Thursday, September 20, 2007

Ouch!

The bill was over $23,000 and had 4 for 5 line items two of which were

1 unit - $10,000
122 units - $12,000

It was late last night and I didn't try to interpret it except to guess it meant $10,000 to call the helicopter and $12,000 for flying 122 miles one way.

I have insurance and it appears my share will be $1,000.

I wonder what the actual cost was of the flight. How much profit?

The most recent AARP newsletter had an article about people going to Thailand and other countries for medical treatment because it is much less expensive. One hospital in Bangkok treats 60,000 foreigners per year. The facilities, equipment and staff are top quality. In one example, a person spent $14,000 including airfare for treatment in Thailand and would have spent $40,000 in this country.

I have the education, job history, salary and insurance to get quality health care. Most people don't. I'm determined to remain sensitive to their situation and to advocate affordable health care.

6 Comments:

Blogger SimplyTim said...

Paul,

I'm not sure what this post is referring to...did you have to be flown to the hospital? If so, I hope you're well and that you enjoyed the expensive flight.

A friend was telling me of how her sister was in great pain (kidney stones) and went to the E.R. at a medical center in this area.

She was seen by a nurse. She was on a gurney for six hours and received NO treatment other than waiting and being seen by a nurse. She finally got up and walked out. She was back the following day when the pain returned.

Amount billed to insurance company = $1800.

Maybe they figured they could bill for the healing power of waiting. Let's see, 6 hours times 60 minutes = 360 units. Then minus the rental of the gurney for 360 units, and minus the cost of being seen by one nurse... Anyone still wondering how the system is broken?

Tim

9/20/2007 09:24:00 AM  
Blogger Buffalo said...

Our health care system is out of control. Perhaps there wouldn't be so many uninsured if it were not for the unbridled greed of the insurance companies, the drug and equipment manufactures and vendors, and a government that is so incompentent and blind they couldn't find their ass with both hands in a room lined with mirrors.

9/20/2007 11:11:00 AM  
Blogger Anvilcloud said...

I have read similar accounts about medical centres in India.

9/20/2007 11:32:00 AM  
Blogger Cindy said...

We who are raising two children on a salary that is twice the average salary for our county, and who still can't afford insurance are grateful for those of you who have it and are still aware of the problems and speaking out.

9/23/2007 09:55:00 AM  
Blogger Larry said...

Wow, Paul; amazing. Our youngest son and his wife spent a year in Thailand teaching. They had a great time, but didn't report on wonderful, cheap hospitals. I'll have to send this on and see what he has to say.

Thanks again for your friendship, Paul.

9/25/2007 07:48:00 AM  
Blogger Tossing Pebbles in the Stream said...

The only solution to the American Medical crisis is to get the private insurance company out of the business. You need a universal single payer government run health care system. Such a system is cheaper to run, covers everyone equally and is paid for through taxes on those who can best afford to pay. American schemes I read about to improve the system at best are just extending coverage by subsidizing private insurers. This is the worst of both worlds: taxes and high profits for bureaucratic insurers.

Besides, it makes those who have to be subsidized objects of charity when good health care should be a right, not unlike free public education.

9/25/2007 04:22:00 PM  

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