instead it has all of these physical items, like "IV Therapy, $2780.80". Really? The IV cost $2780? I don't think so. I would much rather see "IV equipment use 24 hrs $1000, Nurses IV monitoring $1780.80" than this, or however they actually explain the expense when they come up with these prices. I know its a matter of semantics, but I am just saying whats the point of an itemized bill if it does not really tell you how the costs are incurred?

Of course we are among the lucky who have health insurance and we will be paying much less out of pocket than this itemized list totals, which is another can of worms I am not going to get into involving just what is broken about our healthcare system in America. I have to say seeing this bill gives me a little more sympathy for the plethora of claimants I have every week that say things like "I can't afford to go to the doctor every time my condition acts up because I don't have insurance" or  those who beg us to expedite their case because of the medical bills they are facing. The fact is that not getting medical care can affect your ability to get disability, because if you don't have your own treatment then all we have to go on is a one-time exam. This one time exam will be pretty good for things like back problems, chronic lung disease, etc, but it will not give us any real perspective if you have severe seizures or migraines or asthma attacks or anything like that. Or lets say, if you have cancer that you have not been able to get treatment for because you don't have insurance. There are some really sad things that happen to people in this country that do not have insurance. Back when we were in training we worked on a practice case (using a real person from a long time ago), who was diagnosed with cancer and told to report for tx. She did not see anyone for six months because of money problems/lack on insurance. When she went back to the doctor 6 months later they told her there was nothing they could do for her as the cancer was to advanced. Of course she got disability at this point, and then died shortly after. Yet we are supposedly the "best" country in the world (or thats how many American's view it!).

I recognize there is no perfect healthcare system, and I also recognize that there is not enough resources in the world to give everyone perfect healthcare, but there has to be something that makes more sense than what we are doing now.

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