Monday, October 22, 2012

Paying Extra Medical for Talking To Much?

  Seriously, you  can’t make this stuff up.

Lest greedy American sick people -- who the big-profit insurance executive fraudsters feel don't have enough 'skin in the game' -- actually try to be proactive about their health, big-profit insurers are responding absolutely as we would expect by making sure selfish American patients don't get even a single question -- literally -- of free health care than they deserve under the Affordable Care Act:

Susan Krantz has a medical and business background; but when she got her latest medical bill from a recent visit, the Minnetonka woman was perplexed.

“Even as a registered nurse, I can’t figure out what this is,” she said.

Krantz was upset when she opened a recent bill. Along with the list of procedures was the itemized charge of $50.06 for something she couldn’t make out. When she questioned Park Nicollet, the response puzzled her.

“You can be charged an extra office visit if you ask too many questions,” she said. “I said I don’t understand that, because isn’t that what this visit is for?”

Yes, talking too much at your next doctor's visit might really screw you over...seriously. At base, this is nothing more than another perverse symptom of a brutal health care non-system designed to allow big-profit insurers to maximize as much profit as possible through complicated and nuanced benefit plans:

Medical services are carefully coded for insurance purposes. As Park Nicollet explained to us, the billing has to accurately reflect the medical services provided. If the doctors feel their work goes beyond the scope of the visit, they must code that on the bill. That’s to assure that coverage for a “wellness” visit doesn’t fraudulently cover care given to an “acute care” matter.

Now, let's unpack this bullshit -- another sick feature of American health care. At first glance it could appear that unscrupulous and greedy doctors (of which there are some -- remember that doctors opposed national health care before insurers opposed it) are trying to turn patient questioning into a truly 'sick' two-for-one deal. Further clarification from the provider -- Park Nicollet -- however, reveals that once again, sleazy big-profit insurers are at the root of the corporate-imposed sick-people-talking tax. Please read further.

Park Nicollet says it’s an insurance issue. In a written statement, the medical provider said that “the insurance company may require that patients pay or make a co-pay for services beyond the ‘preventive’ part of the appointment.”

The statement goes on to say that the total amount billed to the insurance provider is the same as if it were one appointment, only it’s “broken out separately on the invoice.”

So, doctors aren't getting any extra money when your annual physical also includes a question about your chest pains, but big-profit insurers are making sure that they can get a piece of the action when that happens. You see, asking a question about an actual problem means your annual physical has been turned into a different kind of visit -- one that is not 'free' from deductibles or cost-sharing payments under Affordable Care Act rules as is the case with physicals and other preventive care like immunizations.

Big-profit insurers are truly sadistic -- they look for any possible opportunity to squeeze blood out of the sick.

Why is asking a question even an issue? Why is this even news? American health care is appallingly monetized. This is just another corporate-based-big-profit-Kafkaesque nightmare.

This is also why American health care is so bloody expensive -- how much effort and time of a human employee did it take to bill and sort out this kind of 'coding' challenge? Big-profit insurers by the very nature of their existence force the health care 'system' to deal with this kind of insane hair splitting.

Medicare for all?

Originally posted to james321 on Mon Oct 22, 2012