Thank God for health insurance - I think

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  #1  
Old 09-27-16, 06:28 AM
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Thank God for health insurance - I think

Yesterday I got the first accounting for my short stay in the hospital. A five day visit totaled $18,000 not including ER, ambulance, cardiologist visits and primary care physician. Fortunately, my primary insurer picked up most of the tab, less my deductible and hopefully Medicare will pay the rest. I still don't know what my out of pocket cost will be.

When I saw the total two things came to mind - would the bill be this high if the government wasn't involved in the health care system and how much of the total goes to cover the uninsured?

Incidentally, I was in a bed that cost over 5 grand (my wife looked it up on the internet) that did everything but serve breakfast. It was so complex that some of the nurses didn't know how to adjust it. Every room had a large screen laptop for the nurses to use in addition to the vital sign monitors that I was strapped to. I also had a flat screen tv with cable, WIFI and internet access. It made me wonder if all that was really necessary.
 
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Old 09-27-16, 07:17 AM
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You should get a statement from medicare [or advantage plan] that tells what was charged, what was allowed and what you can be charged.

Our local hospital was built 25 yrs ago and has had remodeling going on every year since. Can't say for sure if any of that was needed but the parking is still horrible
 
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Old 09-27-16, 08:03 AM
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I personally will be glad when I am able to go on Medicare but I don't quite qualify yet. I would be really scared to go to a hospital now or do any extensive tests as my deductible is so high. I couldn't afford anything else though it was so high.
Cwbuff I am sorry to hear that you had to go into the hospital. If I were a betting man I personally think that your whole stay will be covered except maybe for a very small deductible. Another exception would be television or anything else not medically related.
 
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Old 09-27-16, 12:49 PM
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My stay in Denver for 7 days was upwards of $74,000. Thankfully Medicare and my supplemental insurance covered all but my $174 deductible. Then I had elective surgery (total shoulder replacement) later that month, and it was another $74,000, but no copay this time since I had already met my deductible.
 
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Old 09-27-16, 01:29 PM
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5 days only 18 grand? I was in our local community medical center/hospital for 2 nights and it was over $20K. That didn't include the ER or the paracentesis, those were about $1000 each.

Of course after the contractual insurance write-off, I paid something like $43 for the ER and all and the hospital is resubmitting their bill or I'd be liable for about $1500. It will probably wind up closer to $100 for me.

I'm dreading if they ever get me on the transplant list (if needed) and it actually goes through. I read that the bills for that can be horrendous.
 
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Old 09-28-16, 05:38 AM
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CW, glad you're feeling better.

Medical cost are out of control. Nothing new about that. But most of the equipment and remodeling of hospitals is a waste. I worked for a short time as a buyer for Catholic Health Systems in Western New York. Mercy Hospital lobby was being remodeled at a ridiculous cost only to maker it look nice. And over the last 10 years it has been repainted, recarpted, new seating and done over almost every year since. They even hired an interior decorator that specializes in that Eastern "spirit" environment (can't think of the name and can't spell it either) expert to make a person feel less sick. What a waste of money. If I'm sick or injured I could care less if the seating is cushy or not. If the walls are painted to keep me calm or if the pictures on the walls are considered art. But we still have top pay for it.

And gone are then days of a ward room where ten to twelve recovering patients are all together. Do we really need a private room. It was OK to have a ward for our parents but not for us?
 
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Old 09-28-16, 09:59 AM
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Meeting of the Minds:



My Two Cents

This isn't Missile Science:



Nor is it Rocket Science:





...remodeling of hospitals is a waste.
:NO NO NO:

Mercy Hospital lobby was being remodeled at a ridiculous cost only to maker it look nice. And over the last 10 years it has been repainted, recarpted, new seating and done over almost every year since. They even hired an interior decorator that specializes in that Eastern "spirit" environment ...expert to make a person feel less sick. What a waste of money.
:NO NO NO:

In so far as remodeling not likely a waste of $. Patients, visitors and guests don't want to feel like their in a military barracks... The vast majority of the public likes modernization...

Hospital Expansion is done to keep up with population growth and potential or projected future population growth. Local hospital expansions can then accept patients from other already filled hospitals in the areas. Especially during major natural, man made or unforeseen caused disasters.

Modernizations along with Expansions are done to keep locals employed. Many board members, whom are seen in photos the modernized lobby, have family, friends, neighbors, locals etc. whom are in the needed contract business. Contracts thus awarded to them... Possibly as a kind gesture or reward for high $ donors.

Let's not forget each department must spend all the money awarded to it in the last financial cycle in order to claim more is needed and get more $$$ next cycle!... Have to spend $$$ to make $$$.

 
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Old 09-28-16, 12:30 PM
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I agree with you Sharp Advice I do believe that hospital lobbies need to be remodeled every once in a while. Then too when the hospital was first built maybe the lobby was in the wrong place. It was apparently according to thinking at a local hospital I have been to for my moms out patient eye surgery. They also changed the position of the cafeteria and made huge improvements there from what I could see. I personally like the private room idea and our major new Prince George hospital will have all private rooms. Sorry but if I am sick I don't want someone sneezing nearby.
 
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Old 09-28-16, 12:39 PM
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While I agree that a hospital should be maintained and improvements made as needed, it seems to me a lot of money is wasted just changing things with the main benefit being to the contractors. What irks me about our local hospital is all the work they do on the bldg and there isn't enough parking. It's not uncommon to drive around for 10-15 minute hunting a place to park. I'd bet they wasted enough money remodeling the hospital to have paid for a parking garage.
 
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Old 09-28-16, 02:43 PM
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Marksr and I agree. Modernization is all well and good if done at the right time and for the right reasons.

Sharp and Hedge, this is exactly whats wrong with our system and government. Spend even if we can't afford to do it. Many hospitals are in the red because they can't fill the beds and they can't get many patients to pay for whatever reason. So what happens, we keep building these small clinics and private care facilities. Then equipment must be purchased, more staff must be hired and higher prices must charged to pay for all of it. And yes parking at the city level hospitals is a major problem. And major hospitals that need better actual medical equipment go begging as does the staff and nurses who are over worked and under paid. And of course insurance rates keep rising.

Like I said, I don't care if the walls are green, blue or yellow. If the surrounding area is Feng shui or not. Certainly not at the cost to have it done and redone and redone. Hospital lobbies need to have chairs, drinking fountain, be warm in the winter and cool in the summer and have a staff that can provide quick, courteous and accurate information. And not have to wait in line for hours to have your injury diagnosed. Put that money towards better care and not how great it looks.

As far as the tradesmen go, there is always work available. Just look at our infrastructure. It needs re-work in every single aspect. Inner cities need rebuilding, roads need re-work, electrical grid needs updating, bridges need rebuilding, our sewers and water supply needs updating. Need I go on?

And this thinking of using the budgeted money weather we need to or not is a crock. Use budgeted money to what is needed and if any left over re-invest it where needed. Not that it will ever happen.

One last thing, private rooms. It's known fact that hospitals are one of the biggest breeding grounds to catch communicable diseases and or sicknesses in spite of private rooms. People with broken bones, heart disease or other non-communicable disease need not be in private rooms. Learn to be with other people of similar circumstances and maybe, just maybe company can actually help people recover as opposed to wallowing in one's own despair.

I've painted with very broad brush and I realize there are exceptions to what I say and I'm not unsympathetic to the sick. We just need to sit back and take stock of what we have, need or do not need.
 
  #11  
Old 09-28-16, 08:22 PM
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Norm and Marksr I am for improvements that are needed and with all due respect to Sharp Advice I do disagree with him when he says that maybe certain contractors should get a contract just because they contributed to a charity. I am though for minority contracts being awarded but only if they can do the job not because they are a minority, so proof would need to be forthcoming.

The Prince Georges County hospital system has been in great need of repair with a main hospital in Cheverly Maryland that is way over 60 years old and has just had band aid repairs for years. Many of the systems there are so old you can't find parts for them anymore so it has been long overdue for a long time. The satellite hospitals one of which is in Laurel are newer but have been let go. There were good intentions a non profit was set up in Prince Georges county with the help of the State of Maryland but a great deal of corruption happened.

The hospital in Laurel never was made right and the staffing issue there has never been good with poor nursing and doctors on staff. As for the other hospitals in the system I really don't have that much knowledge of them but I have heard that they are not that well managed either. Here are a couple of articles about the Prince Georges hospital system with drawings of what the hospital will look like https://www.washingtonpost.com/local...00c_story.html . Prince George's is getting a major new medical center. Will it make it easier to walk around? - Greater Greater Washington .

As far as the hospital where my mom had her surgery it used to be a for profit but is now a non profit hospital composed of doctors who run the non profit. It is better run than Prince Georges hospital system and the last time I was there they were adding on a wing to their radiology department which is now closer to the main entrance. In the new Prince Georges Hospital I imagine it will be like where my mom went for her surgery with waiting rooms where patients can go to talk with their family members while they are visiting.
 
  #12  
Old 09-29-16, 03:47 AM
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Hedge,

It's obvious that what you describe is a necessary update and I agree with you completely. This si the kind of updates, and rebuilds that are needed.
 
  #13  
Old 09-29-16, 04:21 AM
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Late to the party, but technological infrastructure improvements are necessary to keep up with the knowledge we are gaining daily. Take the Denver VA hospital. Years late, terribly over budget, and now it has been determined an inordinate amount of money has been spent at one of the VA hospitals on artwork, of all things. Patients, especially veterans, don't need artwork. They need health care.
 
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Old 09-29-16, 08:27 AM
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Be aware IMO this thread is not about government hospitals. :NO NO NO: Nor should government be included nor mentioned when not specifically noted! Thread needs to stay on subject matter IMO and not drift off it.

Subject matter is about privately owned large health care corporations and on what they spend their money on and or for. Such larger health care corporations spend their money as they deem fit and not told or forced to by any government agency. This thread and it's subject matter, best as I can determine, is not about government hospitals nor any VA hospital either IMO.

I'm reasonably sure many of you have heard of Specialty contractors and or corporations whom build only Church's. Same can and might apply to hospitals. (???) Such companies travel the nation and maybe the world building such. There is also locals whom are awarded contracts as well as many other trade skills required. >JOBS< Private corps can spend their $$$ as deemed appropriate regardless of costs etc. IMHO. No government interference required. As it should be.

Parking is yet another matter. I would suspect parking space is based upon average usage over a 24 hour time period. Packed in peak hours while mostly empty during none peak hours. As well as none immediate family members visiting hours. Want easy access parking? Go during non peak hours and or in the wee hours of night and or early mornings....HA HA.



 
  #15  
Old 09-29-16, 09:28 AM
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re : parking

I can't speak for other hospitals but our local [corporate owned] hospital has horrible parking and yes the parking lot is predominately empty in the middle of the night. The hospital also houses quite a few doctor's offices and offers many outpatient services - all of which are only open during business hours. Those are the times when you really have to hunt for a parking spot and may have a 10 minute walk from the parking spot to the door you need to enter.
 
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