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View Diary: My experiences with single-payer medicine: Norway (241 comments)

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  •  Easily 10x that in US (6+ / 0-)

    Depending on the hospital & how your insurance works, statements may come from a dozen providers, most of whom you may not have known were involved in your care.

    Torture: An act... specifically intended to inflict severe physical or mental pain or suffering upon another person within his custody or physical control.

    by MsGrin on Mon Jun 29, 2009 at 05:38:58 AM PDT

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    •  I've had that experience. (8+ / 0-)

      the bill arrives a couple of months after the hospitalization, has no obvious connection with whatever treatment you've received, and appears to be a demand for cash payment.

      Then you call them, find out what they did for/to you, and discover that they never bothered submitting the bill to your insurance. In fact, they didn't even bother finding out if you have insurance. You do all the work.

      The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.

      by sidnora on Mon Jun 29, 2009 at 05:52:15 AM PDT

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      •  yup (7+ / 0-)

        Over a decade ago now, I had bloodwork done literally every other day for circumstances around a pregnancy.  My insurance company did not end up authorizing the form of medication I needed, and as a result, I had a life-threatening event which included miscarrying (I was dying, the baby died first).  

        In the aftermath, about three months worth of these blood tests ended up literally taking tens of hours to sort out because when the insurance company cut the check to pay for them, they did it on bulk checks which apparenlty paid for other insureds in addition to me, and apparently, the payments were not credited to my account.  The hospital billing department and the insurer refused to sort out the mess.

        So while recovering from this nearly fatal event which broke my heart losing a pregnancy I'd worked so hard for, day after day, statements would come in with small collections of blood draws.  I would then have to sit on hold with the insurer's payment office to have them look up the check number which paid that claim.  Then I got to sit on hold with the hospital billing office and list off the check number for each blood test and wait for them to verify.  In my memory, it could easily take two hours to get the info each time I got a statement because I'd have to get transfered to the correct people and answering systems would take all my information and then hang up on me so I'd have to start over... each moment reminding me what I'd lost.

        Torture: An act... specifically intended to inflict severe physical or mental pain or suffering upon another person within his custody or physical control.

        by MsGrin on Mon Jun 29, 2009 at 07:18:41 AM PDT

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        •  Sorry to hear of your loss. (6+ / 0-)

          Having to mess with the insurance at such a horrid time can't have made it any easier.

          "Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent."-- Isaac Asimov.

          by ssundstoel on Mon Jun 29, 2009 at 07:23:20 AM PDT

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        •  Wow MsG, that sounds more than horrible, (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          sidnora, MsGrin

          though I'm sure there is no word to describe that.

          I hope all that is resolved now- if I would have known you 10 years ago I'm sure I would have kidnapped you over here- bloodwork is free as far as I know. There was one place in the boonies that charged me, but in Stockholm it seems to be free, or, someday they're going to get me with a big bill.

          Were you ever able to have children? And, if you don't mind my asking, what was it that ailed you? Only asking as I have a friend here who has some sort of disease too- I'm not sure what it is called, but it translates to 'brittle bone disease,' but I don't think it is Osteoporosis. She has had two miscarriages, and, at present, looks like she swallowed a basketball. And, that goose, is going to miss my wedding;(  

          Listen to Noam Chomsky's Necessary Illusions. (mp3!)

          by borkitekt on Mon Jun 29, 2009 at 01:06:45 PM PDT

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          •  Life's journey is always interesting (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            sidnora, borkitekt, CMYK

            thank you for your kind words...

            Well, no, at least to this point, my own family hasn't come into being.  I thinking there's a better chance that I'll end up a grandparent, if not a parent (if I end up with a partner with grown children).

            My marriage was brand new when I proceded to have three heart valve replacement surgeries over 15 months, nearly dying twice.  During that time, we each had a parent deal with cancer, and his mother lost her battle just ahead of the miscarriage I described.  Our marriage didn't survive all that, unfortunately.  We didn't figure out how to grieve and work toward hope together.

            I had a third life-threatening event (meaning it took extraordinary efforts to keep me here) a few years ago - I'm still working on getting my health back now that we know that Lyme infection is what stalled out my recovery.

            It's my bloodthinners which make pregnancy difficult for a myriad of reasons.  We actually thought that my heart (having recently had two surgeries) might be overly taxed by the pregnancy, but my heart ended up being strong enough.  I wrote about the miscarriage here in the aftermath of Dr. Tiller's assassination.  My insurance didn't authorize the form of bloodthinners my doctor ordered, and I formed clots on either side of my prosthetic valve which plunged me into congestive heart failure.  Ultimately, that caused my heart to overwork and go into rhythms they said were inconsistent with life.  As soon as they swapped out the clotted valve, my heart did fine.

            I'm so sorry to hear about your friend's challenges and that she'll miss your wedding.  Best of everyting to you and your intended.  ;-)

            Torture: An act... specifically intended to inflict severe physical or mental pain or suffering upon another person within his custody or physical control.

            by MsGrin on Mon Jun 29, 2009 at 05:07:05 PM PDT

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        •  That's just awful. (0+ / 0-)

          Far, far worse than anything I've had to deal with. And my heart breaks for what you went through.

          When I wrote that comment I was thinking in terms of time and money wasted. Your story is about flagrant disregard for life. Someone at that insurance company should have gone to jail for that.

          The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.

          by sidnora on Tue Jun 30, 2009 at 06:22:02 AM PDT

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