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 Anatomy of a health care procedure.

The following applies only to “regular” citizens, who earn their living by
actually working. The privileged groups i.e. wealthy citizens, government
employees, higher echelons of corporate managers, and the like, are not
partaking of the same procedure with exception of point 1.
Most of those people are getting indecently favorable coverage paying nothing, or next to nothing.
They may even not to see a bill, ever!

  1. You get a health problem. You want to get well.
  2. You call the health care provider. Note, that emergency cases are handled differently.
  3. Your health care provider makes sure that their bill will be somehow paid, takes your vital financial data and asks for symptoms (in this order, necessarily). Then there is a wait for an appointment
  4. If you have health insurance, you semi-lucky. Because if:
    • you don't – you go on being sick, loose all you have, maybe even die.
    • you do – you will have to pay fees, charges – some percentage, co-payments, etc. , or if you get super greedy provider/insurer tandem, you may even go bankrupt and loose all you own if you suffer from more serious illness
  5. You go and see a doctor, or a substitute. In most cases you are only seen for 10-15 minutes.
  6. You get prescriptions and a referral for a battery of tests (needed or not), usually done at the same clinic (self-referral), and often very expensive; how expensive, you do not have the foggiest.
  7. Refer to point 1 (you want to get well!!). You go and perform the tests, X-rays, or any that’s recommended, before the NEXT VISIT, for which, of course, you will be billed separately.

  8. Now it becomes really interesting:

  9. You are presented with a bill for “services”, usually sent by mail from the billing office.

  10. The charges in your bill are arbitrarily set by the provider. There is no known mechanism by which you can do "comparison shopping" for services, or enter any kind of price negotiations by the simple fact that those prices are completely and utterly unknown to the public, let alone advertised. The "services" are also known to have geographical price variations – the same procedure can have widely varying price differences, depending in what locations are they performed.Since virtually every clinic or hospital has its own accounting and classification system, it further adds to the general confusion and allows the providers for infinite variations of charges to be applied.

  11. Your health INSURER may pay part of it, or it may not pay at all. Rarely your bill it is paid in full.
  12. You are stuck with your bill.

  13. Are you sure that what you see in this bill is TRUE, is it FAIR, is it REAL? is it CORRECT? Is it TRUSTWORTHY and HONEST?

  14. If you can afford, you pay it, if not, BEWARE! What’s in you bill is sacred! No scrutiny or negotiations! Not even a shade of suspicion allowed. Examination? - don’t be ridiculous! You pay it, or ELSE!
  15. If you pay it, fine, you will go through it again sometimes. You will be GOUGED again. You are a true believer in the system.
  16. If you don’t, You will be exposed to all sorts of privations forced upon you by collection procedures, you may wind up in court, your assets can be seized, your wages attached, etc, etc, etc… Your bill will be sold by your provider for pennies on the dollar to collection agents, but you still must pay the full amount. OR you can file for bankruptcy...

In other developed countries, you just GO to a doctor.

On the other hand, here, in the US, ...........................

Now you start the calculation process.