A few weeks ago I had to visit the ER due to an episode of chest pain and high blood pressure. Yesterday I received the bill and I almost had to stop at the ER again.
After charging the insurance more than twenty thousand dollars for 48 hours of care I still have a patient responsibility bill totalling $1517.31. Don’t get me wrong. I’m glad to be alive and grateful for the care, but I’m convinced that I was subjected to a lot of wasteful and unnecessary tests and treatments. And the research validates my fear.
In the medical world there are twenty-six tests or treatments that scientific and professional organizations have consistently determined to have no benefit or to be outright harmful (http://goo.gl/zqHePR). A recent study of more than a million Medicare patients suggests that a huge proportion of patients had received care that was simply a waste. Twenty-five to forty-two per cent of Medicare patients received at least one of the twenty-six useless tests and treatments. In addition, virtually every family in the country has been subject to overtesting and overtreatment in one form or another. This costs take thousands of dollars out of the paychecks of every household each year.
This month a joined the group and here’s my evidence.