The Health Care Racket

  1. The Health Care Racket

    Is the health insurance business a racket? Yes, literally-or so say two New York hospitals, which have filed a racketeering lawsuit against UnitedHealth Group and several of its affiliates.

    I don't know how the case will turn out. But whatever happens in court, the lawsuit illustrates perfectly the dysfunctional nature of our health insurance system, a system in which resources that could have been used to pay for medical care are instead wasted in a zero-sum struggle over who ends up with the bill...

    http://select.nytimes.com/gst/tsc.ht...iQ5DQ27_Q51siY
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  2. 14 Comments

  3. by   UM Review RN
    Have to get Times Select to read this article, Space, and I don't want to. Sorry.
  4. by   Franksters
    Insurance companies and drug companies rule health care. The drug companies charge exhorbitant amounts of money for their product while the insurance companies refuse to pay for the needed treatment.
  5. by   pancake
  6. by   cozmo_blozmo
    What do you say to the widows and orphans who have retirement money invested into these companies. Are there prices any more exhorbinant that what hospitals charge patient for care? Is $100 for an IV bag exhobinant is $1500 for a hospital bed exhorbinant? The drug companies might charge $40 for a pill, but that hospital turns right around and charges the patient $120 is that fair?
  7. by   pickledpepperRN
    I say we need a system in which giving care is rewarded, while denying it is punished.
  8. by   Simplepleasures
    Quote from cozmo_blozmo
    What do you say to the widows and orphans who have retirement money invested into these companies. Are there prices any more exhorbinant that what hospitals charge patient for care? Is $100 for an IV bag exhobinant is $1500 for a hospital bed exhorbinant? The drug companies might charge $40 for a pill, but that hospital turns right around and charges the patient $120 is that fair?
    It might be prudent for investors to take their investments elsewhere, while there is still time.
  9. by   UM Review RN
    Quote from spacenurse
    I say we need a system in which giving care is rewarded, while denying it is punished.
    Won't that be a step backward to the days when doctors padded their bills with unnecessary procedures, tests and treatments?
  10. by   pickledpepperRN
    Quote from Angie O'Plasty, RN
    Won't that be a step backward to the days when doctors padded their bills with unnecessary procedures, tests and treatments?

    You are right. Both extremes are to be avoided.

    It will take diligence to keet a "happy medium"
    I think nurses are in a unique position to advocate for patients in this regard.
    It is not in the public or patients interest to perform unneeded tests or procedures.
  11. by   fgoff
    Cozmo Blozmo, please keep in mind that the $100 that the hospitals charge for the IV bag was marked up to include the cost the medical sec who transcibed the order, the pharmD that filled the order and the nurse that hung the bag (and multiple overhead $$$). Most employees of the hospital are part of the "room & board". Unlike MD's that charge per service.

    All of health care is expensive. What is the fix???
  12. by   pickledpepperRN
    The suit alleges that patients were falsely told that Flushing Hospital was "not a network provider" so UnitedHealth did not pay the full network rate. UnitedHealth has already settled charges of misleading clients about providers' status brought by New York's attorney general: the company paid restitution to plan members, while attributing the problem to computer errors.

    The legal outcome will presumably turn on whether there was deception as well as denial...

    http://roziusunbound.blogspot.com/20...re-racket.html

    Thank you for the link pancake!
  13. by   HuggyPuglet
    Quote from Franksters
    Insurance companies and drug companies rule health care. The drug companies charge exhorbitant amounts of money for their product while the insurance companies refuse to pay for the needed treatment.

    Boy, ain't THAT the truth. That goes for hospital employees as well as the general public. The insurance company used by our hospital will not authorize certain medications required by my husband and the doctors he goes to are frustrated beyond belief. It's hard enough to get this man to see a doctor and when he does, he's kicked to the curb by the insurance company. He's so 'down' on the health care system that now he probably will not return to see the doctor again. He only says "whats the use".
    Last edit by HuggyPuglet on Feb 21, '07 : Reason: grammar
  14. by   cozmo_blozmo
    Quote from fgoff
    Cozmo Blozmo, please keep in mind that the $100 that the hospitals charge for the IV bag was marked up to include the cost the medical sec who transcibed the order, the pharmD that filled the order and the nurse that hung the bag (and multiple overhead $$$). Most employees of the hospital are part of the "room & board". Unlike MD's that charge per service.

    All of health care is expensive. What is the fix???

    You sit there and try and justify the hospital charges I could easily justify the drug companies charges with research and development. My point is simply when the same charges are leveled at those that work in health care that they level at drug companies and insurance companies the tune changes and now it's "well, we all need to find a solution" or some othe gobbledy gook sophomoric phrase. My solution if you hate drug companies and insurance companies just boycot them and don't use them. I personally like drug companies and own several of them in my investments because they do make good profits. I am just tired of people trying to blame the insurance companies and CEOs and everyone else for rising health care costs that they themselves profit from (yes, I am referring to nurses). Will anyone on here take a cut in pay to save a person some health care charges? Of course not.

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