Stossel: Hospital bureaucracy is toxic for patients. Here’s my solution
By John Stossel Published May 13, 2016 FoxNews.com
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But Goldhill points to one favorable trend. “Increasingly, people have high deductible (insurance) plans … (I)t’s the most promising thing in health care.”
Many patients hate high deductibles. But they are useful because they make us realize that care is not “free.”
Patients with high deductibles and Health Savings Accounts ask important questions: “Doc, do I really need that test? What does it cost?” They shop around.
Suddenly, there’s the beginning of an actual market. When patients shop, doctors strive to please patients rather than distant bureaucrats. More doctors give out their email addresses and cellphone numbers, and shorten waiting times. Their bills are easier to read because the providers want customers to pay them!
Government and insurance companies don’t make health care free. Such third-party payments just hide the cost, which increases the costs and makes payment more complicated.
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I’ve had really close contact with hospitals twice in my life where I was NOT the patient but the Patient Advocate. (Or PIA!)
The system is a mess.
I’m aware of one case involving my OLD friend where to break a log jam I volunteered to drive a blood sample from Charlotte to Chicago because the first one they took spoiled due to the delay in transport.
(Have to admit my OLD friend reported shocked look on the docs faces when he told them what he wanted to do. Magically the “problem” was “solved”. I knew that would be the response since I had a similar response at one point in my deceased wife’s care where I threatened — at 3PM in the afternoon — to take her out on the hospital driveway, draw a blood sample (I was a credentialed EMT at the time), and have it delivered by limo / escorted by a relative to the appropriate lab in NY. After they put their eyes back in the sockets, “magic” happened and the test was completed by the next morning! Never underestimate the value of a crazy PIA patient advocate.)
The disconnect between the “golden rule” (“he who has the gold makes the rules”) and good medical care is so obvious that only a fool would not make the connection.
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