Health Care Greed

2/22/13: Health Care Greed: The high cost of health care in America is easily explained in recent Time magazine article.  This article is worthy of one’s time.  Read more:

While most critics point to the doctors as the problem, the doctors account for 17% of the health care dollar.  Doctors do contribute to the high expense by practicing defensive medicine; ordering laboratory and radiological tests.  Doctors also contribute by performing unnecessary procedures which is well established in other publications.

So who and what else contributes to the high cost.  Where is the rest of the money going or where is it being spent.

The Time publication points out the so called non-profit hospitals make large profits.  The administrators make millions in wages, far more than the doctor’s incomes.  The American Hospital Association spent $1,859,041 on lobbyists in 2012 and this is just the federal level.  The trail lawyers’ lobby makes sure there is no tort reform.

Independently, I learned with an initiative I made to reduce health care costs in Michigan, that the insurance company is not interested.  You might think insurance companies have an interest in reduced premiums, but that is not so since the get a percentage of premiums.  Higher premiums mean increased income to the insurance company.

Perhaps the take home message of the Time article is to learn what the hospital calls their “chargemaster list prices” and that if you are hit with these unjustifiable costs, there are advocates mentioned in the article whose business it is to help negotiate such.