Why should the exact same treatment for pneumonia cost $5,000 in one building and $124,000 in another? Or the exact same infusion drug for a chronically ill patient that requires them every six weeks cost $14,000 per shot in one setting, but $28,000 down the street? Why should patients have to pay so much more, simply based on where they park their cars? The answer is simple: they shouldn’t.
A recent Gallup poll and a poll done shortly after 9/11 shed light on how healthcare’s hyperinflation and under-performance is fueling the Trump and Sanders phenomena. Financial anxiety and a general sense that things aren’t working sow the seed for movements. On the bright side, the horrible under-performance of how healthcare gets purchased and delivered has caused a few positive responses already
When it comes to the rising cost of medical care, Dr. Linda Girgis is quick to identify one of the most problematic symptoms: Patients who keep their mouths shut.
As a self-employed consultant and person of faith, David Schneider chose in 2012 to enroll his family in a health-care sharing ministry to cover their medical costs. Since then, Schneider’s family has received help with tens of thousands of dollars in medical expenses for surgeries on his legs and a son’s broken collarbone. In exchange, the family pays about $700 monthly, and the ministry is not responsible for the first $1,250 of medical expenses annually. The 54-year-old Columbus man’s experience has made him a convert to the increasingly popular alternative to traditional health insurance. In fact, Schneider said he convinced his new employer to offer taxable lump sums that employees can use to buy ministry memberships in lieu of joining the company’s health-insurance plan.
You're going to pay more for your health care this year, through rising premiums, more co-pays, higher deductibles or balance billing, which is when your doctor bills you for what the insurance company won't pay. The average deductible for 80 percent of people with private insurance was $1,217 in 2015, according to the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation. That's 47 percent higher than the average deductible in 2009, and more Americans are choosing higher deductibles next year in exchange for lower premiums. Bottom line: Health care spending will rise 4 percent in 2016. Disturbingly, there is little correlation between what a procedure costs and how much a provider bills for it, according to researchers at Yale University. Health insurers, hospitals and doctors say they must charge whatever the market will bear to stay in business, which means also turning a profit. If that's the case, patients have no choice than to demand lower prices, expect fairer billing and, whenever possible, shop around for the best deal.