So I go to the doctor for ten minutes and.....

So I go to the doctor for ten minutes and.....

Joined: March 30th, 2007, 12:27 am

February 26th, 2018, 4:24 pm #1

No big deal. I am old and insurance pays all but five bucks but I go to a surgeon who is going to patch my forehead after an upcoming  MOS surgery...and I get this bill, a "new patient" bill it says and it is five hundred and forty four dollars for what, a ten minute look see. Ten minutes!
Medical costs are insane and who is going to stop this spiral? The bureaucracies are so big and so convoluted change is next to impossible. Congress will debate it until the cows come home and the medical associations will shove truckloads of dollars at the politicians to paralyze any voting for change.

We can't just continue to "let insurance pay" because then it will never stop and costs will fall on the shoulders of those who pay insurance premiums and who cannot afford these excessive costs.

This is all part of the SWAMP that is supposed to be draining. What is it going to take...a full on revolution?
You make a living by what you get. You make a life by what you give..
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Joined: November 13th, 2010, 12:37 pm

February 26th, 2018, 5:04 pm #2

It's Mohs surgery, named for the Dr. who developed it. 

I had Mohs surgery a while back -- it took only one excision and I was done. The bill came to a ridiculous amount. I don't remember if I had a ridiculous "new patient" surcharge or not, but it wouldn't surprise me if I had. 

I do remember looking over the itemized receipt and marveling at the $3000 or so that the doc charged for the three stitches it took to close the wound. I remember the that part of the procedure taking maybe 5 minutes. I guess he charges $1k per stitch.

Then I got the the "facilities" charges from the hospital, not the doc. Whoa! Another $2000 from them for the 5-minute process of inserting 3 stitches! 

So, three stitches take about 5 minute, and a total charge of about $5000. I should have just slapped a butterfly bandage on it and been done with it. 

People gripe about insurance companies and so on, but the real force driving the high cost of medical care is these out-of-control ridiculous charges. You see the profits made by insurance companies and swoon at the absolute number, but when you consider the va$t amount of $$ that they handle, their profit margin is only a few % at best -- and that's for the ones that make money. A lot don't.(Neighborhood, I'm lookin' at you here...)

I'm not sure what can be done, given that the Repugs have a large percentage of the voting public brainwashed into thinking that the status quo is the best, and that medical care sucks on all the rest of the industrialized world where a different mode of payment/delivery is in play. 
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Joined: September 1st, 2012, 8:06 am

February 26th, 2018, 6:46 pm #3

Just shut up and listen for 3 and-a-half minutes. I dare you,

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Joined: January 9th, 2008, 8:26 pm

February 27th, 2018, 8:57 am #4

Fortune Cookie wrote: It's Mohs surgery, named for the Dr. who developed it. 

I had Mohs surgery a while back -- it took only one excision and I was done. The bill came to a ridiculous amount. I don't remember if I had a ridiculous "new patient" surcharge or not, but it wouldn't surprise me if I had. 

I do remember looking over the itemized receipt and marveling at the $3000 or so that the doc charged for the three stitches it took to close the wound. I remember the that part of the procedure taking maybe 5 minutes. I guess he charges $1k per stitch.

Then I got the the "facilities" charges from the hospital, not the doc. Whoa! Another $2000 from them for the 5-minute process of inserting 3 stitches! 

So, three stitches take about 5 minute, and a total charge of about $5000. I should have just slapped a butterfly bandage on it and been done with it. 

People gripe about insurance companies and so on, but the real force driving the high cost of medical care is these out-of-control ridiculous charges. You see the profits made by insurance companies and swoon at the absolute number, but when you consider the va$t amount of $$ that they handle, their profit margin is only a few % at best -- and that's for the ones that make money. A lot don't.(Neighborhood, I'm lookin' at you here...)

I'm not sure what can be done, given that the Repugs have a large percentage of the voting public brainwashed into thinking that the status quo is the best, and that medical care sucks on all the rest of the industrialized world where a different mode of payment/delivery is in play. 
it all starts with the $3000 ride to the hospital
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Joined: November 13th, 2010, 12:37 pm

February 27th, 2018, 9:51 am #5

I've had only one of those and it was closer to $1000. 
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Joined: March 30th, 2007, 12:27 am

February 27th, 2018, 11:43 am #6

battlingignorance wrote: Just shut up and listen for 3 and-a-half minutes. I dare you,

Hey, I always scream or cheer back at these and you want me to shut up? I'll cheer thank you!
You make a living by what you get. You make a life by what you give..
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Joined: January 2nd, 2008, 1:30 am

February 27th, 2018, 12:18 pm #7

First of all, there is no set price for anything.  My husband had hip replacement surgery.  The bill from the hospital was about $55,000.  The insurance reduced that to $35,000.  We paid our copay of $275.  Who pays $55,000? --- probably almost no one.  What medical procedures cost from facility to facility, from insurance company to insurance company, from patient to patient is a crap shoot.
Secondly, your doctor has terrific overhead.  His school loans are tremendous.  Her malpractice insurance is sky high.  His equipment and technology costs keeps going up.  And of course, you have to pay the legion of support staff who have to battle every day with the insurance companies to pay up.
As a society, we refuse to look at the high cost of continuing to provide for medical services this way.
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Joined: November 13th, 2010, 12:37 pm

February 27th, 2018, 5:37 pm #8

I'm sorry, but there is no defense or justification for the ridiculous charges I saw for three stitches. 
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Joined: June 3rd, 2006, 8:10 pm

February 28th, 2018, 5:37 pm #9

Health tourism is the answer. A procedure that costs 30k in the USA costs far less in countries like Mexico or India. So take a trip, save tons of money and enjoy the experience.
"What can be asserted without proof can be dismissed without proof." - Christopher Hitchens
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Joined: August 13th, 2005, 5:30 am

February 28th, 2018, 7:59 pm #10

I've got a gazillion rants about health care and med costs.

Prilosec.  Prescribed for a relative who never had an acid reflux problem.  When I questioned the doc about why he prescribed it, he said that some of her meds may cause acid reflux and it was preventative.  Could we not wait and see if she develops a problem?

Her co-pays changed in her plan at one point and when I went to pick up the scrip one day there was a $50 co-pay for Prilosec, 30 day scrip.  I declined to take the scrip (once the pharmacy hands it over there is no giving it back).  I called her doc, explained the situation, and asked if I could do OTC.  Sure, they said.  I bought generic Omeprazole off the shelf - 90 days worth for about 1/2 of the $50.00 co-pay for 30 days.  Of course I had to Google the Prilosec issue and found that insurers started to charge the high co-pay because it was available at far less cost OTC - totally understandable.  Begs the question - do docs get a kickback for prescribing brands?

Right now, at Market Basket, Prilosec brand 25 tabs - $10.99.  Top Care brand, 25 tabs, $3.99.

Doxycycline.  Exact same pill/dosage - exact - for a human costs 3x times more than the pill bought through a vet for a horse.
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Joined: June 3rd, 2006, 8:10 pm

March 1st, 2018, 7:50 am #11

Cathy (Admin) wrote: I've got a gazillion rants about health care and med costs.

Prilosec.  Prescribed for a relative who never had an acid reflux problem.  When I questioned the doc about why he prescribed it, he said that some of her meds may cause acid reflux and it was preventative.  Could we not wait and see if she develops a problem?

Her co-pays changed in her plan at one point and when I went to pick up the scrip one day there was a $50 co-pay for Prilosec, 30 day scrip.  I declined to take the scrip (once the pharmacy hands it over there is no giving it back).  I called her doc, explained the situation, and asked if I could do OTC.  Sure, they said.  I bought generic Omeprazole off the shelf - 90 days worth for about 1/2 of the $50.00 co-pay for 30 days.  Of course I had to Google the Prilosec issue and found that insurers started to charge the high co-pay because it was available at far less cost OTC - totally understandable.  Begs the question - do docs get a kickback for prescribing brands?

Right now, at Market Basket, Prilosec brand 25 tabs - $10.99.  Top Care brand, 25 tabs, $3.99.

Doxycycline.  Exact same pill/dosage - exact - for a human costs 3x times more than the pill bought through a vet for a horse.
May I suggest ranitidine, also known as Zantac, doesn't have the nasty side effects like all the other acid reflux meds. Was told by a doctor that it has very little effect on the body other than very effective symptom relief.
"What can be asserted without proof can be dismissed without proof." - Christopher Hitchens
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Joined: April 27th, 2011, 4:12 pm

March 1st, 2018, 11:33 am #12

I've been trying to get off prilosec for a while now. Missing a day results in rebound heartburn worse than why I even went on it in the first place.

Studies suggest this garbage can lead to kidney disease, dementia and weakening of the bones. I'm pretty sure this includes all PPI's. I take the delayed stuff, so I'm probably going to have to wean myself off by counting the friggin beads.
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Joined: November 13th, 2010, 12:37 pm

March 1st, 2018, 1:10 pm #13

gator wrote: I've been trying to get off prilosec for a while now. Missing a day results in rebound heartburn worse than why I even went on it in the first place.

Studies suggest this garbage can lead to kidney disease, dementia and weakening of the bones. I'm pretty sure this includes all PPI's. I take the delayed stuff, so I'm probably going to have to wean myself off by counting the friggin beads.
This is true and this is why it is best to avoid long-term use of PPIs.

Ranitidine is NOT a PPI. It's a histamine blocker - blocks the H2 receptor, which is involved in inducing acid production in the stomach. A completely different mechanism. It's considered to have almost no adverse affects. 

There are other H2 blockers besides ranitidine, but I believe most people find ranitidine the most effective. 

Others include cimetidine, famotidine, and nizatadine - tagamet, pepcid, and axid, respectively. 
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Joined: April 27th, 2011, 4:12 pm

March 1st, 2018, 7:55 pm #14

Cathy (Admin) wrote: I've got a gazillion rants about health care and med costs.

Prilosec.  Prescribed for a relative who never had an acid reflux problem.  When I questioned the doc about why he prescribed it, he said that some of her meds may cause acid reflux and it was preventative.  Could we not wait and see if she develops a problem?

Her co-pays changed in her plan at one point and when I went to pick up the scrip one day there was a $50 co-pay for Prilosec, 30 day scrip.  I declined to take the scrip (once the pharmacy hands it over there is no giving it back).  I called her doc, explained the situation, and asked if I could do OTC.  Sure, they said.  I bought generic Omeprazole off the shelf - 90 days worth for about 1/2 of the $50.00 co-pay for 30 days.  Of course I had to Google the Prilosec issue and found that insurers started to charge the high co-pay because it was available at far less cost OTC - totally understandable.  Begs the question - do docs get a kickback for prescribing brands?

Right now, at Market Basket, Prilosec brand 25 tabs - $10.99.  Top Care brand, 25 tabs, $3.99.

Doxycycline.  Exact same pill/dosage - exact - for a human costs 3x times more than the pill bought through a vet for a horse.
Aquarium fish take the same antibiotics as humans, often in the same doses. I've read about people with no health insurance taking them LOL. Some of the reviews on Amazon are hilarious!
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Joined: August 13th, 2005, 5:30 am

March 1st, 2018, 9:29 pm #15

Holy cow, I remember reading about the fish flakes thing and thinking, "Hmmm."  Then thinking, "No." lol.  

I was uber curious about the horse pill, though (mostly because I am just a curious person), and compared the stamps on the pills.  Identical.  I have a couple of vet techs in the family who confirmed the difference between the cost of identical pharmaceuticals re: getting a scrip at a Vet vs an MD scrip at a pharmacy.  Occasionally, the reverse is true - an animal's scrip can be cheaper to fill at a Walmart.
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Joined: April 27th, 2011, 4:12 pm

March 5th, 2018, 3:46 pm #16

Only $40 to hold your own child after birth. What a deal!

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Joined: August 13th, 2005, 5:30 am

March 5th, 2018, 9:22 pm #17

I've learned that when I feel outrage at something I've read online, I Google before my blood pressure gets too high - much healthier, lol.

So the charge was actually for a doula, which makes me feel better:

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/doula-expl ... iral-post/
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Joined: April 27th, 2011, 4:12 pm

March 6th, 2018, 6:12 pm #18

Dammit. I've been punked fake news!
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