If you haven’t read the piece in the Time Magazine entitled Bitter Pill: Why Medical Bills Are Killing Us then please do……but on an empty stomach. It will make you sick. Here are just a few standout points for me:
- When you look behind the bills that Sean Recchi and other patients receive, you see nothing rational — no rhyme or reason — about the costs they faced in a marketplace they enter through no choice of their own. The only constant is the sticker shock for the patients who are asked to pay.
- And in our largest cities, the system offers lavish paychecks even to midlevel hospital managers, like the 14 administrators at New York City’s Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center who are paid over $500,000 a year, including six who make over $1 million.
- That might take care of the self-fulfilling peer dynamic that Gunn of Sloan-Kettering cited when he explained, “We all use the same compensation consultants.
The article, which is really an investigative piece, is long but worth it. It exposes the absolute greed by hospitals and their minions who work there. Doctors are not excluded. It also shows how powerless patients are in dealing with their bills (especially if they have no insurance). Everyone else has someone negotiate for them, whether it is the managed care company, Medicaid or Medicare, but the guy who cannot afford health insurance is screwed. This is the embarrassing part of America’s healthcare system. There is no transparency. There are no set fees. It is a shell game where you have grossly exaggerated mark ups to gouge the common man to pay an overpriced CEO who does, well, basically nothing.Tweet