Remember a few months back I was complaining about the medical/pharmaceutical industrial complex and the manipulation of charges? Seems that the LATimes has noticed this also; http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-hospital-prices-20130509,0,484089.story
Read it (and my rant), and then start asking questions of your doctors, their staff, and your medical insurance company. We defer to our doctor’s knowledge regarding our medical treatment, and rightly so. In an emergency or life-threatening situation the response is usually, “OK doctor, let’s do whatever it takes.”
And that is the point at which we become candy for this whole racket.
My surgeries? I did as I was told, and have no regret. Those two quarterbacks threw the long bomb and won the game. Chemo and radiation? Same thing. It was all at UCLA and I was under the care of a ‘team’.
But now I am in the maintenance mode, and that will last a lifetime. I have declined antibiotics from various doctors a few times because the situations were not grave, and I know about the general over-use of these drugs in our society. Overuse that leads to unsavory consequences individually and as a community.
A few months ago I expressed concern about all the radiation I am enduring due to treatment and follow-up. Consequently, my oncologist told me that an MRI only would suffice for my subsequent scans. We could skip the PET scan radiation bomb. All I did was ask. Well, maybe complain and then ask.
And now the next time I have a scan (June ’13), I will also make a few calls around to various imaging clinics just to see what these pictures are going to cost. Or maybe I’ll just call Motion Picture Industry Health Plan and ask them if they pay the same rate no matter what the vendor may charge. And then ask what my co-pay would be w/ various charges. MPIHP used to be fantastic, but now it’s just very good; there are a lot more co-pays than in the past.
Keep your eyes open, dear reader, look for the big picture, and ask a few questions.