Friday, June 3, 2011

Next I Hope For A Line Item Veto

Here in my neck of the woods some legislation is afloat for pricing transparency in hospitals. It's called The Idaho Health Care Transparency Act of 2011. I hope this gets passed! I have several posts on this subject up on this blog. Next is a patient rights bill to ensure that patients can look at the pricing and decline any parts of it that the patient wishes to forego. In my case VERSED and everything that happened after I was poisoned with this drug!

Here's the link; Posting the cost of health care - Coeur d'Alene Press: Political#user-comment-area#user-comment-area#user-comment-area#user-comment-area I put the link up to include the comments. One person had the same pricing experience as *I* had in re Kootenai vs St. Maries! Another poster says that they get better care for less money in Spokane than at Kootenai!

My experience was that I asked and asked how much my ORIF Distal Radius would cost at the place I went and they just didn't know, despite the fact that this is a very common surgery. The medical center gave me a figure, $3000, which was less than 1/3 the true cost. Some of it was the fact that Doug, my surgeon, was an hour and half late, which added to the cost. This wasn't hospital's fault, BUT, there were all kinds of charges which nobody mentioned. #1 on that list was sedation and g/a costs. Both of which I had declined. I told them BEFORE I asked the cost to omit those charges as I would not be having these "therapies." I had no idea that they would do these things to me anyway, no matter what I said and without a proper "informed consent." They should have told me that it was NOT POSSIBLE to decline sedation and g/a. Yet another chance to decline the whole surgery missed because there was no transparency in pricing.

#2 was what they called "levels of care" wherein the same damn nurse(s) costs more once you are sedated and have g/a. Of course that wasn't factored in because I HAD DECLINED SEDATION AND G/A!

Then there was an absolute IDIOT of a CRNA (a freakin nurse) who gave me the sedation and g/a against my will. He added another 800 bucks or so and was totally UNNECESSARY! Aaron the CRNA did such a poor job that they had to use a blood pressure machine which cost hundreds of dollars more. This after I had informed him that he was NOT to use any incapacitating drugs and NOT to give me g/a as I have paradoxical reactions to it. I guess he didn't believe me and tried his little experiment to see if I was lying. This is totally against the law, but what does he care?

Radiologist was extra because my surgeon was apparently incapable of reading an x ray. The radiologist was a joke because he OK'd a surgical outcome which involved misplaced screws sticking out all over the place necessitating yet another surgery to correct!

They charged me over a hundred dollars for a plaster half cast! Of course this too was sloppily done. I had a perfectly good wrist splint with me, so this charge was also just a padding for the final bill.

7 HOURS (!!!!!!!!!!!) in the hospital for a 70 minute outpatient surgery cost almost 15,000 dollars at where I went. I would NEVER EVER have agreed to have the surgery if the true cost had been revealed to me! Believe me I tried to extract this information from them. Unfortunately, once you are in there they feel that "we can do whatever we want to you!" Quote from Dorothy the "patient relations" nurse. "Patient Relations" is a euphemism for "risk management." Just so you know. Then if you don't, won't, can't pay, they will lien your house. How's that for the perfect scam?

I had my second surgery for the same ORIF problem at the St. Maries Hospital. It was around $5,000 bucks. That's because they followed my instructions about drugging me. I wouldn't hesitate to go back to St. Maries for any reason! This is not to say you don't have to watch the charges! I had a couple of charges on my St. Maries bill which I questioned. One was hundreds of dollars for an "electronic transfer of data" for the CRNA to e-mail or fax his anesthesia documents back to his office... Like he couldn't take them back with him? There was also a charge for a flouroscope that was never used. I guess if they have the machine in the same room as you, they can charge you for its mere presence. In St. Maries favor, they took those charges off my bill.

With medical care costing as much as it does, it's about time we got some protections from predatory practices by points of treatment. Knowing the cost is a good start. Mechanics have to give you a good faith estimate to repair your car. Roofers, gardners, plumbers etc. all have to reveal the cost of repairs and so should hospitals.

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