Seven dollars and forty cents – no sense

November 1, 2008

Seven dollars and forty cents hardly seems like an amount that should erect a barrier to health care.

In fact, when Mr. Koch (all names are fictitious) called to complain about this bill for seven dollars and forty cents, my first reaction was, “You should appreciate how lucky you are that you have a health care plan that pays most of your bills. Why are you quibbling over $7.40?”
Of course, that is not an appropriate customer service response.

But listen to Mr. Koch. “This bill is for two pain pills that were given to me when I was admitted to the hospital for an emergency surgery.   Medicare won’t pay for the pills because they were “self-administered.” Read the rest of this entry »


The Amazing US Health Care System

October 14, 2008

Amazing seems a most appropriate word to describe the financing and delivery of health care services in the United States of America.

According to Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, 9th Edition (OK, I have an old dictionary) amazing is derived from a French word meaning “to confuse”.  Obsolete meanings include consternation, bewilderment and perplexing.

Yes, health care in the US is truly amazing.  Rube Goldberg could not have invented a more illogical maze of non-systems.  Lewis Carroll’s might have added an additional chapter on Alice’s efforts to get those pills that made her big and small.  Kafka might imagine a special Penal Colony for those responsible for this maze.

I should be careful on this last point, since I am part of that system. Read the rest of this entry »