Friday, May 6, 2011

Explanation of Benefits

Benefits?!? Holy crap that's a funny way of putting it!!!

Call it a medical bill. Call it robbery.



Back in March, I took my daughter to our large and ever-growing, ever-merging health building, center, complex, death star, for her annual physical. Ears, good. Eyes, good. Weight, good. Everything just dandy. Except for a small splinter in her foot. Been bugging her for a couple of days. I figured it needed to come out before we took our trip to Barcelona. I knew extensive walking was going to be a large part of the trip and I was worried that continuous picking at the splinter on our part was going to be detrimental to her walking. So, I logically worked it out that if we were going to be at the doctor's office anyway, we could just have them remove it.

The main part of the exam completed, the doctor went to fetch a pair of tweezers. The fetching and removing of tweezers, gauzes and disinfectant from sanitary pouches took about 45 seconds. The actual removal happened so quickly that I would like to have seen an instant replay. Let's say it took about 3 seconds. Fast, efficient and pain free. Until . . .

Yesterday, the bill, entitled EXPLANATION OF BENEFITS was mailed to us. Two entries under Services Provided category. #1 - Preventative Medical Care - $225.00. O.K. Not cheap, but the kiddo was thoroughly looked over. #2 - Foreign Body Removal - $639.00. WTF? We're not talking about the cost of having the body of a foreign person removed (and buried). We're talking about a tiny splinter and less than 60 seconds of medical time.

Sure, sure, our "benefits" paid for some of this. Not nearly enough. But frankly, the question here is, how the hell can this cost $639.00??!!??!!

I'm guessing the whole point of these costs is to rip off as many people as possible in the short term and deter them from returning to their doctor in the future for any medical issue short of death.

Jeez, what is that strange lump?
Could that sharp pain be something important?
How much blood is too much blood?
Is that finger (or other appendage) really crucial?

These are questions we will have to ask for ourselves. To include a physician on the decision making is just going to cost too much.

Is this what the Mafia is into now? Screw drugs and prostitution! There's more money to be made in the "healthcare industry."

1 comment:

  1. Welcome to the 21st Century of preventative medicine and acceptable profit-margins. I am not at all surprised. Mafia indeed.