Danny Burstein <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> In the continuing tradition of government that try to offload taxes
> onto third parties (that way they're not "raising taxes", you see ...)
> California has a very real problem with medical costs. The hospitals
> and other medical providers provide services, but don't take in
> anywhere near as much money as they claim to be expending.
> The telco point: The usual folk have pushed forward a fee on telco
> services to cover the shortfall. Quoting from a VOA clip:
There are two issues at work here:
1) One is the ever increasing demand for government services. All
of us are guilty of that even though we all blame someone else.
I heard one local curmogeon gripe about taxes. Yet he is a member of
several community organizations that get taxpayer-paid grants for
their advocacy work (a specific park improvement). So it's ok for his
specific park to get grants, but not for anything else. It never
occured to anyone that perhaps his advocacy group is doing too good a
job and that their specific park is _over_ funded at the expense of
other parks or govt services.
We want better roads and transit but we don't want to raise our
gasoline taxes to pay for them. We want less crime, but don't want to
raise our taxes to pay for an expanded criminal justice system.
2) Medical expenses: Medical costs are going through the roof, as they
have been for years. This is a very difficult and complex subject and
not fixable by pointing fingers at one simple thing.
From a telecom point of view, I am extremely frustrated at the gross
inefficiency of today's payment processing for health care. A simple
visit to the doctor generates considerable paperwork, much of it
wrong! For the life of me I don't understand why claims are not (1)
standardized for all health insurers so they are uniform processing
even if coverage varies and (2) why claims can't be entered and
For some reason I don't understand, many of my doctor's claims are
rejected. He has to submit them a second time. I get mailed copies
of all the paperwork. The same thing happens to my mother who uses
different doctors covered by a different insurer, so it's not just me.
Obviously there are clerks processing all this junk in both the
doctor's office and insurance carrier and all this costs money. ABC
News reported that administrative costs make up a big part of the cost
of health care.
Now I don't know a stent from styrofoam so I can't comment about the
direct costs of the actual medical care. But I do know there is no
excuse for this massive inefficient paperwork bureaucracy. Sure they
use computers, but the systems are ridiculous. One simple office
visit generates a voucher of FOUR 8x11 images!
Also, I don't understand what "managed" mean in "managed health care".
When HMOs first came out, they were supposed to save us money by
encouraging cheap checkups to catch expensive disease early on (ie
it's suppposedly cheaper to treat someone with high chloresterol than
after they've had a real heart attack.) But obviously that hasn't
Also, I don't understand why the traditional Blue Cross/Blue Shield
became extremely expensive. Since those subscribers pay big
deductibles (ie 20% of the fee) there would be an incentive to not get
care unless necessary, yet that hasn't worked out either.
[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: I notice that several dentists, eye-
doctors and podiatrists here in town (many services that are *not*
covered by Medicare but *are* covered by Kansas Medicaid have put up
signs in their waiting rooms saying 'we no longer accept public
aid cards.' The reason, I am told is just what you said: paperwork
submitted time and again, always sent back with something wrong, then
when they *do* decide to pay the doctor, he gets the money in maybe
three or four months. :( PAT]