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Walked out of hospital yesterday.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011 by  
Filed under Daily Blog

April
6
2011
Health care is broken

Health care is broken

My lower back MRI isn’t happening. I went to my primary care physician twice, I was eventually informed that “…insurance company approval for an MRI” was obtained, I completed a lengthy phone interview with the hospital that was to perform the MRI (I couldn’t just say “there are absolutely no foreign objects in my body”, I had to answer about 100 specific questions) and, finally, at the hospital yesterday I completed another lengthy interview and signed a whole bunch of forms. After all that the gentleman at the registration desk smiled and said, “Your insurance company is only paying for part of the [several thousand dollar] procedure, so we’ll need payment for your co-pay plus your share of the costs. Gee, thanks for letting me know.

I’m not going to get into specifics, but I will say that my “share” was a 4-digit number… for a diagnostic procedure that quite possibly would not even yield any useful information about my lower back problems. Yep, we’re not even talking about treatment and I’m already being fleeced by the sham that our current health care/medical insurance system has become in the USA.

I said, “That’s ridiculous. Cancel the MRI.”, and I walked out on principle.

I’m not going to continue this rant, because it’s pointless to do so. I’ll just close out by saying I’m disgusted by the medical, pharmaceutical and health insurance industries in this country; it’s nothing but big business run amok.

John Stone Fitness Comments

8 Responses to “Walked out of hospital yesterday.”
  1. +1. Just got a $1300 bill for my wife’s echocardiogram. I switched jobs in November and the new insurance won’t cover the procedure because it’s for a pre-existing condition. Ridiculous.

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  2. If it makes you feel any better, there are SEVERAL studies documenting positive MRI findings in ASYMPTOMATIC patients. Meaning, they found something on the MRI that would normally be indicative of the problem, but patients actually showed no symptoms and did not complain of any problems. The MRI is not necessarily the “gold standard” for diagnosis of low back injuries.

    My suggestion is to find yourself a very good physical therapist (not physician and NOT a chiropractor), preferably one with a Doctor of Physical Therapy-DPT degree to evaluate you. In addition, a therapist licensed with the McKenzie method may be of value. Note that the above recommendation is somewhat biased because I am a physical therapy student, but I’ve met some pretty amazing PTs that understand the low back better than alot of physicians that I’ve met.

    As for your sentiments regarding the healthcare system in this country…well, you won’t get any arguments from me on that one.

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  3. I had a similiar situation a few months ago. I had a nuclear stress test. I thought I was only responsbile for the co-pay. Later, the doctor’s office sent me a statement, if I recall about $800.00. When I inquired with the insurance company, they told me I was responsible for 20%. But it was not 20% of the doctor’s charge, it was 20% of their negotiated rate with the doctor for that test, which was like $200.00. They told me that the doctor’s office was forbidden to charge anything more. You might want to check with the insurance company, and see if your insurance works the same way. It might not cost as much as you think.

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  4. John, what do you think a reasonable “share” would be? Some of it depends on your insurance and how much you pay in premiums, but I’m assuming you don’t think it should have been free? Like a $25 copayment or something?

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  5. Good for your insurance company. You said yourself that your back had quit hurting and that the MRI may not yield useful information. It is ridiculous for you to expect for the insurance to pay for this unnecessary test.

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