Doctors And Hospitals Tell Patients: Show Us The Money Before Treatment
Tai Boxley needs a hysterectomy. The 34-year-old single mother has uterine prolapse, a condition that occurs when the muscles and ligaments supporting the uterus weaken, causing severe pain, bleeding and urine leakage.
Boxley and her 13-year-old son have health insurance through her job as an administrative assistant in Tulsa, Okla. But the plan has a deductible of $5,000 apiece, and Boxley's doctor said he won't do the surgery until she prepays her share of the cost.
His office estimates that will be as much as $2,500. Boxley is worried that the hospital may demand its cut as well before the surgery can be performed.
At many doctors offices and hospitals, a routine part of doing business these days is estimating patients' out-of-pocket payments and trying to collect the money up front. Eyeing retailers' practice of keeping credit card information on file, "there's certainly been a movement by health care providers to store some of this information and be able to access it with patients' permission," said Mark Rukavina, a principal at Community Health Advisors in Chestnut Hill, Mass., who works with hospitals on addressing financial barriers to care.
But there's a big difference between handing over a credit card to cover a $20 copayment and suddenly being confronted with a $2,000 charge to cover a deductible, an amount that might take months to pay off or exceed a patient's credit limit.
Врач отказывает в операции до того, как пациент заплатит свой ко-пеймент (у пациента есть страховка, но она обычная, а не супер-пупер, как у меня). Типа, вынь и положи 2500 баксов, а потом уже будет операция. И все законно. Не хочешь - не лечись, свободная
Approximately three-quarters of health care and hospital systems ask for payment at the time services are provided, a practice known as "point-of-service collections," estimated Richard Gundling, a senior vice president at the Healthcare Financial Management Association, an industry group. He couldn't say how many were doing so for higher priced services or for patients with high-deductible plans, situations that would likely result in out-of-pocket outlays of hundreds or thousands of dollars.
И не стоит говорить, что можнго, мол, выбрать там что-то подешевле. Здоровьем не всегда можно торговаться, вот пример:
After arriving by ambulance at the emergency department, Susan Bradshaw lay on a gurney in her hospital gown with a surgical bonnet on her head, waiting to be wheeled into surgery to remove her appendix at a hospital near her home in Maitland, Fla. A woman in street clothes approached her. Identifying herself as the surgeon's office manager, she demanded that Bradshaw make her $1,400 insurance payment before the surgery could proceed.
"I said, 'You have got to be kidding. I don't even have a comb,' " Bradshaw, a 68-year-old exhibit designer, told the woman on that night eight years ago. "I don't have a credit card on me."
The woman crossed her arms and Bradshaw remembers her saying, "You have to figure it out."
Женщину привезли с острым приступом аппендицита, но перед операцией потребовали оплатить услугу ВПЕРЕД. Или плати или умирай. Хороший выбор, да? Причем ЗДЕСЬ и СЕЙЧАС.
Вот поэтому в США продолжительность жизни ниже любой развитой страны, а материнская смертность выше таковой, чем в России
Впрочем, есть куда стремиться. Мерзкие левачки ограничивают ведение бизнеса вот таким законом:
Under the federal Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act, a patient who has a health emergency has to be stabilized and treated before any hospital personnel can discuss payment with them. If it's not an emergency, however, those discussions can occur before treatment, said Dr. Vidor Friedman, an emergency physician who is the secretary-treasurer of American College of Emergency Physicians' board of directors.
Есть куда двигаться правачкам