Wednesday, October 27, 2010

10 Comments:

Blogger HMT said...

Finding a doctor is a pain but what I've recently found worse is figuring out how much it's going to cost me. I recently changed to an HSA style insurance plan, so now when I go to the doctor I foot the entire bill, vs a co-pay until the deductible is paid ($1000s). This is a fantastic way to control medical costs as a nation.

Here's the problem. Nobody at the doctors office seems to know how much something is going to cost me until AFTER it's occurred. The maze of procedures, insurance and sheer cluelessness means I don't know what my visit will cost until I get the bill a week later. With lab fees tacked on.

I may not know how much getting my car fixed is going to cost me on the way to the garage but I can get the price BEFORE they start work after paying the "crack the hood" price.

9:58 AM, October 27, 2010  
Blogger TMink said...

Good points HMT. It is similar with the provider, the insurnace does not decide whether or not to pay for the procedure until after they get the bill.

I worry a bit about these anonymous online ratings because there are some things I will not do and have been fired for not doing them. I don't help addicts get back enough of their kids to qualify for housing assistance. I don't help pissed off parents use their kids to harm the other parent. I don't lie about people's mental health to help them get disability.

Not doing these things really pisses some people off, and that type of person would think nothing of writing a scathing review because I would not help them scam or harm their children.

Trey

2:22 PM, October 27, 2010  
Blogger jimbino said...

What we need is VALUE: benefit/cost. The cost information is entirely missing.

The only healthcare reform we need is a policy forcing all healthcare providers to publish prices for all their procedures online, just as retailers do for their products.

Even better would be to let Walmart, eBay or Amazon run health care in Amerika.

5:51 PM, October 27, 2010  
Blogger jimbino said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

5:51 PM, October 27, 2010  
Blogger Demonspawn said...

HMT-

Lemmie tell you a story, it doesn't have to do with medicine, but it does have to do with insurance.

Years ago my street was struck by vandals; several windshields were broken. I called some glass service and they told me I'd have to pay my $300 deductible. Cool, send them out. When they got to my place, I found out it was my $300 deductible EACH, or $600. I thought that was crazy, and asked how much it would cost if I didn't have insurance.

After paying $110 for one car and $130 for the other, I had my windshields replaced.

Now imagine that in medical billing, where they charge insurance X, Y, Z, Q, R, P, and uninsured all different rates. They have no clue what the bill will be until after they have your insurance and after it's gone thru their highly paid billing department.

Medical insurance itself IS one of the major problems with our medical care industry. Imagine what car repair shops will be like after the "car warranty" industry catches on. Once our society decides car care is a "right" like medical care (a hospital cannot refuse service for inability to pay) we'll be paying thru the nose for "car medical insurance" like we do for human medical insurance today.

Heck, just ask your local vet what they think of pet insurance... the vast majority feel it will destroy their field.

1:48 AM, October 28, 2010  
Blogger Cham said...

There are some people in this world that are sour miserable creatures and jealous of everyone and everything that crosses their path. Anonymous on-line rating systems have become their rainbow and sparkles. It doesn't matter that the service was good, the product worked or the day went great, they sit angry and seething in their grandmother's basement ready to add single units of stars to any rating opportunity at a moment's notice.

With on-line purchasing, fortunately, Amazon and Ebay have enough decent honest users to offset the 2% of the seethers that do this. However, when one's customer base is much smaller one bad rating can have a devastating effect. These on-line rating systems have definitely changed the way I do things many things, I no longer lead volunteer activities where I am going to be rated while my real name is shown. (It's really a good thing to operate as an alias I have found)

Having said all that, I am sorry that I went to college in the days before the Internet. I had several college professors who didn't speak a word of English, spent much of their time hitting on the students and wouldn't even show up for the classes they were supposed to teach. The on-line rating of professors is probably a good thing.

7:30 AM, October 28, 2010  
Blogger dr.alistair said...

ah, the perks of professorship!

2:39 PM, October 28, 2010  
Blogger TMink said...

Cham, for one of my classes in college, African History Overview, I was the only white guy in the class. My teacher was a cool guy who nobody in the class could understand but me. We tried to keep this from the prof, but he figured it out and laughed about it. I think my fluency came from being on a Reggae kick at the time and the British colonial accent (the teacher was from Nigeria) was something I was familiar with. It still makes me smile that the white guy had to be the interpreter.

Trey

4:42 PM, October 28, 2010  
Blogger Cham said...

Then it was too bad you couldn't have translated for me in my Fluid Mechanics class. The professor was from Kenya and I have no idea what language he was speaking. I think the universities got a thrill forcing students to take difficult classes from minimum wage TAs who didn't speak English. My Calc III class was taught by someone who spoke only Polish. Hopefully, due to the wonder of these on-line rating systems, future students can be warned before they embark down the road of learning both a difficult technical course and simultaneously mastering the tongue of some far-off third world land.

5:24 PM, October 28, 2010  
Blogger Obdurate said...

When finding a doctor OR a lawyer, you might as well throw a dart at the phone directory. There seem to be no truly useful sources of information. There's a large need here that isn't being met by the market and I wonder why that is so.

7:17 AM, October 31, 2010  

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