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Honest mistakes are made, but unless they were quick to make things right once notified I figure them for crooks. I don't like the whole idea of middlemen raising the cost and complicating things. These doctors or medical "groups" have whole staffs of people doing nothing but sending out bills and keeping track of payments. Years ago you paid the receptionist and saw the doctor, it was an affordable and simple system. While I was waiting to see an orthopedic specialist a few weeks back I could hear him recording the events of the previous exam, which were going to be transferred by another person to paper and put in a file. How many dam folks do we need to pay to go see a doctor?
My point is even if they are not crooks the system is unaffordable and needs to be streamlined. Put a limit on malpractice awards for starters.
The doctor may only get a set fee from insurance for the visit or he may get a percentage of the bill, bottom line is "WE", are paying for the whole malpractice and insurance machine behind the curtain. I hated when the doctor's offices started having us sign statements of what insurance we had but then we had to check that if the bill wasn't paid "WE" were ultimately responsible. Heck, if I have legitamte insurance and the doctor's office folks say they accept that insurance, then it should be between the doctor and the insurance folks. We are paying more for a top heavy system that is slowed down by waste.
Putting a limit on malpractice awards would seem to reward them for poor performance.
What if The Master had been made seriously ill or hospitalized by the prescription of drugs he is allergic to?
What if he had died? If he's at his regular doctor or medical group and they have access to his records
shouldn't they have known what he was allergic to (assuming this information has been given to them in the past)?
If someone dies due to an error on your part, say you knew better (by virtue of your holding a license) but still made
an error in installing the gas furnace and the occupants were overcome and died from CO poisoning one winter night
should you get a slap on the wrist and be allowed to do it again or should you be made to face the music in a court of law?
I agree that monetary awards seem to be extravagant at times. I think part of this is the frustration of jurors who have themselves
been in the same situation and are overreacting to the case before them. However, I see the limiting of damages as treating the
symptom, not curing the problem. The problem being the incompetence of doctors and it happens more than we to they would like.
Other factors that enter into this are as you said so many hands involved in the process. When there is a third of fourth party
transcribing information into medical records a lot can get lost in translation. Now its in black and white on paper (or in some database)
and taken as gospel.
Did the doctor ask if TheMaster was allergic to the drug(s) he was prescribing? Don't know, he didn't say. Did TM go to his regular
pharmacy and would they know the drugs he is allergic to? Don't know if they have that information on record, but it might be a good
second check to catch an error like this one.
TheMaster's comment about inflated billing when they know you have insurance I have found to be true myself. My dentist did the same thing.
Years ago I had a period when I did not have health coverage needed dental work. I paid cash for the root canal and that was that. But about
6 months later when my coverage was back in force I needed another root canal. Same dentist cost me ~50% more for the same procedure
and it was no more difficult than the first. Come to find out they bill (or should I say bilk) the ins companies to cover those who don't have
insurance and can't afford to pay out of their pocket.
Hospitals do the same thing. there is a surcharge that you health care provider pays for the uninsured. In out state there is the same type of surcharge on auto insurance to cover uninsured motorists.
So for me limiting malpractice awards does not solve the problem of high medical care. Laying the blame for spiraling cost on the cost of insurance to cover a doctors' incompetence is not the total solution. There are plenty of bad doctors out there, just as there are bad plumbers, they both need to be eliminated to protect the health of the public.
"When we build let us think we build forever. Let it not be for present delight nor for present use alone. Let it be such work that our descendants will thank us for, and let us think, as we lay stone upon stone, that a time is to come when these stones will be held sacred because our hands have touched them, and that men will say, as they look upon the labor and wrought substance of them, "See! This our fathers did for us."
John Ruskin (1819 - 1900)
I have to carry an albuterol inhaler due to asthma....I don't have insurance...so when I pick up the medicine at the store, I self pay.....Cost is $40.00...if I had insurance, I would pay a co-pay of anywhere between 10 to 20 bucks, then the insurance would get billed another 60.00 from the pharmacy....that is just one example of why insurance rates are so high, everybody is jacking the price of the pie up....
Poor Planning On Your Part Does Not Constitute An Emergency On My Part!! You can fire me...but you can't tell me what to do!
The healthcare pricing system is totally f#!@ed. Maybe the only thing in America not subject to the rules of Capitalism. Supply, demand, competition aren't there because no-one ever KNOWS THE PRICE SO THEY CAN SHOP AROUND.
Go to a hospital, specialist, whatever....and ask for a price list for anything. Can't do it. As long as you can't, it will be always a mysterious cost mess.
Then there's the subject of contracted billing. Pay your bill, get another one for the same thing. Call about it, no problem, fixed. Get one a month later saying they will damage your credit and turn things over to creditors. Yes, it happens.
J.C., I suggest a limit on malpractice because I don't see bad doctors being eliminated as they should be. Even good doctors unfortunately make honest mistakes that ruin or take lives, I don't know what a workable answer is? I'm pretty sure we can't "malpractice insurance" our way to fixing things because who ends up eventually paying for the bad doctor is not the doctor but the rest of us. I see the problems, I don't see the acceptable answers as easily. We are paying too much for bad doctors, mistakes and people we don't need to be involved. Frank
The converse is also true, if you don't have insurance you get to pay more than the insurance company would. Right now I'm mildly pissed off at my stupid county, and its shitty hospital. In May my daughter went to the ER, because she fell at school and cut her chin. Our pediatrician said we should go to the ER, because they have plastic surgeons. I went to Westchester Medical Center because it was close and has a pediatric ER, but should have driven to the hospital near home. The bill was $2,200 for 7 stitches (+ a few hundred from the doctors). Blue Cross paid $800, but the county and BCBS couldn't agree on a contract last October, so I was stuck paying the other $1600 since the hospital wouldn't budge on it. No insurance company they accept would actually have had to pay the full $2,200. Would have been nice when they were happily taking down all the BCBS info if they had told me that it wasn't accepted. Lesson learned: I should never go to Westchester Medical Center.
My dumbshit county should get out of the business of hospitals and amusement parks.