Why Health Care Costs So Much

Pretty funny topic, right? I just received the bill for my hip replacement (for about $50k, by the way). Since I have a "Health Care Account" to pay for some of the bill, I called the hospital's accounting office to ask them to flag my account so that I would know when the account had paid out and I would know what my share of that expense would be.

"We don't have anyway to flag an account for notification. We service at least 100 accounts in this office."

"I didn't mean you, personally. I assumed you had a computer system that you could access and that system might have a way to note when money had been credited to an account." (Yep, I was being sarcastic.)

"No, we don't have anything like that." (Yep, he was being too dumb to recognized sarcasm.)

Oh boy. It's hard to imagine that long bill was hand typed, but I guess it's possible. There were a lot of people typing shit into computers while I was in the hospital, but maybe all that stuff just ended up on a piece of paper for the accounting department to copy into their ledgers. Then, the accountants handed off their papers to the customer service characters and they will toss paper back and forth until someone realizes the bill is paid (or not).

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous1/30/2012

    Also...don't know if you are aware...but hospital bills to the consumer are wrong just about 100% of the time. There is an entire flourishing industry of Medical Bill Reviewers that have been having pretty good success in charging a small fee and a percentage of the savings they get for you, for their services in challenging and resolving billing issues.