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View Diary: What I Keep Not Hearing About Medicare (182 comments)

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  •  I also think very highly of traditional Medicare, (10+ / 0-)

    Vera Lofaro, and I also support single payer for everyone. I'm disgusted by the notion that some minor functionary at an insurance company can get a bonus for refusing to authorize treatment to someone who needs it. And, yes, that absolutely DOES happen.

    I went back to school in my 50s and worked part time in the office of a physician friend of mine to finance it. I billed Medicare, insurance companies, and got pre-authorizations for the people whose policies required it. Ugh, I got out of that job as quickly as I could, so I'm by no means an expert, but I did see some hair-raising refusals to authorize treatment.

    Also, I saw that the for-profit insurance companies would drag out payment, especially on larger bills, for as much as 6 months or even a year by requesting special reports on this or that, "losing" claims, etc., while Medicare engages in no such nonsense. My friend, a pretty savvy business man as well as a physician, convinced me that getting the quick, albeit generally lower, payment from Medicare had its benefits over wrestling with a for-profit company. In fact, more and more for-profit insurance companies actually insist on negotiating cut rate deals with physicians before they'll pre-authorize so the rate differential is no longer as great as some people believe.

    Eliminate tax breaks that stimulate the offshoring of jobs.

    by RJDixon74135 on Fri Oct 12, 2012 at 10:44:27 AM PDT

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    •  And nobody including the doctor has any idea (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      how much a procedure or test costs.

    •  As a physician (1+ / 0-)
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      I can tell you the most frustrating parts of my job usually revolve around talking to some uneducated insurance company hack on the phone for pre-authorization or somesuch, who is trying as hard as he can to deny care I know my patient needs.

      Whenever some GOP talking head references the 'death panels' or more recently the Payment Advisory Board I wish someone would point out we already have much worse than that in the greedy insurance companies, making de facto treatment decisions. Do people really trust them more than a government agency which at least theoretically has transparency and responsiveness to voters?

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