February 28, 2008

Health Care

I do not think universal health care is a good idea. I am not big on socialism. Whenever this discussion arises it always goes back to cost. 'Some people cannot afford health care'

So what exactly is being done to lower the costs?

An entire industry has come into being around 'coding' medical proceedures for insurance purposes. My doctors office has a Doctor two nurses and five people in billing.

If I go see my doctor I throw down a co-pay $20 to $45. I sit for about 15min, get my weight checked, my temp and blood pressure, then I sit for about 10 to 15min. The doctor comes in and spends 5min to 15min with me. Then its either out for testing or to the pharmacy etc.

Next that blank form you signed is filled out with whatever 'prodeedure' was done and is sent off to the insurance for billing. Hopefully the insurance pays the contracturally agreed upon amount and the doctor gets the rest of thier money for your visit in one to three months. I have seen estimates that 68% of the costs go into this paperwork.

Having been in manufacturing I know that everytime a worker touches something there is a cost involved. If you have a sucessful business you pass this cost on to your customer.

Waiting one to three months to get paid, having to re-submit something to the insurance company a few times all costs a company.

As a consumer I tend to check prices and buy things on sale. Getting our weekly grocery bill down 10 or 20 bucks is what I call a win. With insurance in the picture a consumer doesnt have any incentive to look for the best doctor at the best price. They mostly go to whomever they 'like' or whomever is on the plan.

Way back when my pop would pay the doctor out of pocket and then submit to insurance for re-imbursement. This cost out of pocket would prompt the question 'what is that test for and why do we need it?'

I am thinking the best way to rein in healthcare costs is to allow the consumer to make the choices with thier own money. lets get that 68% down.


shoo said...

My son had get a short physical for Boy Scouts. A nearby medical clinic charged $20 if we paid cash.

Tina said...

One suggestion I'd seen was to have your own account set aside for healthcare, and whatever you'd pay out of your paycheck, you would just do that on your own.

Problem is, we live in the land of credit, and not many people have the forethought to actually plan and implement a health account for themselves it seems.

I understand there are certain doctors that prefer to work for cash and will give you a discount if you pay that way.

Anonymous said...

thanks for putting anonymous on the option lee....to let you know i just feel very smart reading your blogs...but i agree with tina...i mean i dont really have to worry about all this because i walk in and can get everything done for a minimul fee which is taken directly out of my costs....why is there nothing on me in here?lol just kidding...hope all is well love nae p.s. things are well here

flyingvan said...

Too many federal requirements on healthcare providers, and too many people grabbing cash between the provider and the patient. Groups like JCAHO that make a living giving hospitals a rating and selling their consulting to get a better rating.....Bad. patrick stubbed his face and we bypassed the insurance nightmare and had the local doc staple him up for $75. Fee for service, and maybe catastrophic coverage---that's it. I still can't find guaranteed healthcare in the bill of rights anywhere.

Lee said...

This quote expresses it pretty dang well.

"No employer, no insurance company, no politician or government bureaucrat knows better than you about your family's health needs. You should have the right to purchase health care and health insurance as you see fit without governmental restrictions or penalties, and you should not be of the mind that your neighbors have to buy it for you." - Rush Limbaugh

flyingvan said...

AM and I both liked that. Fee for service. If given a chance, the free market figures it out.