Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Sure, pay later, no problem


My problem with the health system is that even with a Medicare HMO (as long as those last), I can’t afford to go to the doctor or get anything done to me if I need it.

Big story in the NYT on how out-of-network anesthesiologists are giving people full anesthesia for colonoscopies then dunning like mad for payment. They backbill—won’t accept what the plan pays and go after the patient for the balance.

Writing in the Columbia Journalism Review, May 24, 2012, Trudy Lieberman writes about docs and dentists that hook patients up with medical credit cards at high interest, then when they know they will be paid, they switch to a more expensive procedure or in some cases, don’t even do the whole thing.

When you are in pain and the doctor says you need something, sign here, you may.

Some of these companies even say nothing will be charged unless you use the card, then they dump the whole loan on you right away—send money!

Well-known lenders offer these cards—JP Morgan Chase, GE Capital, and Cap One. Another biggie is Care Credit.

One card even says they concentrate on the financials so the doctor can get you the best care. Oooo, thanks.

Can we ever win? Oh, don’t tell me—I am feeling low today.

I also heard about bill collectors in the ER wearing scrubs.

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