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View Diary: Justin Amash (R) gets Town Hall question: "Why would we want to trust insurance companies...?" (170 comments)

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  •  I was kind of flummoxed (26+ / 0-)

    when I had my first experience of hospitalization here in the US. I'm screaming in pain (broken leg), the paramedics get me into the ambulance, and then one of them turns to me and says, "where do you want to go? Hospital A or B?"

    I'm not sure if this is typical down here, or if this is a factor of privatization or what. What I do know is that it was absolutely fatuous for me to be expected to make a choice when I'm nearly blacking out from the pain.

    In the end, I went with hospital B, because I had a vague impression that the building was newer: in my muddled head, I had made the back-of-the-envelope guess that newer building = fancier equipment = better doctors. But this business of making a "choice," as if consumer choice were a kind of paramount right above all other rights... there are some situations where it seems positively insane to make us go through the whole comparison-shopping free market rigamarole. Don't ask me to pick a hospital. Just take me to the closest one -- and give me some damn morphine.

    Nothing requires a greater effort of thought than arguments to justify the rule of non-thought. -- Milan Kundera

    by Dale on Sat Aug 31, 2013 at 01:38:24 PM PDT

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    •  Then say "the closest one" (14+ / 0-)

      because WE HAVE TO ASK if you are conscious and even if not, we have to ask family if they are around. Sorry that seems such a trivial question in such a time, but it is still the patient's choice if there is more than one hospital in the area.

      It has nothing to do with prices and competition. It is patient preference. Period.

      To tweet or not to tweet. I tweet therefore I am.

      by RadicalParrot on Sat Aug 31, 2013 at 03:08:46 PM PDT

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      •  patient preference driven by... (15+ / 0-)

        What my health insurance considers in-network.  

        Although Hospital B is newer, 5 minutes closer to my home, and is known for high-quality insurance considers it out-of-network.  My deductible and coinsurance are 2x what they are for in-network.  

        So I would ask to go to Hospital A, in-network, which is notorious for medical mistakes, and hope the mistake they make on me this time is smaller than the last one.

        True patient preference?  Hospital A would go out of business.

        •  And why is one "in-network" and one isn't? (5+ / 0-)

          They have already negotiated their prices.

          What a racket. And I don't mean number 1 or 2 from the list below.

          a loud noise or clamor, especially of a disturbing or confusing kind; din; uproar: The traffic made a terrible racket in the street below.
          social excitement, gaiety, or dissipation.
          an organized illegal activity, such as bootlegging or the extortion of money from legitimate business people by threat or violence.
          a dishonest scheme, trick, business, activity, etc.: the latest weight-reducing racket.
          Usually, the rackets. organized illegal activities: Some say that the revenue from legalized gambling supports the rackets.

          This better be good. Because it is not going away.

          by DerAmi on Sat Aug 31, 2013 at 10:39:38 PM PDT

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          •  Playing hardball (0+ / 0-)

            I've been told by someone in the industry that as a negotiating tactic, hospital A/health system A offers significant discounts to the insurance co under the condition that they exclude the competition (hospital/health system B).

            Why am I not surprised...

            I once had my insurance with Hospital/System B. Billing for childbirth & pre-approval for major surgery was a breeze.

            Then my employer changed, and my coverage.  

            Misdiagnosis, lack of follow up care and messed-up billing with Hospital A cost me dearly in time, energy, $ and internal organs.

        •  I do get that (4+ / 0-)

          and it is part of the reason we ask, though not such an issue in NY as our healthcare regulations are pretty  progressive already. I'm just a bit defensive when it comes to my profession. My apologies.

          To tweet or not to tweet. I tweet therefore I am.

          by RadicalParrot on Sun Sep 01, 2013 at 01:55:55 AM PDT

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          •  Not an indictment... (0+ / 0-)

            Of you or your profession.  By any means.

            It's not news that the system is broken. I'm sorry you get caught up in it on a regular basis. It stinks to have to present people with bad choices.

            I have a cousin who's an EMT/firefighter. Thank you for what you do.

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