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Author: rubberthinking Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 210470  
Subject: Re: health insurance premiums in New York Date: 7/20/2013 1:16 PM
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Price transparency is indeed lacking. On one occasion, despite several attempts, I could not determine the negotiated price for a test. The doctor's office (after much prodding) quoted the "rack rate" to me -- that is, the rate that a totally uninsured patient would pay coming in off the street. It turned out that the negotiated rate was about 25% of that amount.


And how is that a crime? You are expecting doctors, nurses, aides, receptionists, and finally perhaps a billing person with such info deep in their computer to dig up such stuff and then for us you are stating a rack rate that does not apply to you. The rack rate has nothing to do with you, so even a quote to you by the billing person has nothing to do with you.

The real problem for the doctor, the nurse, the aide and the billing person is that this industry is not like an MCD. At MCD you see the whole menu up in lights. You get the choices of what size fries you want. The price is given to everyone who walks in the door. So it is easy to remember. At least for most of us. And the cow is dead before you eat the burger.

At a doctor's office, presumably a GP, you have massive numbers of problems. And no dead cow meat. You could have a fungus or a heart attack. You could be with a larger pool of insured people where the negotiation with the doctor's group was good for the insurer. Or you could walk in off the street. So the menu is not up in lights.

Do you for one minute understand the size of the menu? Or more importantly the huge differences in care between one heart patient and another heart patient with the same diagnosis from the same doctor? Perhaps one of the patients has a stent from twenty years earlier and is age 75, while the other just got his stent and is age 50. The difference in prices would be massive. The differences in care might be massive over just one technical difference developed after the former patient's stent was put in. And if one has a slight complication we know the differences in care would be substantial. Doctors can not put up the menu. You wont be eating duck, sipping wine and enjoying creme brulee for dessert. All for a mere $50 per plate.

Lets hope you just went to see the doctor for a fungus.

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