27, Jan 2011

I lied.  This blog post is prior to the results of the CAT scan.  The appointment with Dr. Rad isn’t for another week.

But writing this short post is giving me a break from filling in the spreadsheet I’ve started.  It’s high time that all the bills that have been pouring in every day get organized.  Don’t want to end up with various collectors.  The spreadsheet is up to 60+ records and still have a way to go.  The killer bills are from the anesthesiologist.  For some reason those guys are not even close to being in network even though the hospital and doctors were.  Their bills are not cheap.  Doesn’t seem right.  Means serious negotiations coming.

Stryker sent me an article a few weeks ago about how treating throat cancer is one of the most brutal.  The article also explains a procedure done in Philadelphia which they’ve been doing since 2009–surgery going through the mouth and cutting out the tumor either at base of tongue or back of throat.  This eliminates most of the downside to radiation/chemo and recovery is much quicker.  Why didn’t I hear of this before?  Answer: that would be my own fault for not investigating thoroughly prior.

In the book The Big Short, about the lead-up to the financial crisis and those who saw a problem with the packaging and selling of sub-prime mortgage bonds, one of the guys who started a hedge fund a few years ago converted to the investment field from the medical field (brain surgeon).  He spoke to how many medical operations and procedures follow financial behavior patterns.  He was successful in the investment field because he studied, in depth, financial incentive patterns and detected a problem with credit default swaps.  In medical practice, he says when the government or private sector gives doctors or surgeons an incentive for a certain surgery or procedure, there are lots of them.  Take away the incentive and the numbers of surgeries/procedures magically decline.  Most is not what’s best for the patient, but what’s financially beneficial for the administrator.

That being said, the medical community certainly does do wonderful things.  I for one am glad, so far, that I don’t have a ball on my tongue anymore.  At least I hope next week Dr Rad tells me that.  Regardless, time will tell if it stays away.  And just to see what they’ve done with the congresswoman from Arizona is enough to praise what most in the medical community do.

But the system is tough.  We are left to our own devices to manage our own care and our own system.  And, in the end, to pay for it.  So, without babbling on, I had  better get back to the spreadsheet and try not to cringe at the net balance due.

 

2 thoughts on “27, Jan 2011

  1. Mother

    Cheever Buckbee’s step-dad did some serious negotiations with St. Joeseph Hospital. They slashed thousands off the bill based on reason. No lawyers involved. Just serious,
    soft, strong gentlemanly rationale sitting with the hospital administrator.
    Talk about heavy lifting: keep up the good work. Love ya! Mom

    Reply

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