1. Patients launch $1.27 million crowdfunding campaign for ME/CFS gut microbiome study.
    Check out the website, Facebook and Twitter. Join in donate and spread the word!
AVIVA Semi-Finals: National ME/FM Action Network is competing for $100,000
The National ME/FM Action Network in Canada is competing for $100,000 for biomedical research of ME and FM in the Aviva Community Fund contest. With thanks to all who helped, they made it through the first round of voting into the Semi-Finals.
Discuss the article on the Forums.

Patient: “I felt like I was a hostage" (Costs Skyrocket; Specialists’ Incomes Soar)

Discussion in 'Other Health News and Research' started by Waverunner, Jan 19, 2014.

  1. Waverunner

    Waverunner Senior Member

    Messages:
    999
    Likes:
    854
    A very eye opening article from the New York Times. A professor for history had to undergo surgery for a skin cancer. While the surgery was not complicated and cost around 1,400 USD, she was ripped off with 25,000 USD because the doctor refused to treat the uncomplicated wound (which he was able to do) and forced her to visit a plastic surgeon next door, who then sedated her and treated the local wound within a few minutes. Just sick.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/19/h...ecialists-incomes-soar.html?ref=business&_r=1

    CONWAY, Ark. — Kim Little had not thought much about the tiny white spot on the side of her cheek until a physician’s assistant at her dermatologist’s office warned that it might be cancerous. He took a biopsy, returning 15 minutes later to confirm the diagnosis and schedule her for an outpatient procedure at the Arkansas Skin Cancer Center in Little Rock, 30 miles away...
     
  2. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

    Messages:
    7,692
    Likes:
    12,541
    Logan, Queensland, Australia
    Here you could probably get the whole thing done for a few hundred dollars. The system in the US is broken. Indeed I had something similar done a few years ago for under $100, most of which was covered by insurance. (It turned out to be benign after testing ... I don't recall what the path lab charged, that was extra.)
     
    SOC and Valentijn like this.
  3. Waverunner

    Waverunner Senior Member

    Messages:
    999
    Likes:
    854
    Yes, these procedures are much cheaper in Europe and mostly even have the same quality. The problem I see in the US are these high entry barriers for becoming a doctor. When leaving medical school, doctors have an average debt of 150,000 USD. In addition to this they need money for possible malpractice charges.This money is taken from the patients. In Europe however, doctors leave university without any debt and insurances only pay fixed prices. That helps to lower costs.
     
    Valentijn likes this.
  4. caledonia

    caledonia

    Messages:
    3,039
    Likes:
    1,711
    Cincinnati, OH, USA
    Second opinion.
     
  5. MeSci

    MeSci ME/CFS since 1995; activity level 6

    Messages:
    3,834
    Likes:
    4,593
    Cornwall, UK
    Here you would have it done for nothing! :)
     
  6. brenda

    brenda Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,327
    Likes:
    668
    UK
    True but you had to wait forever for appointments, an see rude doctors.
     
  7. SOC

    SOC Senior Member

    Messages:
    5,364
    Likes:
    6,445
    USA
    Doctors have a high education debt that needs to be paid, and I have no complaint with them earning enough to pay off that debt and live a nice life.

    My complaint is with those who make straight-up profit from medicine -- the owners/financiers of large medical practices, hospitals, and other associated businesses -- not the people working hard for their money, but the people with their private jets, yachts, and personal staffs who don't work very hard but suck large profits out of the industry. That includes administrators of "non-profit" medical organizations who don't make literal profits, but are paid wages (and bonuses) far, far beyond their actual contribution to the organization. Many of these non-profit medical organizations are only non-profit by a legal, but unethical, manipulation of the way the money is distributed. They don't make profit but their board and executives get absurdly large bonuses when they bring in more than they need to pay expenses. :rolleyes:

    I also have complaints about dishonest people in any business. That includes mechanics who insist your car needs expensive work that it really doesn't, plumbers who do an expensive fix when a simple one would do, contractors who use an expensive product when an equally good but less expensive one is available all because they make more money or they get a kickback from somewhere. Doctors who insist people need expensive procedures that they don't, or who prescribe medications based on where they get the most kickback rather than the needs of the patient also fall into this category. I find that activity particularly heinous in the medical world because people's health is involved and they're often worried and frightened. People taking advantage of the weak to make themselves richer always pisses me off. :mad:

    Yes, the US for-profit medical system is very broken.
     
  8. Waverunner

    Waverunner Senior Member

    Messages:
    999
    Likes:
    854
    The US system is too expensive and in Europe some patients get treated like cattle, that's the other problem. If you were rich, you definitely would like to be treated in the US and not in Europe.
     
    brenda likes this.
  9. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

    Messages:
    7,692
    Likes:
    12,541
    Logan, Queensland, Australia
    It still costs money even if you don't pay. In my case nearly all of it was paid for by our national health insurance, so it was almost free, but the fee itself was still only several hundred dollars.

    I have discussed the issues with the US before. One solution is indeed to do something about huge student loans, but that is not the real problem (though high debt does create doctor scarcity, and low wages for a general practitioner compared to specialists creates scarcity of family doctors).

    The problem, as I am coming to view it, is that most of the freedom of choice in the US is an illusion, controlled by regional hospital monopolies that are unregulated, HMOs and insurance companies. Its a defacto national monopoly, and you have the freedom of choice for overpaying, overpaying, or overpaying, unless the insurance will cover something, in which case you are restricted to what the insurance will allow or its back to overpaying. You then overpay for insurance as well.

    The average hospital technology is better in the US, but the average patient is treated far better, with more doctor face-time, in much of the developed world, and at a fraction of the cost.

    This is a classic case where the "free market' (though its not a free market) has failed. Its not the only such case though. Just look at the banking sector in 2008. Wall street is not a free market. Its not a free market if you can be repeatedly bailed out for colossal failed speculative investing.
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2014
    SOC, helios, Snowdrop and 1 other person like this.
  10. MeSci

    MeSci ME/CFS since 1995; activity level 6

    Messages:
    3,834
    Likes:
    4,593
    Cornwall, UK
    From what I've read in a recent thread, the rudeness seems quite universal!
     
    brenda likes this.
  11. MeSci

    MeSci ME/CFS since 1995; activity level 6

    Messages:
    3,834
    Likes:
    4,593
    Cornwall, UK
    I've heard that some UK patients are travelling to India for some ops!
     
  12. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

    Messages:
    7,692
    Likes:
    12,541
    Logan, Queensland, Australia
    Here many travel to Thailand. Medical tourism is thriving. Europe also have some of the best hospitals in the world, its the average hospital that is the problem.
     

See more popular forum discussions.

Share This Page