What happened? Well, i had another experience of the sickness profiteering industry. Since i have hypothyroidism, i get a lot of lab tests. I was due for one at the end of the year as i was checking out a new doctor associated with one of the big hospitals in town. Without consulting with me, she decided to send me to their lab (the test wasn’t quite due yet). Maybe it was because i am an introvert that i didn’t speak up. And i thought, well, test is test. Right? Wrong.
The doctor ordered two tests. Today i got the bill for my portion. It is four times as large as i paid for the previous rounds of tests, which included one additional test. Being the data person that i am, i had to dig into that. I quickly figured out that for the previous test, my “patient savings,” the part that the health insurance company claims is excessive but the provider still tries to get, for the independent laboratory were almost 91%. For the hospital those savings came to a whooping 26%! So what i have to pay is four times as much. Same tests. Different place. It’s mindboggling. Granted, this is what happens with other products, too. But you know this in advance. You don’t have to make calls or dig for the information before you buy. And this is health care, something i believe is a human right, not a business to make a profit. Obviously, that’s not what our government and the plutocracy behind them thinks.
For now, i’ve only paid a portion of the bill – the 10% i think i owe. Of course, they’ll be coming after me for the rest. I’ll try to refuse to pay that as long as i can. Just for the principle.
Update May 9, 2013: As a new investigation shows, I am by far the only one faced with such ridiculous price differences. There are vast differences in costs of procedures reminding me more price gouging than health care…