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(Time)   Snake bite causes $89,000 hospital bill. It would have been less but the snake demanded a private room   (healthland.time.com) divider line 157
    More: Asinine, North Carolina, hospitals, uncompensated care, medical bills, Mooresville, emergency rooms  
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6318 clicks; posted to Main » on 31 Jan 2014 at 8:26 AM (46 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

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2014-01-31 08:43:52 PM  

grinding_journalist: Regardless of other health issues, dialysis treatment for ESRD/585.6 patients costs $150,000/person/year. NIH estimates that there are 20 MILLION people receiving these treatments

Yeah, but we're the goddamned U. S. of A.  $300 trillion/year to pay for dialysis is chump change.

/wait a minute...
2014-01-31 08:47:13 PM  
What did I just do?  That was supposed to be $3 trillion.
Either way, trying to point out that your numbers can't be right.  Apparently mine aren't either.  I blame beer (the cause and solution to all life's problems, ya know)
2014-01-31 09:32:08 PM  

BenJammin: Ficoce: BenJammin: Ficoce: BenJammin: Ficoce: BenJammin: RedPhoenix122: Headline:   Snake Bite Costs North Carolina Couple $89,000 Hospital Bill

I am not sure how computing an hourly rate based upon your copay figures into this, since it is how much your insurance benefit saves you over no insurance.  Were blood and urine tests also done?   Since you are 50+ish  are you going to get colonoscoped?  My annual checkup, which I pay nothing for, because it is part of their wellness program,  includes blood and uring lab work,  EKG  and chest xray (every other  year).  The colonoscope with anesthesia is $20 copay.
If you had some very expensive illness the only thing that really matters in calculating the benefit is how much you saved over not having the insurance.  Even if the insurance company had an agreement with a hospital so that a $50,000 charge only cost them $15,000.  the fact that without insurance you would have received a bill for the "retail" amount.
Insurance is not fun to pay, and there's always the tendency to feel you are not getting your money's worth (I am not in the insuracne biz, and my rates piss me off), but having worked and saved for the nicer things, it's easier to get upset over an expensive bill than over losing my house and a significant part of my life's savings from a catastrophic medical expenses.

Actually, blood and urine tests were done the next day. I'd had a bowl of cereal that morning, but skipped lunch - don't want to mess up those tests! Another $20, cha ching!.

I know you don't work for insurance company, because you would cost them money. And you probably don't work in the non-profit medical industry - why pay you when they get a cheerleader for free?

Any business, and I mean any business, that invoices $89,000, but will accept $20,000 as payment in full as a standard business practice are thieves and crooks. Don't you realize that's your money? These hospitals are non-profit, tax exempt. I'm not being conservative when I say millions of people go through life without any major medical issues. Most of the medical needs for people happen after they reach 50 - right at the time they can't afford medical; fixed pension, SS, they might have a home and a little savings. They've spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on insurance during their producing years that is just gone. They could really use that money now to make their own choice about long term care. Selling the house isn't going to cut it - you seen the price of rest homes? It can be $4 grand/mo without medical.  You think the kids want to deal with it? Just think if you had the house paid off, SS coming in, a little 401K plan to play with - and $150,000 to take care of any medical crap that comes along - the kids might just take care of you while approaching room temperature.

Yes, I've had a colonoscopy - The Silver Bullet. You bend over and some doc spends less than a minute moving the dingleberries and gerbils out of the way to check for polyps and other odd things. If it looks good a biopsy isn't even done. An inexpensive procedure at $2000+, lol. Anyone with minor training and finds it enjoyable can perform it. You can have it done in Mexico tomorrow for less than $350, and come home with a tan. Really, you could have a vacation for less than the procedure costs here.

You can't stick up for the crooks - maybe if we had the cheapest care in the world; sadly, that's not the way it is. They can still cap the dollar limit with ACA and stop paying, leaving you holding the bag - can you tell me what an essential medical procedure will be 5 years from now? Ten? Nope, and nobody's making any promises either.
2014-01-31 09:40:42 PM  
The fact that they hardly EVER use antivenom for copperhead bites, especially in a healthy individual, raises some red flags for me.  It completely deviates from the standard of care, which is typically just supportive along with some antibiotics.  Also, because you found this (online??) from a range of $750 - $12,000 per vial, you concluded it was worth $750.  That makes sense.  No hospital pays that little for that particular antivenom.  Also, when it's used, you have to use multiple vials.  And we're just ignoring the fact that even the hospital knows they'll never receive $89,000, the insurance company negotiates it to a fraction of that, just as you can if you lack insurance and pay out of pocket.

The arguments made in the thread are valid.  But I'm sure we can use a less shady article to spark the debate.
2014-01-31 09:46:05 PM  

SoupJohnB: My question when I read TFA was - what kind of snake?  For the price tag on those anti-venom vials, I wondered if they were keeping a farkin' cobra as a pet.  But the linked report said the dude was bitten outside, where he felt a "bee sting," then saw fang marks.  My guesses would be a small rattler, moccasin or copperhead, based on that location.

/when something bites me outside, I don't leave whatever it was to guesswork

A different article on this particular incident said it was a copperhead.  Which raises my bullshiat flag right away considering the standard treatment is just supportive because it's not remotely life-threatening.
2014-01-31 09:53:45 PM  

zimbomba63: Fubini: zimbomba63: What you say makes a lot of sense, you know, if anybody could a medical degree from a coupon off a box of breakfast cereal.  But, if I had to do the whole medical school grind, I think I'd want a little compensation for the effort.  The idea of doing all that, and ending up just a smidge better off, than a guy who may not have graduated from high school and spends the day sweeping up on the loading dock, would be kind of stupid.  But, hey, that's just me.

No one is saying they shouldn't be better off, but the question is just how much better off they should be. According to the BLS the MEDIAN "physicians and surgeons" wage is $187,000 per year.


The median wage in the US is sitting at something like $34K. The median wage for college educated people is something like $55K. The median wage for people with doctorates (not doctors) is about $84K per year.

Is the median doctor really worth 2.2 times more than the median doctorate?


What about engineers? Chemical engineers make a median wage of $90K. Computer scientists and engineers make a median wage of $84K. Mechanical engineers make a median wage of $78K.

Is the median doctor really worth twice as much as the median engineer?


No one is saying that doctors shouldn't be compensated well for what they do, but how much do they really need? They make exorbitant amounts more than average college educated people, even the traditionally high-paying occupations. They make way more than average people with doctoral degrees, who usually have about as much time invested in their education as a doctor would (median time to graduation is typically another 4.5-5.5 years depending on field of study).

Is that $187,000, before or after malpractice insurance?  The story, there's always more to it.

And before or after you paid the monthly bill for your 250K (I'll be lucky to cap out at 300 in total) debt.  And all the little bullshiat.  Just paid $1400 for my Step 2CS and a little less for step 2ck.  And just paid $100 just for the privilege of applying for residency.  Test prep I don't even want to talk about.  Each additional program you apply to adds $26, and it's not uncommon to apply for close to 100 programs.  Then flying to each interview hoping you'll just get one acceptance.  It's farking hilarious to hear how doctors are just buying boats and mansions (right out of medical school? believe someone above actually said this).  So far from reality.  I'll be lucky to make $175K as a psychiatrist.  Which would be great except for said endless buttfarking bills.
2014-01-31 10:14:21 PM  

Sean M: Target Builder: That said, the sales tax rates in Sweden would probably cause a lot of Americans to go into cardiac arrest at the supermarket checkout.

If you add in the costs of health insurance, health care, AND taxes Americans pay, the Swedish taxes look rather low / attractive.

and if you add in how  effective Swedish hospitals and doctors are compared to their American counterparts, the Swedish taxes look like an absolute bargain.

I never accused Americans of considering either what all their taxes add up to or what their taxes pay for.
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