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Bitter Pill: Why Medical Bills Are Killing Us
By Steven Brill Feb. 20, 2013
1. Routine Care, Unforgettable Bills
When Sean Recchi, a 42-year-old from Lancaster, Ohio, was told last March that he had non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, his wife Stephanie knew she had to get him to MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. Stephanie’s father had been treated there 10 years earlier, and she and her family credited the doctors and nurses at MD Anderson with extending his life by at least eight years.
Because Stephanie and her husband had recently started their own small technology business, they were unable to buy comprehensive health insurance. For $469 a month, or about 20% of their income, they had been able to get only a policy that covered just $2,000 per day of any hospital costs. “We don’t take that kind of discount insurance,” said the woman at MD Anderson when Stephanie called to make an appointment for Sean. Stephanie was then told by a billing clerk that the estimated cost of Sean’s visit — just to be examined for six days so a treatment plan could be devised — would be $48,900, due in advance. Stephanie got her mother to write her a check. “You do anything you can in a situation like that,” she says.
The Recchis flew to Houston, leaving Stephanie’s mother to care for their two teenage children.
About a week later, Stephanie had to ask her mother for $35,000 more so Sean could begin the treatment the doctors had decided was urgent. His condition had worsened rapidly since he had arrived in Houston. He was “sweating and shaking with chills and pains,” Stephanie recalls. “He had a large mass in his chest that was … growing. He was panicked.”
RELATED Is Big Pharma Addicted To Fraud? - Forbes
Nonetheless, Sean was held for about 90 minutes in a reception area, she says, because the hospital could not confirm that the check had cleared. Sean was allowed to see the doctor only after he advanced MD Anderson $7,500 from his credit card. The hospital says there was nothing unusual about how Sean was kept waiting. According to MD Anderson communications manager Julie Penne, “Asking for advance payment for services is a common, if unfortunate, situation that confronts Health & Family
Fat Bastardo's Op Ed:
As my readers know I have great disdain for several things: I think that most members of the financial industry should be in prison. I think Muslims suck. I can't stand most Rethuglicans and tea baggers but all of the aforementioned pale in comparison to the medical industry when it comes to death, theft and pure evil. The medical industry is without a doubt the biggest thief and killer on the planet.
What can you do about this holocaust?
1. If you are not a member of the medical industry about all you can do is NOT GET SICK. If you get sick or injured do what you can to avoid becoming a victim of the medical meat grinder.
2. If you are a member of medical industry you can become a whistle blower but before you report criminal activity at your hospital, lab, drug company or clinic you need to contact a whistle blower lawyer. A whistle blower/qui tam lawyer can protect you from reprisals by the corporate gangster and they can help you get huge monetary rewards.
3. You can write letters to the editor and leave comments on social media. If 10,000 people wrote one thing a day on every social media platform for a year the internet would be awash with comments discussing the criminal enterprise that is US health care.
Isn't is worth your time and effort?
Let's stop this holocaust! Get involved!
More wrong doing at M.D. Anderson
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