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Tue Jul 17, 2012, 11:09 AM

My Hospital Bill was $119,000 for 5 days

I just got the itemized bill from my hospital stay last month. It is the most ridiculous thing I have ever seen. Now mind you I had a wonderful experience while I was in the hospital. My husband had the same surgey (GallBladder removal) at another local hospital and he had the absolute worst experience. My husband was in the hospital for 3 weeks. I was there for 5 days. But our hospital bills were exactly alike. How is that even possible?? His bill was $110,000 in 2005. I can't believe the costs have gone up that much in 7 years.

Here are a few items I found interesting:
* Accomodations - $4500 (I could have stayed at the Breakers for less money)
* Pharmacy - $35,000 (I know I had some good drugs, but WOW)
* OR Costs - $30,000
* Sterile Supplies - $7500

And here is the kicker. I have insurance, so these items were all negotiated down to 1/10 the cost. My insurance company paid $11,000 and the bill is done. So those people without insurance don't get a negotiated rate?? How can someone afford that without insurance?? And how are they allowed to get that much of a discount??

At the end of the day, I've met my deductible for the year ($2800). Still not sure how I'm gonna pay for that, though. But hopefully I can make installment payments . . .

And finally I want to thank the Affordable Care Act of 2010. My company before 2011 had a lifetime limit on medical of $100,000 and a yearly amount of $20,000. I might be paying a ton more money out of pocket without ObamaCares!! If more people would actually read what is covered they would see that this is a good thing for this country. If people would stop listening to Talking Heads who know nothing and actually learn for themselves, this country wouldn't be as angry as it is.

124 replies, 46903 views

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Reply My Hospital Bill was $119,000 for 5 days (Original post)
RockaFowler Jul 2012 OP
CBGLuthier Jul 2012 #1
RockaFowler Jul 2012 #3
DJ13 Jul 2012 #17
Spitfire of ATJ Jul 2012 #27
Liberal_in_LA Jul 2012 #68
Smilo Jul 2012 #73
Selatius Jul 2012 #119
Smilo Jul 2012 #123
girl gone mad Jul 2012 #99
Sirveri Jul 2012 #118
glinda Jul 2012 #10
lpbk2713 Jul 2012 #2
RockaFowler Jul 2012 #4
lpbk2713 Jul 2012 #6
midnight Jul 2012 #78
enlightenment Jul 2012 #5
RockaFowler Jul 2012 #7
Ms. Toad Jul 2012 #47
dixiegrrrrl Jul 2012 #65
Monk06 Jul 2012 #111
uponit7771 Jul 2012 #8
NickB79 Jul 2012 #9
hughee99 Jul 2012 #18
NickB79 Jul 2012 #19
Spitfire of ATJ Jul 2012 #38
Ms. Toad Jul 2012 #50
Spitfire of ATJ Jul 2012 #88
Ms. Toad Jul 2012 #96
Spitfire of ATJ Jul 2012 #97
1monster Jul 2012 #41
dixiegrrrrl Jul 2012 #51
Phentex Jul 2012 #55
leveymg Jul 2012 #11
SoutherDem Jul 2012 #12
girl gone mad Jul 2012 #100
SoutherDem Jul 2012 #102
unblock Jul 2012 #13
woo me with science Jul 2012 #14
progressoid Jul 2012 #16
Autumn Jul 2012 #30
AnotherMcIntosh Jul 2012 #35
area51 Jul 2012 #114
Hell Hath No Fury Jul 2012 #15
RockaFowler Jul 2012 #26
Sgent Jul 2012 #64
AngryAmish Jul 2012 #20
Rainforestgoddess Jul 2012 #21
Dustlawyer Jul 2012 #22
LynneSin Jul 2012 #23
Phentex Jul 2012 #40
LynneSin Jul 2012 #43
riverbendviewgal Jul 2012 #24
LynneSin Jul 2012 #25
riverbendviewgal Jul 2012 #44
LynneSin Jul 2012 #45
riverbendviewgal Jul 2012 #52
rationalcalgarian Jul 2012 #93
Maynar Jul 2012 #110
rationalcalgarian Jul 2012 #117
Art_from_Ark Jul 2012 #122
Autumn Jul 2012 #33
riverbendviewgal Jul 2012 #48
RickFromMN Jul 2012 #95
riverbendviewgal Jul 2012 #108
dkf Jul 2012 #28
SunSeeker Jul 2012 #34
dkf Jul 2012 #106
msongs Jul 2012 #29
ryan_cats Jul 2012 #31
RockaFowler Jul 2012 #46
radhika Jul 2012 #57
renate Jul 2012 #107
SunSeeker Jul 2012 #32
tomm2thumbs Jul 2012 #83
RockaFowler Jul 2012 #84
tomm2thumbs Aug 2012 #124
ecstatic Jul 2012 #36
Dreamer Tatum Jul 2012 #37
DJ13 Jul 2012 #39
RockaFowler Jul 2012 #42
Tess49 Jul 2012 #53
Ms. Toad Jul 2012 #61
LanternWaste Jul 2012 #62
Rozlee Jul 2012 #66
progressoid Jul 2012 #72
gollygee Jul 2012 #75
NickB79 Jul 2012 #90
graywarrior Jul 2012 #49
littlebit Jul 2012 #54
GreenPartyVoter Jul 2012 #101
hobbit709 Jul 2012 #56
Ms. Toad Jul 2012 #58
riverbendviewgal Jul 2012 #59
RockaFowler Jul 2012 #60
juajen Jul 2012 #85
pansypoo53219 Jul 2012 #63
nichomachus Jul 2012 #67
Liberal_in_LA Jul 2012 #70
Liberal_in_LA Jul 2012 #69
madokie Jul 2012 #71
RedStateLiberal Jul 2012 #74
asjr Jul 2012 #76
Auggie Jul 2012 #77
woo me with science Jul 2012 #89
tclambert Jul 2012 #79
RockaFowler Jul 2012 #80
DJ13 Jul 2012 #86
evilhime Jul 2012 #81
siouxsiecreamcheese Jul 2012 #82
garthranzz Jul 2012 #87
LynnTTT Jul 2012 #91
Smilo Jul 2012 #92
DFW Jul 2012 #94
ThatsMyBarack Jul 2012 #98
madrchsod Jul 2012 #103
Zalatix Jul 2012 #104
harun Jul 2012 #105
wakemewhenitsover Jul 2012 #109
Monk06 Jul 2012 #112
flamingdem Jul 2012 #113
gtar100 Jul 2012 #115
rl6214 Jul 2012 #116
joeybee12 Jul 2012 #120
nichomachus Jul 2012 #121

Response to RockaFowler (Original post)

Tue Jul 17, 2012, 11:12 AM

1. It is all a scam. Nothing but a scam and they even admit it is a scam.

They overcharge and then negotiate.


Obviously the original prices are what the rest of the world would call fraudulent.

SCAM.

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Response to CBGLuthier (Reply #1)

Tue Jul 17, 2012, 11:15 AM

3. My girlfriend without insurance is going through this right now

It's heartbreaking to see her bill

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Response to RockaFowler (Reply #3)

Tue Jul 17, 2012, 11:31 AM

17. My wife just spent 3 weeks in the hospital

Two weeks in our local hospital (5 days in ICU), then a transfer by ambulance 300 miles away to Stanford Medical Center.

All in private rooms.

The local hospital said she had "a small tumor on her small intestine", Stanford reran the same tests and it was a gall stone, not a tumor, and removed it.

Now she has to go back to Stanford in two months to have her gallbladder removed.

And all of this without insurance, though thankfully, we did get her on Medical.

I dont want to know the total, I dont think I can deal with seeing those kinds of numbers.

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Response to DJ13 (Reply #17)

Tue Jul 17, 2012, 12:03 PM

27. It's all monopoly money to them.

 

The hospitals and the insurance companies actually charge and pay only a fraction of what they claim. They inflated those numbers to make it look impossible for the government to provide health care. NOBODY really believes an insurance company would unquestioningly cover a $45 aspirin.

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Response to RockaFowler (Reply #3)

Tue Jul 17, 2012, 01:41 PM

68. prices seem to be just made up, pulled out of thin air

 

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Response to RockaFowler (Reply #3)

Tue Jul 17, 2012, 02:03 PM

73. You can negotiate with the

hospital, doctors, etc.

That's what I did and it is amazing how much they will reduce your bill.

Good luck to your girlfriend and hope her surgery goes well.

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Response to Smilo (Reply #73)

Wed Jul 18, 2012, 04:28 AM

119. If you examine it logically, that's really very small comfort what you're saying.

If you're a health insurance company and the hospital sends you an itemized bill for one of your patients, you have far more bargaining power at the negotiation table for the fact that you represent millions of other patients and can exact a toll if the hospital won't play ball with you, but if you're on your own and try to negotiate the same way an insurance company would, the only leverage you could really mention is that you only have limited income and few assets to cover the bill as is without reduction. I would assume as a matter of course that the health insurance company is in a far better position to negotiate the prices than the average person, don't you think?

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Response to Selatius (Reply #119)

Wed Jul 18, 2012, 11:50 AM

123. But this is all we have at the moment.....

and most people do not know they can negotiate medical bills. BTW you don't negotiate the same way insurance companies do - if you can beforehand ask what they charge for cash, if it is after ask them what they will take

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Response to RockaFowler (Reply #3)

Tue Jul 17, 2012, 06:56 PM

99. I hope she understands her rights.

It's illegal for a hospital to charge an uninsured patient more than what they bill insurance companies in many places. There are laws on the books in most states to prevent that kind of gouging and successful lawsuits have been brought.

In my experience, doctors and hospitals will always negotiate on prices, though sometimes it takes a bit of effort.

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Response to RockaFowler (Reply #3)

Wed Jul 18, 2012, 04:23 AM

118. Apparently the uninsured are supposed to stiff the hospital.

That's the single payer system apparently. It's the reason the prices are so damned high or something.

So I guess your GF should stiff the hospital. It'll fall off her record after 7 years anyways.

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Response to CBGLuthier (Reply #1)

Tue Jul 17, 2012, 11:20 AM

10. Yes a scam along with senior housing/Assisted and Nursing homes.

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Response to RockaFowler (Original post)

Tue Jul 17, 2012, 11:15 AM

2. Those $5 Q-Tips really add up.




Not making light of your stay, I'm just pointing out how their pricing structure works.


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Response to lpbk2713 (Reply #2)

Tue Jul 17, 2012, 11:15 AM

4. $5 each??

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Response to RockaFowler (Reply #4)

Tue Jul 17, 2012, 11:17 AM

6. Not to mention the $10 aspirin.




They will gouge you however they can.


Link for ref: http://www.npr.org/blogs/money/2009/11/18_dollar_asprin.html

(Bear in mind this is 2009 dollars. Probably more now)


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Response to RockaFowler (Reply #4)

Tue Jul 17, 2012, 02:40 PM

78. Some how this reminds me of Scrushy and Siegelman. During the run up to imprisoning those two, Mr.

Scrushy had a way to save the hospitals and the govt. money, but were sent to prison instead of helping cut medical supply costs...

Scrushy was the first chief executive charged with violating the 2002 Sarbanes-Oxley Act, a corporate reform measure enacted after a wave of corporate scandals that followed the collapse of Enron. Five former chief financial officers testified against him.

A federal jury in Alabama began deliberating about six weeks ago and appeared to be deadlocked. Last week, U.S. District Judge Karon Bowdre replaced one juror due to illness and instructed the reconfigured 12-member panel to start over.

As the verdict was read in the early afternoon Tuesday, defense lawyers were crying while the prosecutors sat stone-faced, according to an eyewitness in the courtroom. Scrushy hugged his wife and his pastor.

Scrushy's acquittal, while a big blow to prosecutors, comes after some recent government wins in its campaign against corporate fraud. Last week, hefty sentences were given to two former Adelphia Communications executives. Two weeks ago, former Tyco CEO Dennis Kozlowski was found guilty. Ex-WorldCom CEO Bernard Ebbers was convicted in March.http://money.cnn.com/2005/06/28/news/newsmakers/scrushy_outcome/index.htm


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Response to RockaFowler (Original post)

Tue Jul 17, 2012, 11:16 AM

5. Here's one answer to one of your questions -

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Response to enlightenment (Reply #5)

Tue Jul 17, 2012, 11:18 AM

7. Thanks for this

Very enlightening, indeed

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Response to enlightenment (Reply #5)

Tue Jul 17, 2012, 01:10 PM

47. 95% of uninsured hospital bills are never paid.

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Response to enlightenment (Reply #5)

Tue Jul 17, 2012, 01:35 PM

65. here is his next article on How to avoid getting gouged by hospital bills

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Response to enlightenment (Reply #5)

Wed Jul 18, 2012, 12:58 AM

111. Wrong post



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Response to RockaFowler (Original post)

Tue Jul 17, 2012, 11:18 AM

8. These charges are outrages, my son had a sesiar..stayed in the er for an hour and was charge 2100usd

...it's the hospitals charging the money and letting us know BEFORE we go to the hospital how much they're going to charge isn't going to be a fix to people who can't call around and get pricing during an emergency

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Response to RockaFowler (Original post)

Tue Jul 17, 2012, 11:19 AM

9. When my wife had abdominal surgery

We later went through the bill, and found multiple charges that weren't even part of her surgery. For example, they billed for an ultrasound, when in fact her doctor later told us he never requested one and one was never done because they already knew where the cysts were.

All together, they probably billed our insurance an extra $12,000 in fraudulent charges.

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Response to NickB79 (Reply #9)

Tue Jul 17, 2012, 11:31 AM

18. Maybe they did and ultrasound for a patient that didn't have insurance

and billed it to your insurance to cover the costs.

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Response to hughee99 (Reply #18)

Tue Jul 17, 2012, 11:44 AM

19. Oohh, I never thought of that!

I'd actually be cool with that, seeing as our health insurance is so good (thank you Teamster's Union!).

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Response to NickB79 (Reply #19)

Tue Jul 17, 2012, 12:33 PM

38. That's all fine and good until a guy gets a pap smear listed in his medical history.

 

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Response to Spitfire of ATJ (Reply #38)

Tue Jul 17, 2012, 01:12 PM

50. Not a guy - but my (female) spouse

was billed for one she never had.

She promised to never complain about pap smears again, if they could just tell her how they managed to do the exam without touching her.

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Response to Ms. Toad (Reply #50)

Tue Jul 17, 2012, 04:09 PM

88. Maybe they used a tricorder

 

[img][/img]

.....scanning insurance plan....

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Response to Spitfire of ATJ (Reply #88)

Tue Jul 17, 2012, 06:31 PM

96. Good thought - but don't you at least have to be close to the facility? n/t

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Response to Ms. Toad (Reply #96)

Tue Jul 17, 2012, 06:35 PM

97. Musta beamed her in while she was asleep.

 

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Response to NickB79 (Reply #9)

Tue Jul 17, 2012, 12:45 PM

41. I was charged $325 for an ultra sound in a doctor's office that never happened... just

because the portable ultra sound machine was wheeled into the room.

Meanwhile, an extensive ultra sound (which the doctor did not want to see) done less than a month before cost me only $125.00.

Hospitals are not the only ones who price gouge the uninsured.

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Response to NickB79 (Reply #9)

Tue Jul 17, 2012, 01:12 PM

51. did you tell your insurance company about that?

When Mr. d was in hospital and had insurance, we reviewed the bill and found a bunch of erroneous charges,
sent the bill back with a note that we would be contacting our insurance company about the errors,
month later got back a corrected bill.

We then sent bills to insurance company with a note about the original errors.
6 weeks later, hospital then wanted to know where their money was, and I told them I had sent the bill to insurance for review of original and corrected bill.
Took another 6 weeks before insurance got back to us, then a few weeks latere, I called hospital to see if THEY had gotten corrected info. from insurance.
Another month went by.
Whole process took almost 6 months before we had to pay anything to hospital. Ended up paying them about 1200.00.
Many ways to delay payments...heh heh.

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Response to dixiegrrrrl (Reply #51)

Tue Jul 17, 2012, 01:18 PM

55. Sad that this is all too common...

there's no way to know what the actual bill should be! I find that incredulous.

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Response to RockaFowler (Original post)

Tue Jul 17, 2012, 11:22 AM

11. Only 1% of all coverage has a lifetime limit of less than $1 million

You have had an extraordinarily miserly health plan, if what you say is accurate. Previously, 77% had limits of $2 million or more and 45% had no lifetime limits. Please, see, p6, http://www.hemophilia.org/docs/LifetimeLimitsReport.pdf

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Response to RockaFowler (Original post)

Tue Jul 17, 2012, 11:22 AM

12. For many that negotiation is called bankruptcy.

Insurance is for many simply a safety net for minor things, but nothing major. Break a leg, your ok. Heart attack maybe not.
But, the problem is that safety net is it is expensive. In 25 years of having insurance only one year did my actual cost of care was bigger than the premiums and copays and that was only by a few thousand. When Insurance companies can charge for that $8000 for that $10,000 - $100,000 safety net is unacceptable. Add to that the loopholes where they drop people for lying on the application when the lie was an over site is unethical. Two examples which I heard of last year was one person forgot to list an operation which they had as an infant which their parents never told them about and the person who didn't know the medical term for a simple problem so when they said they never had a certain sickness had indeed have an associated disease, what was interesting was when the application was shown to the insurance CEO he didn't know that either and would have answered the question no also although he did have the illness.

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Response to SoutherDem (Reply #12)

Tue Jul 17, 2012, 07:04 PM

100. The fraud provisions are still allowed under the ACA...

so people will still be getting kicked off if insurers deem them too expensive.

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Response to girl gone mad (Reply #100)

Tue Jul 17, 2012, 08:35 PM

102. I thought it had to be proven to be real fraud

not an innocent mistake.

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Response to RockaFowler (Original post)

Tue Jul 17, 2012, 11:23 AM

13. when they know you have insurance, the billed amount is largely funny money.

basically, they know that insurance will pay them the SMALLER of (a) whatever they bill or (b) "usual and customary" or their negotiated rate.

so the only incentive they have is to make sure that the amount they bill is greater than whatever the insurance company determines is usual and customary.

so they just put down a ridiculously high price just to make sure they're above usual and customary.


of course, if you don't have insurance, you'll get severe sticker shock, but usually patients without insurance can negotiate the price down as well, just not as effectively as the insurance companies can.

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Response to RockaFowler (Original post)

Tue Jul 17, 2012, 11:25 AM

14. Everybody knew all along that this is the problem.

Did we get anything at all to fix it? Any serious attempt? No. The ironically named ACA will not fix this. It was not meant to fix it. The corporate mandate was the goal all along.

We are bought and paid for, and the theft is bipartisan. Our political discourse and what comes out of Washington have absolutely nothing to do with solving our real problems and absolutely everything to do with growing and strengthening the corporate siphon from our pockets to theirs.

At some point the denial has to stop:
http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1014&pid=146626

Wake the hell up, America.

Occupy.

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Response to woo me with science (Reply #14)

Tue Jul 17, 2012, 11:31 AM

16. +1 The fucked up thing is

it's just more of the same. They'll shuffle around some money and tweak some rules but corporate health care will continue on like a steamroller.

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Response to woo me with science (Reply #14)

Tue Jul 17, 2012, 12:09 PM

30. Got three words for you. Insurance Finance Reform.

Now here's a few more. Obama called it insurance finance reform, which means we reformed the way insurance is financed.

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Response to woo me with science (Reply #14)

Tue Jul 17, 2012, 12:18 PM

35. Plus, some want us to be unthinking cheerleaders for insurance reform with the mandate instead of

 

medical reform.

And they get angry if we are not cheering loud enough. Why should we give up thinking? What's wrong with these people?

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Response to AnotherMcIntosh (Reply #35)

Wed Jul 18, 2012, 01:51 AM

114. +1 n/t

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Response to RockaFowler (Original post)

Tue Jul 17, 2012, 11:25 AM

15. Funny you mention this -

 

I just spend three weeks taking care of my sister after gallbladder removal down in Texas.

She is uninsured and unemployed. Even though it was an kind of emergency, she had to wait to find a charity hospital who would take her on. She found one who would do the surgery for $11,000 (that is the current standard rate) and she qualified for a in-house discount. Her cost: $4000. Unemployed and uninsured, she still has to come up with 4k. Did you have laproscopic surgery or were you cut open? My sister had the laproscopic done and she was given the boot at the end of the day, even though she was kind of struggling post-op.

What you experienced was a hospital trying to pad their bill -- this is usually done to try and recover the cost of the uninsured/under insured/delinquent in payment clients who come through their doors.

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Response to Hell Hath No Fury (Reply #15)

Tue Jul 17, 2012, 12:02 PM

26. Mine was laproscopic, too

I was there 2 days after the surgery. Thank God because I could barely move.

I feel horrible for your sister. Please give her my best I know how she feels - I just can't believe they kicked her out so soon

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Response to Hell Hath No Fury (Reply #15)

Tue Jul 17, 2012, 01:35 PM

64. That's not unusal

hospitals are dangerous due to superbugs and bacteria. I wouldn't want to be inpatient one more minute than neccessary.

When I had my (laproscopic) gallbladder, I was discharged by 2pm. I still wasn't functional, but wasn't in the hospital.

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Response to RockaFowler (Original post)

Tue Jul 17, 2012, 11:49 AM

20. Don't pay retail - in anything

 

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Response to RockaFowler (Original post)

Tue Jul 17, 2012, 11:50 AM

21. You know that at $11,000.00

they're still making a profit. That's just criminal.

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Response to RockaFowler (Original post)

Tue Jul 17, 2012, 11:53 AM

22. Any other company that would submit a fraudulent bill

bill like that would be sued out of existence! Because you do not know how much it will be beforehand, they have license to steal!

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Response to RockaFowler (Original post)

Tue Jul 17, 2012, 11:53 AM

23. I just had a shocker from my ER visit last month

I was running a high fever for 2 days. Unfortunately this happened over the weekend and it wasn't until Saturday night my doctor finally said to go to the ER. Normally, I prefer going to the bigger hospital that is non-Catholic church affliated but my doctor said to just go to the other one because it's closer and they actually have a pretty good ER room that will get you checked out within 30 minutes. It's a few blocks from my home whereas the other one is about 2 miles away. I really don't have anything against catholic run hospitals other than the fact that they won't give out emergency contraceptive to anyone who is raped, but since that was not an issue I figured I'd head over to it.

Taxi driver took me to the hospital but I actually walked home since it was really just a few blocks from my house (and I was feeling better).

Turns out it was an out-of-network hospital. I had been to this one before but my insurance company changed and well let's face it - when you've had over a day of fever over 101, you really don't think about the lil details like if the hospital 3 blocks from my home is in or out of network.

So basically I'm going to have to pay for all but 4% of the bill. I did call the insurance company and I got a very helpful person who is going to see if they will cover it as inhouse since I was sick at the time I need to go to the ER and was directed to go to the closet hospital.

Just NOT what I needed today.

I honestly cannot imagine what it would be like if I had no insurance whatsoever.

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Response to LynneSin (Reply #23)

Tue Jul 17, 2012, 12:44 PM

40. How about when you are lying on the operating table?

With your chest cut open? The surgeon IS in network but his assistant is not. At what point are you notified of this? Only after you get the bill! I was prepared to fight this but the insurance company adjusted it anyway.

The final bill I am fighting is the radiology bill. I've already paid the original amounts listed on the giant EOB but the little radiology company is trying to tell me my husband had 6 chest xrays in the five days he was in the hospital. Meanwhile, the cardiologist says there were only 2 xrays done. Of course, if I want a copy of the medical records, I have to fill out a form, fax it and agree to pay a PER PAGE fee before I know how many pages it will be.

Who knows how many other errors are on the bill? But who has time/energy to fight it?

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Response to Phentex (Reply #40)

Tue Jul 17, 2012, 01:01 PM

43. This whole 'in-network/out-of-network' stuff is bullshit

And what happens if the ambulance comes to my house and I'm unable to speak to them about my hospital preference. Just because of proximity I will always end up at the closer hospital that is out-of-network.

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Response to RockaFowler (Original post)

Tue Jul 17, 2012, 11:53 AM

24. We never get a hospital or doctor bill up here

we are billed for TV use....

My son was diagnosed for Glioblastma Multiforme Brain Tumour in April 1998. He had seizures at work, his first ever. He was ambulanced to the local hospital then after a CT scan ambulanced to the big University hospital that night. 3 days later he was getting his first of 3 operations by the head neurosurgeon and University of Toronto head of neurology.

He then got radiation, chemo, counseling, blood transfusions, 5 weeks of intensive care after the 3rd operation and 1 week of palliative care in hospital. He died October 1999.

Two months after our son's diagnosis my husband was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma.
He had one operation, radiation , chemo, a month long stay in hospital after his stem cells were harvested and then put back in him after a very aggressive chemo, home visits by a nurse, and finally 3 months of in hospital palliative care.


our bills - ZERO. We did have to pay parking fees at the hospital, which I found out later I could deduct as medical expenses

Up here we shake our heads at the Americans who don't want a health care system like us.

Last October I had a detached retina which my optometrist sent me to an eye surgeon, who saw me that same day and I was operated on by him 3 hours afterward in the hospital. I got to claim for a travel grant for gasoline as it was a two hour one way drive..
No bills.

You know once 2014 comes along, everyone in the USA will realize this new Obamacare is really a good thing.


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Response to riverbendviewgal (Reply #24)

Tue Jul 17, 2012, 11:56 AM

25. You know I was in Canada for the first time a few years ago....

First time I bought something (a pair of sunglasses at Niagara Falls, I had broken mine) I was absolutely SHOCKED at the 17% sales tax I had to pay. Mind you I'm in Delaware and we have no sales tax.

Then it dawned on me that the trade off of 17% sales tax is that you don't have to worry about health care.

After last weekend when I was sent to an out-of-network hosptial (which was the one closest to my home), I think I would be fine paying more in sales tax if it meant my medical bills were covered under universal healthcare.

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Response to LynneSin (Reply #25)

Tue Jul 17, 2012, 01:02 PM

44. I think in Ontario where I am, the tax is 13 percent on things like sunglasses

It is steep but that is provincial and federal combined...Some states have state tax and city tax, so it may be close to Ontario.

Food is not taxed, except in restaurants, movie theatres, bars. My income taxes for provincial/federal combined range from 21 - 26 percent depending what I gross that year. I have no qualms about that.

Seeing my son and husband go through their cancers and not going bankrupt made me very grateful to have the top notch health care we have. Doctors did not have to consult insurance companies if they could do anything.

I sill have extra medical insurance ($1600 annually) to cover semi-private, prescription drugs, eye care , dental, massage therapy, and hearing aid. Next year on turning 65 I will get my prescription drugs free with a $100 deductible and pay $2 to 4 dollars for dispensary fees. I deduct that $1600 from my income tax.


I have traveled much in the USA and find great bargains with such low taxes or no taxes on items BUT I also find most people I have met, workers, do not have health insurance or are paying amounts like a thousand dollars a month...That is an eye opener.

I like visiting the USA but will always live in Canada.

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Response to riverbendviewgal (Reply #44)

Tue Jul 17, 2012, 01:04 PM

45. Watch out - freepers want to move to Canada

After ACA was upheld by the Supreme Court, a couple of threads was started by freepers about moving to Canada. That was a good laugh since Canadian healthcare is socialized.

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Response to LynneSin (Reply #45)

Tue Jul 17, 2012, 01:12 PM

52. I read that too..

That is so hilarious.....Guess they didn't see SICKO..

I love the line in it from Moore's Canadian uncle, and it sooo true of us Canadians - "we are all in the boat together".


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Response to LynneSin (Reply #45)

Tue Jul 17, 2012, 05:23 PM

93. Never happen

1) Socialized medicine
2) No Fox News (their application did not meet up with Canadian broadcast standards)
3) Three-down football
4) Lots of French everywhere (c'est une bonne chose!)
5) Immigration requires employability
6) And we're still waiting for Stevie Baldwin to make good on his promise to move here if Barack Obama became POTUS. My mom baked a cake and everything......

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Response to rationalcalgarian (Reply #93)

Wed Jul 18, 2012, 12:23 AM

110. Like the list

But #2 isn't totally accurate. We have SUN TV. Or as I like to call it, Fox News North.

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Response to Maynar (Reply #110)

Wed Jul 18, 2012, 04:16 AM

117. Oh... right

SUN-TV being so easily forgettable, I forgot about it! Easily.

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Response to riverbendviewgal (Reply #44)

Wed Jul 18, 2012, 10:25 AM

122. Does Canada now exempt "junk food" from the GST?

When the GST first went into effect in 1990 or 1991, "junk food" (potato chips and things like that) was taxed. There was some weird interpretation for doughnuts and pastries-- if you bought 6 or more, they were taxed (or maybe vice versa). Unsalted nuts were not taxed, but salted nuts were.

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Response to riverbendviewgal (Reply #24)

Tue Jul 17, 2012, 12:15 PM

33. Another of our Canadian DUers says Obamas reform was a victory for us.

The Obamacare we are getting, we still have to pay for the insurance, pay the deductibles and co pays. Now me? I want some of what you and Sid have, but we aren't going to get it.

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Response to Autumn (Reply #33)

Tue Jul 17, 2012, 01:10 PM

48. Perhaps you will

If Obama is re-elected AND you get a congress that will work with him...In Canada many protested when our health care system started but then the people realized that is for the good of all. Hopefully you will still have Obamacare in 2014 and you will find happy people in your country, and healthier ones too.

I do like that our government negotiates with the pharmaceutical companies to keep drug prices down.

There is always room for improvement and there will be fraud but it is important to be diligent and catch it.

I was a fraud analyst before retiring. I found an American TV program like 20/20, not sure what show it was, report that our Ontario Health card was worth $5k on the black market....That was years ago. Most of us now have picture ID health cards, so it has diminished.

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Response to riverbendviewgal (Reply #48)

Tue Jul 17, 2012, 06:17 PM

95. I know I can do an Internet search, but want to ask, is immigration to Canada an easy thing to do?

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Response to RickFromMN (Reply #95)

Tue Jul 17, 2012, 09:38 PM

108. I googled.

here is the official way to go about it.
http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/immigrate/in


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Response to RockaFowler (Original post)

Tue Jul 17, 2012, 12:03 PM

28. What is crazy is you get a bill like that showing the system is a mess and you praise the ACA.

 

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Response to dkf (Reply #28)

Tue Jul 17, 2012, 12:15 PM

34. Did you even read the post? But for the ACA she'd be bankrupt. nt

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Response to SunSeeker (Reply #34)

Tue Jul 17, 2012, 09:27 PM

106. It's not a long term solution. Those outrageous numbers

 

are so arbitrary with different payments for everyone depending on who is negotiating. What a ridiculous mish mash. I dont know how anyone can navigate the medical market place when we've got all these mythical figures that no one ever pays.

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Response to RockaFowler (Original post)

Tue Jul 17, 2012, 12:06 PM

29. fees /charges for all doctors/hospitals should be posted on the internet nt

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Response to RockaFowler (Original post)

Tue Jul 17, 2012, 12:13 PM

31. How come your insurance was able to get a 1/10 discount?

How come your insurance was able to get a 1/10 discount?

So, if you pay cash like I have to, you have to pay the whole bill? Are they using a 'buying in bulk' reasoning?

That seems outrageous.

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Response to ryan_cats (Reply #31)

Tue Jul 17, 2012, 01:06 PM

46. I wonder that, too

I feel horrible for my friend who has to pay the whole bill. It's impossible

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Response to ryan_cats (Reply #31)

Tue Jul 17, 2012, 01:20 PM

57. Cash customers have an interesting situation....

The $119K bill is an illusion since insurers and Medicare/Medicaid all have pre-negotiated fee schedules for their patients. An uninsured patient would likely be asked for payment up front, or to sign some sort of payment agreement - assuming it was not a life/death emergency.

The Los Angeles Times did an interesting investigation recently.

They found that cash customers (if they tell the MD in advance they are not using insurance) often get quoted a highly discounted fee for a procedure or office visit. In many cases (the article found) the discounted fee was even LESS than the co-pay that would have been charged after insurance paid the balance.


http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-medical-prices-20120527,0,4627745.story


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Response to radhika (Reply #57)

Tue Jul 17, 2012, 09:34 PM

107. are you the person who posted this on DU several weeks ago?

If so, thank you! My daughter hurt her finger; coincidentally, I still had this article up on my computer at the time (I'd kept it up for days because I didn't want to forget the information) and, although we have insurance, it's basically just for catastrophic stuff; our deductible is huge, so we'd have paid for any x-rays, etc, out of pocket... and at a vastly increased price, if I'd presented our insurance card. It turns out that we didn't go (she was in a lot of pain at first but felt better pretty quickly), but I wouldn't have known that saying we didn't have insurance could have saved us a lot of money.

Thanks for the information! Super duper valuable stuff!

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Response to RockaFowler (Original post)

Tue Jul 17, 2012, 12:14 PM

32. Thanks for the post. And keep spreading the word about Obamacares! nt

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Response to SunSeeker (Reply #32)

Tue Jul 17, 2012, 03:30 PM

83. ... yes, I like that added-S to the word... certainly fits


ObamaCares

and less of an object and more of an action verb.... I think it should stick at DU that way!

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Response to tomm2thumbs (Reply #83)

Tue Jul 17, 2012, 03:45 PM

84. I love it myself

I've been using it when talking about my ordeal for a few weeks now - ObamaCares!!

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Response to RockaFowler (Reply #84)

Thu Aug 2, 2012, 09:53 PM

124. I'll do it as well -- as it will annoy my entire family. :))))

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Response to RockaFowler (Original post)

Tue Jul 17, 2012, 12:28 PM

36. I was thinking about that the other day

Insurance companies pay nowhere near what is billed, but people without insurance are probably stuck with the entire cost. That's awful. At some point, someone needs to address the outrageous "costs" associated with brief hospital stays.

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Response to RockaFowler (Original post)

Tue Jul 17, 2012, 12:28 PM

37. Did both of your gallbladders explode?

Sorry, not buying a lengthy hospital stay for GB surgery, let alone two. I JUST had mine removed, as well as several people
I know, and two family members, and in each case it was laparoscopic and outpatient. I was on the table at 10am
and home by 4pm.

Not buying your story at all.

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Response to Dreamer Tatum (Reply #37)

Tue Jul 17, 2012, 12:41 PM

39. My wife is scheduled for gallbladder surgery in two months

The hospital (a little hole in the wall called Stanford Medical Center) told her it was a two to three day stay all together.

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Response to Dreamer Tatum (Reply #37)

Tue Jul 17, 2012, 12:59 PM

42. Ouch!!

I went to the Emergency Room on a Tuesday with major pains in my upper abdoman. They took a bunch of tests - EKG, CT Scan, Hydra Scan, Ultrasound - to see what was causing the pain. It was determined at that time that there was a problem with my GallBladder and my blood work showed high levels in my liver. They wanted me to get an Endoscopic test done as well. At that time it was determined that I have ulcers.

So now you know the rest of my story. I'm sorry you didn't believe me, but I have no need to lie on here.

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Response to Dreamer Tatum (Reply #37)

Tue Jul 17, 2012, 01:14 PM

53. Gallbladders can be diseased from gallstones and infection. Infection can cause the gallbladder

to become necrotic (gangrenous). These people don't jump up and go home. Since you don't know what the case was here, it's hard to compare your case with the OP's. This may have been more that a simple cholecystectomy.

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Response to Dreamer Tatum (Reply #37)

Tue Jul 17, 2012, 01:33 PM

61. I'm glad your surgery went well -

If your billing experience is different, you could offer the amounts you were billed and the amount covered by your insurance company. That would be another helpful datapoint that could support or contradict the OP, without any need to suggest Rockafowler is lying.

And, aside from anything else, the issue isn't really how long anyone stayed in the hospital, but the difference between what is billed (and would need to be paid by someone who is uninsured) versus what the provider has agreed to accept in full for the services.

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Response to Dreamer Tatum (Reply #37)

Tue Jul 17, 2012, 01:33 PM

62. almost as ridiculous as five people within the same circle of acquaintances all having the same surg

 

A lengthy hospital stay for gall-bladder surgery seems almost as ridiculous as five people within the same circle of acquaintances all having the same surgery during the same approximate time period.

Six of one, half a dozen of the other...

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Response to Dreamer Tatum (Reply #37)

Tue Jul 17, 2012, 01:39 PM

66. I believe every word of it.

I've worked in rehab hospitals with patients that have had ortho procedures like hip replacements, back surgeries, amputations, etc. And I'm always shocked at the range of costs that they report for the same surgeries under the same circumstances. And gall bladder surgery can be a lapi or an open surgery. An open gallbladder surgery can keep you in the hospital for up to five days if you keep running a fever or any other complication. I've seen hip replacement surgeries that cost from $60,000 to $180,000 depending on the doctor, the hospital and other factors. We were never supposed to recommend any one particular surgeon to our patients over another, but some of the ortho docs took the idea that they were the Christian Louboutins of the medical world and should be able to charge a designer price. As for radiological or laboratory procedures, I've seen them run the gamut as well. I had an MRI of my brain with and without contrast in 2007. It cost $10,000. Think of how the Ryan Plan would impact on seniors on Medicare if they got vouchers of only $20,000 a year or so. Many of them would be destitute.

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Response to Dreamer Tatum (Reply #37)

Tue Jul 17, 2012, 01:45 PM

72. My wife had hers taken out. Three days in hospital.

She was on the table for an extra two hours. The doctor said he had never seen one in such bad shape in 20 years of surgery.

Complications arise. Not everyone is the same.



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Response to Dreamer Tatum (Reply #37)

Tue Jul 17, 2012, 02:23 PM

75. My cousin had to stay in for 5 days after hers

I was in at 7 am, home again by 11 am. But my cousin was just worse off and needed the old-fashoined kind of surgery. No orthoscopic stuff for her situation.

So yeah, I know it can be that bad.

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Response to Dreamer Tatum (Reply #37)

Tue Jul 17, 2012, 04:16 PM

90. Thank you for your diagnosis, Dr. Internet

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Response to RockaFowler (Original post)

Tue Jul 17, 2012, 01:11 PM

49. I think I will need to have that surgery soon

I am so grateful I live in MA. Thank's Mitt!

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Response to RockaFowler (Original post)

Tue Jul 17, 2012, 01:17 PM

54. My wife

was in ICU for 16 days last year before she passed away. Her final bill was a little over 300,000. She didn't have insurance. The hospital finance department helped get her on Medicaid to cover the cost.

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Response to littlebit (Reply #54)

Tue Jul 17, 2012, 07:45 PM

101. I am so sorry for your loss, but am glad you don't have to cope with that bill! *hugs*

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Response to RockaFowler (Original post)

Tue Jul 17, 2012, 01:19 PM

56. My 6 hours in the ER back in May was $7K+

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Response to RockaFowler (Original post)

Tue Jul 17, 2012, 01:24 PM

58. Our care to date for this year:

Billed: $23,856.08
Paid by the Insurance company (or our deductible): $14,749.31

The lowest rate of payment: labwork - ranging from 7% to 22%
The highest rate of payment: physicians - ranging from 55% to 93%

I haven't really kept track of it before, but this year we have a HRA, so I had to touch every EOB until we hit $6000 out of pocket. I was so appalled at what I saw that I've continued to track.

One note - all the medications look as if they are paid at 100%, but I know drugs are also paid at a discounted rate that is just not reflected in anything I can find. (I know this because I was quoted the out of pocket, old insurance, and new insurance rate for the first prescription I filled this year. The two insurance companies were billed different rates, both significantly lower than the out of pocket rate.) That means the amount paid/amount billed rate is artificially high since $8000+ of what has been paid is for drugs.

We'll have a hospitalization at the end of this week. I'm betting it is paid at closer to the labwork rate than the physician rate.

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Response to RockaFowler (Original post)

Tue Jul 17, 2012, 01:28 PM

59. The Battle for Healthcare Has Just Begun

If I were all of you, I would be spreading the word about how good it will be for all...It is time to speak up and present the truth and expose the fiction. You can not talk about it enough....Fight for your health and for those who are too sick and poor to fight. In my travels I was awestruck by all the misconceptions about Canada health care. I loved setting people straight and presenting the truth. The Freepers did not want to hear it because it shattered their little worlds of Fox news info.

new article in THE NATION.

These ads and the rhetoric emanating from the Tea Party guvs are nothing but open fearmongering and baldfaced lies. They insinuate that the ACA would ration healthcare (in fact, the ACA rations it no more or less than the current system). Governor Scott justified his refusal to expand Medicaid by claiming it would add $1.9 billion to Florida’s budget (though the federal government funds 100 percent of Medicaid expansion in the first three years, and Florida’s own healthcare agency estimates it would cost the state far less). Not to be outdone, Rush Limbaugh hysterically called the ACA the “biggest tax increase in the history of the world” (when, in fact, it contains tax breaks for middle-class Americans).

These lies have done a great deal of damage. Many people are confused about what the act does and does not do, creating a debate that seems to take place in an alternate reality. The stakes in this fight, then, are profound: the health of millions of Americans, of our shared social safety net and—not least—of our democracy itself.




http://www.thenation.com/article/168844/battle-healthcare-has-just-begun

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Response to riverbendviewgal (Reply #59)

Tue Jul 17, 2012, 01:30 PM

60. I posted it on Facebook, too

People will still not listen - even my friends and family. It's a shame that they are so blinded by their hatred for a man - again a man who did nothing to them - that they will vote against their best interests. So sad. Even when you give them the truth, they still don't want to hear it.

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Response to RockaFowler (Reply #60)

Tue Jul 17, 2012, 03:49 PM

85. Between Rush and Fox, my conservative friends and family appear to be hypnotized.

I honestly believe that this might be happening. Perhaps Rush's voice and repetitive manner lulls them into idiocy.

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Response to RockaFowler (Original post)

Tue Jul 17, 2012, 01:35 PM

63. the medical industrial complex.

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Response to RockaFowler (Original post)

Tue Jul 17, 2012, 01:40 PM

67. Just got a bill for $65,500 for three days

Insurance paid $7,150 and I had to pay $1,500 copay.

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Response to nichomachus (Reply #67)

Tue Jul 17, 2012, 01:43 PM

70. yep. major discount.

 

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Response to RockaFowler (Original post)

Tue Jul 17, 2012, 01:42 PM

69. outpatient surgery last year, 3 hours in hospital, total bill was $20K

 

That was the fake bill or course, insurance knocked it down to 10K and paid most of it.

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Response to RockaFowler (Original post)

Tue Jul 17, 2012, 01:45 PM

71. Here is a contrast

On my 54 birthday I was admitted to the VA hospital for a DVT. I spent 6 days in bed, tubes running in and tubes running out with blood being taken every 30 minutes the first day up to the last day where it was on a 2 hour interval. I brought home with me 5 vials of Heparin to finish the job of dissolving the blood clot in my left leg with each vial costing the VA 2500 bucks, or i was told that. I was sent a bill showing it cost 68000 dollars and of that I had to pay 1068 dollars. If those vials of heparin cost 2500 bucks a piece no telling what the big bags they put through my veins costs.
I was treated with dignity and most of all with love that I could feel from everyone who had a hand in saving my life. Oh how I wish everyone in America had the same kind of care as we Vets do, or that I got.
The place was clean. Everything was smooth running, no grumbling by the people who worked there, in fact this one kid was telling me how he upon returning from gulf 1 felt the good hand was lain on his shoulder when he got the job of Janitor there. Said he had no plans to ever look for work elsewhere. Loved his job and the way he was treated.
Oh that was 10 years ago as I'm 64 now.

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Response to RockaFowler (Original post)

Tue Jul 17, 2012, 02:15 PM

74. I feel ya!

I once went to the emergency room for kidney stones due to extreme pain without insurance. I was there about 3 hours and they ran a scan, gave me pain meds, wrote a prescription, and that's it. My total bill was $10,000+. I ended up paying about $1,200 thanks to what I assume was Medicaid (I was unemployed at time.) I thank the USA for this "free stuff" which kept me from being ruined financially just because I was in more pain than I could tolerate.

These inflated health care costs are a scam! All we are asking for is REASONABLE health care costs. Is that too much to ask or is our system so unbelievably corrupt that health care will only be available to those who can afford it? Affordable health care is a right!

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Response to RockaFowler (Original post)

Tue Jul 17, 2012, 02:30 PM

76. Last month I was in the hospital from 4:00 p.m. until

10:00 a.m. the next day and the bill was over $4,000.00. Medicare paid most of it but I will be eating peanut butter and crackers for the rest of the year.

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Response to RockaFowler (Original post)

Tue Jul 17, 2012, 02:31 PM

77. $74,000 for one night

But that included the surgeon -- a "two fer."

Ankle joint replacement

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Response to Auggie (Reply #77)

Tue Jul 17, 2012, 04:11 PM

89. Two thousand dollars for two hours in an emergency room,

with no treatment other than a pain pill.

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Response to RockaFowler (Original post)

Tue Jul 17, 2012, 02:41 PM

79. Dude, ya gotta stay away from the mini-bar.

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Response to tclambert (Reply #79)

Tue Jul 17, 2012, 02:49 PM

80. That's what my husband said

He also said I must have had some pretty good meds in there!! They were awesome, but boy am I glad I'm not still on them. That dilaudid made me feel yucky from the second they injected me. Yucky!!

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Response to RockaFowler (Reply #80)

Tue Jul 17, 2012, 04:01 PM

86. My wife was on Dilaudid in the hospital

Last week she had a flair up of Pancreatitis related to the stone removal and the local doctor gave her a 'script for Dilaudid in pill form.

That stuff is way too strong for managing pain at home.

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Response to RockaFowler (Original post)

Tue Jul 17, 2012, 02:59 PM

81. A couple of things

I heard about the option of calling the hospital and asking what it would cost if you pay cash. . . and that the price difference is huge! I'm not sure if that covers overnight stays, but here is some more info about it: http://www.thehappymd.com/medical-bills-going-down-if-you-pay-cash-way-down/

Personally we found a similar story. My husband had cancer surgery. We had pretty good insurance through his employer fortunately. When the bill came from the hospital it was $135,000; when we received the insurance accounting for what was paid, the amount paid and accepted by the hospital was $31,000. I don't recall how much we had to spend but it was in the neighborhood of about $2,000 as our "share". How is this even close to equitable? It's like the old Gallagher bit about banks charging you an overdraft fee - so you are being charged more of what they already know you don't have.

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Response to RockaFowler (Original post)

Tue Jul 17, 2012, 03:00 PM

82. almost the same for my parents

My father had a brain aneurysm/stroke in which he had to have brain surgery. This was in 2002, and my parents never could afford health insurance. The final bill came out to a total of about $800,000, with the ambulance, hosp transfers, days in the hosp, etc all included. My mother had to claim bankruptcy of course, even though she always paid her bills on time, she had to have that on her record. The funniest thing on the bills is when they say the total due, that they will accept major credit cards. It's like oh good, I'll just whip out my visa to pay $800,000!

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Response to RockaFowler (Original post)

Tue Jul 17, 2012, 04:04 PM

87. Can we get this to go viral?

Maybe a slide show in Youtube, with other examples?

And live testimony from doctors who HATE insurance companies. Even Republican doctors.

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Response to RockaFowler (Original post)

Tue Jul 17, 2012, 04:55 PM

91. $66,000 for pacemaker

While traveling on a Thursday, , my husband fainted twice. Got him to a local hospital. After fainting again in the ER, he was admitted. Next day was a Friday so they did tests all day. Decided he needed a pacemaker but that Dr was gone for the weekend. Husband stayed in hospital over weekend( one day in cardiac ER and rest on a regular ward). Pacemaker in on Monday and he went home Tuesday. The bill, excluding some incidentals was $ 66,000 of which our insurer paid about $ 35,000.

I forgot to add that this is not a high income area- Florence SC.

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Response to RockaFowler (Original post)

Tue Jul 17, 2012, 05:02 PM

92. My boss is notorious for not paying

his bills in a timely manner - hey he is a 1% after all.

But I have just received a final notice from a hospital and if not paid it will go to collections - scary right? Then I look at the amount $5.00 - how much has it cost the hospital to keep sending out invoices and notices for payment? How much will it cost them to send this to collections?

There is no wonder patients have to pay so much when hospitals are willing to waste beaucoup money on trying to get small bills paid.

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Response to RockaFowler (Original post)

Tue Jul 17, 2012, 05:27 PM

94. I had a similar BS billing when I had my heart attack in Dallas last year

I was in the hospital for three days, individual room, great care (it helped when I greeted the Filipino nurses in Tagalog).

Got the bill: $36,000, discounted (WTF?) down to $26,600, and insurance covered 90% of that, so my bill out of pocket was $2660.

I definitely don't get it. In Germany, for a 3 day stay including operative procedures and top care (there are 2 classes of care in Germany), my bill for a similar stay was 9000 euros, or about $11,000, and my American insurance tried to get out of paying for a cent of it.

A scam? You betcha!

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Response to RockaFowler (Original post)

Tue Jul 17, 2012, 06:42 PM

98. Innocent people will go to jail....

Instead of the greedy crooks behind this mess!


A layperson needs a law degree to understand it all.

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Response to RockaFowler (Original post)

Tue Jul 17, 2012, 09:05 PM

103. hospitals base their rates on what medicare will pay

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Response to RockaFowler (Original post)

Tue Jul 17, 2012, 09:10 PM

104. The issue is not all of ObamaCare. It's one tiny segment thereof - the individual mandate.

 

And the GOP is already hard at work at exploiting that part of the law.

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Response to RockaFowler (Original post)

Tue Jul 17, 2012, 09:21 PM

105. Same thing when I had my appendix out. Bill was monstrous, Insurance paid a fraction

of it at negotiated rates.

Isn't for profit health FUN!

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Response to RockaFowler (Original post)

Tue Jul 17, 2012, 11:03 PM

109. ObamaCares. I like it. First time I've heard that one. n/t

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Response to RockaFowler (Original post)

Wed Jul 18, 2012, 01:07 AM

112. I really feel sorry for Americans what the have to pay to get health insurance. From another thread.

I've interviewed hundreds of Americans for health insurance surveys.

The range of costs I have seen for a couple or family of three is between $4000 -$8000 per year through a combination of premiums, deductibles, co-pays and co-insurance. For non disclosure reasons I can't name the insurance companies.

A Canadian family of four or more pays $1452 per year total for all family members. No deductibles except for drugs up to $2100 after that no deductible for drugs either. Other than that no out of pocket costs such as co-pays and co-insurance.

I am disabled so I pay nothing. No insurance premiums and my drugs which run about $10000 per year are free also.

What that means is that a middle class US family has to earn $10,000 more per year to be at the same standard of living as a Canadian family at the same income level. That's excluding drug costs if my gross calculations are correct.

The most important feature of Canadian health care costs is that companies do not have to contribute a cent towards their employees healthcare. That's why US companies like to open branch plants here. With NAFTA they save billions by not having to match employee contributions to their healthcare.

Another interesting fact, Canada has been threatened with challenges under NAFTA on the grounds that the Canadian government subsidizes the Canadian worker. That's also why the US right wing has the long term goal of forcing the Canadian government to allow private insurance companies back into the market.

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Response to RockaFowler (Original post)

Wed Jul 18, 2012, 01:21 AM

113. A friend just got his whole gallbladder operation covered at a FANCY university hospital free

They took him in he said "as a charity case". He has no insurance. It didn't cost him a dime.

If it was me it would have been many thousands of a deductible, many many, and if I'd just quit paying my premiums... would it be free?

The danger is that they could have shuttled him off to a horrible hospital, etc.

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Response to RockaFowler (Original post)

Wed Jul 18, 2012, 02:20 AM

115. It would be interesting to see just how that money is distributed once paid.

What were the vendor actual costs for supplies? How much did they actually pay the hospital staff? Where does the profit go? How much of it is just simply pure profit for people who didn't lift a finger to help you?

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Response to RockaFowler (Original post)

Wed Jul 18, 2012, 02:22 AM

116. I spent a few hours in the emergency room last month due to kidney stones

 

My bill was $10,000

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Response to RockaFowler (Original post)

Wed Jul 18, 2012, 04:41 AM

120. Actually, that doesn't seem that high...

 

With costs skyrocketing for some reason I thought 5 days might be more...it's ridiculous of course, and ridiculous that we've come to expect such high costs.

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Response to RockaFowler (Original post)

Wed Jul 18, 2012, 09:48 AM

121. $900 for a 20-minute chat with a doctor

My partner was diagnosed with prostate cancer a few months ago. We were trying to decide between surgery and radiation. We had a 20-minute consult with the radiation oncologist at the local hospital. We went in the office. She looked at his chart. And she gave him his options. No exam. No treatment. Nada. The bill was $250 for the doctor and a $650 "facility fee" from the hospital, which they billed as "radiation treatment."

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