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View Diary: Why healthcare costs so much in the U.S. (181 comments)

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  •  Yup. (6+ / 0-)

    I think the thing that makes people MOST mad is when they bring a loved one to the emergency room and have to go talk to a biller while god knows what is happening to the person they brought in.

    If we don't stop them here, then where? If not now, then when?

    by nightsweat on Fri May 13, 2011 at 06:46:48 PM PDT

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    •  Wallet Triage (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      arlene, mamamedusa

      That's the term the hospital's admitting departments apply to the dance.  Our current system demands that the hospitals go through it, which means they must staff up to do it.  That includes the non-visible support staff maintaining the IT systems which enable the front line admitting staff to work with the patients.

      Many years ago my spouse (who has spent considerable time in hospital administration) was hosting a summer-long visit by a French hospital administrator to a major East Coast urban hospital under an exchange program.  They compared experiences and cost factors during that visit.  They concluded that French hospital costs were very similar to US hospital costs except for the non-tangible non-governmental regulation expenses.  For example, the French hospitals experience nothing like the joint commission reviews which all US hospitals go through on at least a three-year cycle.  Since that time, the explosion in staffing to accommodate the insurance demands will have driven up that portion of hospital costs.  There is an entire sub-industry built around hospital billing codes to assure suitable reimbursement under the archane billing procedures.  Going to single-payer alone would likely whack 15% out of hospital costs.  

      "Love the Truth, defend the Truth, speak the Truth, and hear the Truth" - Jan Hus, d.1415 CE

      by PrahaPartizan on Fri May 13, 2011 at 11:42:01 PM PDT

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      •  25% Administrative Cost (1+ / 0-)
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        This sounds like a best-case scenario to me.  It assumes that a providing entity is able to train and retain staff who are able to cope with the quicksand that is billing and accounts receivable.  Like nurses, librarians and teachers, billers are drawn from a pool of women who get paid less for comparable work that is done in male-dominated jobs.  

        Electronic records and integrated care would end the need for gofers to retrieve and then replace files and charts on individual patients.  Before the 1950's, the patient chart was on a clipboard that hung at the foot of the patient bed.  Now it is in a loose leaf binder and can be anywhere.  

        Don't look back, something may be gaining on you. - L. "Satchel" Paige

        by arlene on Sat May 14, 2011 at 05:29:16 AM PDT

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