Random Thoughts Part II

I am amazed, we are going to let people, who have never run anything, so much as the local drugstore or a physician’s office, make millions upon millions of medical decisions for people they do not even know or have never met in this life?

The very same group of people are going to make our medical and dialysis decisions, what is their previous track record?

It is very easy to be "understanding and “compassionate” when third-parties do not have to live each and every day with their decisions. I am curious, does 100,000 people on the kidney transplant list ring any bells?

Why is it any business of government bureaucrats how much I want to pay for an office visit to my physician?

“Half the harm that is done in this world is due to people who want to feel important. They don’t mean to do harm — but the harm does not interest them. Or they do not see it, or they justify it because they are absorbed in the endless struggle to think well of themselves.” (T.S. Eliot)

So, your health is worth these people thinking well of themselves and their unending arrogance?

Who do you think reviews claims now for insurance companies? You’ve had this process for years–you just didn’t know it.

Dori, I am well aware that there are people for the insurance company who make those decisions. I worked for the government. When I had private insurance, I was never denied anything, I always received what I needed. If you read employer sponsored plans they are much better than government plans. Why do you think it is that physicians and hospitals, 98% of the time, accept private plans and many times turn down government plans? A very good friend of mine is a bankruptcy attorney and he has seen Medicaid patients having to wait for months to see a provider or they are rejected because Medicaid does not pay for the cost of care. The simple fact is that everything that the government has become involved in, it has made that field worse, medicine, college tuition costs, and dialysis. Dialysis is socialized medicine and have you noticed that in other fields of medicine that the client or patient is well treated and the dialysis client is so poorly treated? I had a cancer RN who started working in dialysis tell me that he could not believe how badly dialysis patients are treated.

Quite honestly, I do not trust the government or health insurance companies. This is why I am in favor of high deductible plans. For the vast majority of people, high deductible plans are much cheaper than first dollar coverage. Most people do not realize that the average health insurance company profit is around 5 percent and has stayed consistently at that level for many years. What many do not realize is that costs are going thru the roof because of hospital costs, simply because the hospital decides to charge more money, it just that simple.

According to the article, “If the Congressional Budget Office’s projections are right, health care will account for almost all increases in government spending for the foreseeable future, excluding interest on the debt. And increasing spending on hospital care is the biggest driver of rising health-insurance premiums, which are in turn the main cause of wage stagnation for middle-income Americans.”

The article notes, “The average hospital stay in the developed world costs $6,222. In the United States, the average hospital stay costs $18,142. That’s true even though the average hospital stay in the U.S. is only five days long, two days shorter than the OECD average. You might guess that the extra $12,000 pays for whiz-bang technology or extra services that Europeans don’t use, but studies have shown that most of the difference cannot be explained by such factors. American hospitals simply charge higher prices.”

As the article notes, “Hospital monopolies and oligopolies use their market power just as other monopolies do: to raise prices. James Robinson of the University of California looked at six common categories of hospital procedures, such as pacemaker insertions and knee replacements, and compared what hospitals charged for those procedures. He found that hospitals in markets with above-average HHI scores — the highly consolidated ones — charged 44 percent more than their brethren in markets with below-average HHI scores. And nearly all of that extra revenue from higher prices went straight to hospitals’ bottom lines, where it could be used to pay higher salaries, build new wings, and swallow smaller competitors.”

NDXUFan writes:

In other words, hospitals, without any competition, jack up prices thru the roof. Look at all of the hospitals who are buying out the competition, why, because they want to eliminate competition and charge us much higher prices. I know it is convenient to blame the health insurance companies, but the evidence does not bear out that conclusion. What we really need is to eliminate “Certificate of Need” laws that destroy hospital competition and allow hospitals to charge us much higher prices. Do you remember how arrogant cable companies were years ago? The exact same thing is happening with hospitals and dialysis providers. If you do not think that hospitals and dialysis providers are in need of competition, I cannot think of any other group of people who are so badly in need of competition. Do you really think that Kent Thiry is not in need of competition? If I would give anyone competition, Kent Thiry and friends would be my first people on the competition list. How many dialysis patients were invited to the Corporate DaVita drunkfest??? If you answered “Zero” you would be correct. Who was it again that made the billions in Davita corporate profits, possible? If you answered “dialysis patients” come to the front of the class. Who was it that said that “patients are not the focus of Davita?” If you answered “Kent Thiry” once again, you are correct. Again, when we see the absolutely crappy care that is given by Kent Thiry and Davita, if that is not enough for them to be shut down by the Federal and State regulators, at what point will they be held responsible? Davita does not give life, they give care that they would never, ever, ever accept for themselves or their families and relatives. If Thiry believes that the dialysis care that his company gives is enough to sustain life, he has been getting wasted at the Davita drunkfest or he has been smoking pot, giving him serious delusions.