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What the F**K? Hospital holds skull for money???

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What the F**K? Hospital holds skull for money???

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Old 05-14-04, 10:16 AM
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http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/3706631.stm

Isn't this going a tiny bit too far? What kind of a country do we live in?
Anyone get hit by a car while on a bike or something and have insurance nightmares like this?
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Old 05-14-04, 10:26 AM
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Originally Posted by slvoid
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/3706631.stm

Isn't this going a tiny bit too far? What kind of a country do we live in?
Anyone get hit by a car while on a bike or something and have insurance nightmares like this?
that's horrible! although my story is less dramatic than this - i was in a car accident when i was 17 and cut my head really badly on the sun visor. they couldn't stitch me up until they had reached my parents to verify insurance (i was under 18 i guess), so i had to lay there on a strecher bleeding for almost 2 hours! to make matters worse, the cop came in and gave me a ticket...he laid it on my chest(!!!) because i was still in the strecher.
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Old 05-14-04, 10:36 AM
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I get scared when I'm on my bike more of the hospital bills than actually wrecking. The thing that keeps going on in my mind is that if a car hits me and I need surgery, I'd end up back on my feet and the hospital would end up repossessing everything I have, docking my pay, and screwing up my credit for the next 20 years, at which point I'd rather have died.
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Old 05-14-04, 10:38 AM
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That article made me feel light-headed... though... I'm sure... not as much as she did... seriously - that's messed up... a frickin'helmet??
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Old 05-14-04, 10:59 AM
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Originally Posted by slvoid
I get scared when I'm on my bike more of the hospital bills than actually wrecking. The thing that keeps going on in my mind is that if a car hits me and I need surgery, I'd end up back on my feet and the hospital would end up repossessing everything I have, docking my pay, and screwing up my credit for the next 20 years, at which point I'd rather have died.
no kidding. my old roommate once cancelled a ski trip because he was between jobs and just couldn't take the financial risk of getting hurt.
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Old 05-14-04, 11:45 AM
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People should be as outraged with this as they are with all other stuff!!!
Shouldn't they think fix her first and then worry about who is going to pay.. Most American's couldn't afford this type of surgery if it wasn't for insurance.

What if it was you or one of your family members? I hope the doctors and hospitals lose their licenses.. The insurance companies should be fined big big $$$. That is the only way they will feel any pain..
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Old 05-14-04, 02:07 PM
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I gaurantee you the surgeon would have done it for free. But since his fee is 1/10th of the cost of renting the operating room, paying for a nurse ansthetist, scrub nurses, etc. etc. the hospital probably would not let him do it. This happens all the time.... surgeons are willing to do the surgery for nothing, but the hospital does not allow him the operating room time

. If she was smart, she should have signed the form, had the surgery, and then declared bankruptcy. It's a trick that works here.

Also, most hospitals are quite humane. One patient from Russian had open heart surgery. Luckily, the cardiothoracic surgeon did it for free and the anesthesiologist also wrote it off, but the hospital bill was over 20,000. They allowed her to make only 50.00 a month as a payment schedule. I think hospitals just want to know you will try, they know most can't pay. The sad thing is, from a liability standpoint, a majority of lawsuits against docs or hospitals are from the uninsured, (as a means of recovering money for the procedure) and so hospitals and docs are getiing more gunshy treating them. (They can't refuse them in emergencies but relative elective procedures are indefinatley delayed.) Sad.
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Old 05-14-04, 02:18 PM
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Not trying to be callous, but living in Ontario has some great benifits, OHIP leading the way.
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Old 05-14-04, 03:56 PM
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I'd much rather have my taxes paying for the torture of Iraqis rather than putting somebody's skull back in their head! I just hope I don't get run over because I don't have insurance. Maybe I should move to Canada?
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Old 05-14-04, 04:03 PM
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Kinda reminds me of a situation out here a few years back where a sexual assault victim was taken to hospital, then had to sit through six hours of medical staff arguing over whose "responsibility" it was to see that she got some basic medical assistance for her injuries. Eventually she got some treatment after the cops intervened and ordered the staff to do something. These people think to call themselves professionals?

One of the reasons I believe medicine is one area that should be completely socialised. Mind you, it's not overly suprising, beaurocrats aren't known for being humane, generally more concerned with "due process" than actually making life easier for anybody (which I thought was the whole point of having a "system" in the first place). The scary part is our current government out here seems determined to drive our health system the same way.
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Old 05-14-04, 10:51 PM
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Originally Posted by MKRG
I'd much rather have my taxes paying for the torture of Iraqis rather than putting somebody's skull back in their head! I just hope I don't get run over because I don't have insurance. Maybe I should move to Canada?
In Ontario at least, health care is free, payed for by taxes(okay so not really free). Whether it's stitches, a cast or heart surgury, no out of pocket cost for the patient. Now there may be some exceptions to this, not that I'm aware of but it all in all it's a pretty amazing system. People here complain about it all the time without realizing how things work in other parts of 'western society', and how truely lucky we are to have such a sytem that is available to all people regardless of race, colour or wealth.

We have good beer too MKRG, not PBR koolaid.
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Old 05-15-04, 06:47 AM
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That, amongst other reasons, is why I intend to move to Canada or Europe upon graduation...
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Old 05-15-04, 07:23 AM
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Hold on, our system is bad but remember, Medicaid, is a socialized medicine for the poor, and they refused to pay for the surgery. When I was in Dartmouth University Hospital system in New Hampshire, almost a third of the patients there were Canadians whose government didn't give them the medical care they needed. Remember, socialized medicine works for Canada better than most because they have a back door...us. There is alot of money for "free" medical care when you get hurt or sick in the beginning of the year. Canada excels at preventative care and maintenance of chronic diseases, far superior to us....but, When funds run low, you have to wait in line for when the funds become available .. Case in point...

One of our patients was an 8 yr old girl who was diagnosed with leukemic crisis towards november in the Province of Quebec. Now, this particular leukemia has a 80% cure rate when treated aggressively early. She was not going to be able to get the aggressive chemo until 6 weeks later when the hospital was going to be able to afford it so to speak or get the exotic concoction of drugs. (this brings the survivability down to less than 40%) Her mom bought her over to Dartmouth and she was started on induction therapy right away. The mother had no means to pay but being an academic center we did it.

Another case, a construction worker has a very large inguinal hernia. He is on a 6 month waiting list for surgery. He cannot afford to be off work (evern disability which pays nothing) so he dips into his savings and pays for the $2000.00 dollar surgery at Dartmouth and returns to work in 5 weeks back in Canada.

The list goes on. The problem is, even patients with health care don't necessarily get the treatment they want. A 54 year old teacher had metastatic melanoma diagnosed by myself. She has Aetna HMO. There is a new noverl agent that costs $50,000 that might help her live another 8 months, so she can see her son graduate highschool. Aetna denies covering for the cost of the drug (remember, this is a drug that has to be ordered, no hospitals carry it) and she dies in 10 days.

A british well travelled businessman who is 75 years old needs dialysis due to acute glomerulonephritis. England does not dialyse those beyond 65. He is rich so he pays for it and lives. (this was a visiting uncle of one of the patients who was using our facility for dialysis while travelling here but he pays for his treatments, without any government assistance, at home.)

Also, by the way, you can't sue a doctor in socialized medicine. So if a doc cuts off the wrong hand, you sue the government and see how far it gets you.


Now, I am not a socialized medicine basher because I see lessons that we can borrow from them. Our system is collapsing. Personally I favor a universal health insurance, tort reform and doctors and hospitals can go back to practicing medicine, not legal medicine.
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Old 05-15-04, 07:48 AM
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I agree all health systems have their problems. It's just that ours put me into a big, bitter, financial hole. That was when I had insurance too. It makes it easier for me to complain about ours. It's not the Doctors, it's the system and I can see how it would put a lot of people out under a bridge. Not to mention letting them walk around without a skull.
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Old 05-15-04, 08:13 AM
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As far as healthcare systems go, the systems closest to ideal in the world are those of France, Sweden, Norway. In those cases, funding is far less of an issue with the tax rates in those countries...
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Old 05-15-04, 08:15 AM
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You are spot on MK

I've never understood why America's outstanding talents in so many other market forces is so dismally incapable of fixing our medical system as it exists now.


I believe it comes down to our expectation. For the last 30 years, health-care costs have been rising 6 percent to 8 percent a year—more than double the inflation rate in the rest of the economy—because demand keeps outstripping supply.

As people's real income rises, they expect more medical care; our society is aging, so people need more care; and with new technologies treating formerly intractable conditions, people want more care.

In practice, almost everyone, insured or not, has access to health care, especially in emergencies. Insurance affects how much people actually use health services:

The access of the uninsured involves inconveniences and costs that encourage them to underconsume medical services, sometimes with grim results.

By contrast, people with insurance often have such broad access that many overconsume those services. People are running to the doc after two days of dealing with a viral upper respiratory infection. (I see this alot) These consumption patterns drive the price increases that ultimately shrink insurance coverage.

xzNo politician is going to put it straight to the public. Anyway, who gets elected president by telling people that their health-care costs will soar so long as everybody has access to the most expensive forms of care?

Health care's path began when employers in World War II, desperate to attract workers without breaching wage controls, first offered health insurance as an untaxed fringe benefit. This approach took strong root.

Over time, these beginnings brought most people into an insurance system that insulated them from the full cost of each treatment; they also left government as the insurer for everyone outside the work force, notably retirees and the poor. All insurance markets are subject to "moral hazard," where the small personal cost of using the insurance—a co-payment in this case—encourages people to overuse it for minor complaints. The hazard is intensified in the case of health care, because people don't pay for the insurance directly. To be sure, working people ultimately pay for their coverage in lower and slower-rising wages, but the cost of premiums is still subsidized by its tax-free treatment; when I write the checks for my employees, they don't even feel the pinch directly when premiums go up. (Imagine how much less coverage many would accept if we all had to write annual premium checks for $4,000 or $5,000.) These hazards are even greater in public-sector health care, where the retirees and poor consuming most of the services don't bear most of the taxes financing them.

Individual costs are rising, but other forces continue to undercut greater price discipline. In most markets, for example, this discipline also depends on people having the information required to judge the value of goods or services before they buy them. In health-care markets, how many people have the information to say no to a more expensive test for diabetes or a treatment for a heart murmur? The norms of the medical profession are supposed to align a doctor's incentives with a patient's medical interests (especially when the prospect of a malpractice suit reinforces these incentives). But there's no mechanism to align the financial interests of doctors and their patients. (So doctors can deliver sound health services in ways that maximize their billings. )

When prices rise unusually fast in other markets, people can usually find and substitute cheaper products: Beef prices rise and people eat more chicken, or a real-estate bubble drives up housing prices and people downsize their residential ambitions. That doesn't work nearly as well in health care, when patients are told that the alternative to a costly test or procedure is poor health or even premature death.


As a society we determine how much health care we want . Unfortunately, our desires have no relation to what we would spend. This is what makes us different from socialized medicine. The current system has no balances. Universal health care would not improve that problem, it would only shift the locus of control.
Our health care insurance system is broken. Perhaps we could look at ways to improve that system, and in some way link behaviors with costs (e.g., smokers and the obese would pay higher insurance) and expenditures with graduated co-pays. I can tell you right now, it is the medical treatment and expense of two of my employees, one a smoker and one obese, who has driven up our premiums for the whole office. Only when each individual starts to understand costs will market forces apply. Without the power of market forces, I suspect that we will be continuing this debate forever.
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Old 05-15-04, 09:33 AM
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Originally Posted by slvoid
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/3706631.stm

Isn't this going a tiny bit too far? What kind of a country do we live in?
Anyone get hit by a car while on a bike or something and have insurance nightmares like this?
Bear in mind that this episode is the result of socialist bureaucracy, not a problem calling out for more bureaucracy.

Fans of socialized medicine should heed the lessons of basic economics. Price controls will result in shortages of medical care, a fact that recurs again and again in the "ideal" socialized systems already in place. Survival rates of serious disease, cancer, major surgery, and all the rest are signficantly higher in the United States for those receiving treatment compared to those treated in European countries. That is largely because quality care is available quickly in America to those able to pay (for treatment or insurance), which is the large majority of Americans. American doctors are well-paid, can work where they like, and so are the world's most skilled practitioners. Insured people don't die or suffer on wait lists for badly needed procedures, as they do in Britain, France, and as they would in Canada if Canadians didn't have the option of fleeing south for life saving health care. Speaking of Canada, if it weren't for their free riding on the American drug market, along with the ability to head south for quality medical care, there would have been an armed revolt in the Dominion next door long ago.

One of America's most important problems is providing health care to the poor, but as we subsidize food and schooling for the poor we should be able to subsidize health care without causing the desperate problems that government management of the whole health care industry has caused elsewhere.

There is another strange problem with the American market. People's incentives to use health care are not connected to the costs of providing the care, even on the private market. In no other case I can think of do private insurers pay for relatively small and certain expenses. In other cases, insurance is for catastrophic costs, not regular expenses. Car insurance isn't to pay gas bills or oil change expenses. Home owner's insurance doesn't pay for exterminator's visits or repaintings or shingle replacements. But medical insurance pays for simple doctor's visits, annual checkups, non-catastrophically expensive prescriptions, and so on. No wonder the cost of premiums increases enormously over time. Why doesn't some insurance company provide a more rational system?
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Old 05-15-04, 12:23 PM
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I will admit that the public healthcare system in the UK is horrid. It is not the case in France, where you get the healthcare you need when you need it. Taxes average 66%, though...
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Old 05-15-04, 02:43 PM
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Originally Posted by MKRG
I'd much rather have my taxes paying for the torture of Iraqis rather than putting somebody's skull back in their head! I just hope I don't get run over because I don't have insurance. Maybe I should move to Canada?
better move fast, coz our stupid politician are now thinking of privitization of the medical services in Canada, the old Provincial Premier of Ontario Mike Harris, when he was the provincial premier he was cutting the budget on almost everything, and one of the thing that suffered is the medical services.
I know that for a fact because my son Miguel has lost all his right fingers and all his left toes, a cup of hot coffee was spilled on him by accident, he was brought to the hospital by ambulance we were in the emergency room within 10 minutes, and when we arrived at the hospital no one attended to him for four hours and imagine he was 14 month old, and the coffee burns wasn't even severe but because he was just a little baby the injury he suffered/burns made it severe, by the time they attended to him he was already very serious, that bad, and i hate this politician.......... and everytime I read something like this relived the whole scenario in my mind, and I keep asking what if?, what if? they attended to my son sooner will he still lose his fingers and toes, he is now 6 years old and everytime i see him really feel very sorry for what happened to him, just because of the greediness of this dirty politician.
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Old 05-15-04, 02:45 PM
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Originally Posted by K6-III
I will admit that the public healthcare system in the UK is horrid. It is not the case in France, where you get the healthcare you need when you need it. Taxes average 66%, though...
but out here we are getting tax like it will go out of style,
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Old 05-15-04, 04:44 PM
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K6 -III is right. According to WHO listing of rankings "Getting the best bang for your buck" so to speak, France is number 1. US 37 and Canada 33. (We were outranked by Chile, Morocco, Singapore, Columbia etc.) But, expect a 70% cut in pay job for job if you move to France. And , to add to Merriwether, if you have a heart attack in Canada, it is one of the worst for surviving a heart attack.

http://www.watsonwyatt.com/europe/pu...ct.asp?ID=8894

I think what this means is we can learn different things from each other in terms of how we can improve our healthcare.
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Old 05-15-04, 07:55 PM
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My wife and I are looking down the barrell of a $70,000 hospital bill right now! The procedure was expected to cost us in the range of $30,000, but because of some compliations it has exceeded $100,000, and it looks like insurance has payed all it is gonna. We expected to pay around 5000 out of pocket and now it's 70000?

I may be forced to look into that bankruptcy route myself! I read a report that stated that as many as 1/3 of the bankruptcys in this country are the result of high medical bills. I saw a report that stated that 80% of the families that file bankruptcy, HAVE insurance, like we do. I also think that the majority of families in this country are one major illness away from going bankrupt!
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Old 05-16-04, 07:58 AM
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where I came from I mean my origin, if you get hospitalized its better when you come out of the hospital your family is better off, you, getting out in a box "figuratively speaking"
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Old 05-16-04, 08:00 AM
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I can post and post about this matter, still my son doesn't have his right finger (all of them and all his left toes) I just hate this politician
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Old 05-17-04, 07:38 AM
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I had a friend who was in a car accident and his chest got crushed by the steering wheel. The closest hosptial would not let him at first because he had no proof of insurance.. Luckily his friend was with him and could run home to get his card and all ended happily..

But at that point, who cares about suing.. If he died, would suing bring him back.

I understand most things are a business, but what happen to human compassion!
Why can't a doctor/hospital fix someone first and then they can fight over $$$$..

I know not all doctors and hospitals are bad, but the bad ones are abundant enough to make anyone scared to be in a hospital..
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