"When you get those rare moments of clarity, those flashes when the universe makes sense, you try desperately to hold on to them. They are the life boats for the darker times, when the vastness of it all, the incomprehensible nature of life is completely illusive. So the question becomes, or should have been all a long... What would you do if you knew you only had one day, or one week, or one month to live. What life boat would you grab on to? What secret would you tell? What band would you see? What person would you declare your love to? What wish would you fulfill? What exotic locale would you fly to for coffee? What book would you write?"

Thursday, May 31, 2012

I Just Can't Agree

Alright so back in Mid-Winter I had to spend 3 days in the hospital for a general GI workup. Long story, doesn't have to be retold.

Well, ever since then I've felt a lot better. However ever since then I've been getting claims from my insurance company. None of them have been bills, but they've simply been telling me "We spent this much money on you-I hope you're happy!"

Well, I just got the total one for claims, that basically clumped everything together that I had previously known about. All together, my 3 day hospital stay- which included the following:

-ER services (medications, lab workup)
- CT Scan (1 view)
- daily lab workups
- blood cultures
- EGD (includes anesthesia)
- GI consult

Keep in mind this is a Community, non-profit hospital. Its the hospital I work in.

Whats the total bill?  $21,117.


Alright so thankfully I work there and so far all I've been asked to pay is $20 for the initial ER visit. So far benefits are awesome.

But still. What if I didn't have insurance? How in flipping monkey bean kingdom do people, so many of MY daily patients, pay for the extraordinary amount of care we provide? If my stay was 3 days, what does a 2 week stay look like? What does an ICU stay look like? How do the people pay that get 6 MD consults? Multiple unnecessary tests run?

So I thought about it. $21,000. That's like a year, A YEAR, at college. At my college I went to, that would cover my room and board and tuition combined for one year. Then I thought, whats the most expensive college I can think of, offhand? Harvard?  Its probably not the most expensive in the country but Its the one I chose to look up.

Tuition for Harvard for one year, for a student of my/my parents income, would be $20,600. So my THREE DAY hospital stay for a GENERAL work up on a MED/SURG unit at a NONPROFIT community hospital, cost $500 MORE than a YEAR at an IVY LEAGUE school.

How do we live in this kind of country? What is wrong with this picture? What is wrong with this health care system when a year's worth of education at one of our countries best schools is less expensive than a 3 day hospital stay when you're really sick?

Granted, I could go buy a corvette right now and spend more than a year's worth of tuition in just one signature, in one hour. Yes. But that would be my choice. I would save up for that, plan for that, work that into my budget. But people don't plan to get sick. They get slammed in the face with it.

I understand that I was seen in my ER after a two hour wait and I got a CT scan within 3 hours of being seen. In a country where healthcare is free, I might have had to wait weeks for that CT scan. I get that. But right now- If I hadn't had insurance, I damn well would have waited weeks for that CT scan if it meant I didn't have to pay. Then again they were ruling out appendicitis, so...

It just bothers me. I don't have enough research or political drive to slam against the entire system. I'm just pointing out a small flaw.



1 comment:

Jessica said...

Yeah it's really horrible. For my one day stay in the ER for my kidney stone, including some painkillers, CT scan, and 10 minute doctor visit, was like 16,000 dollars. Completely insane.