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Country Discussion Topics
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My heart bleeds......
[Return to Topics]

Cindi    Posted 08-05-2003 at 03:24:35       [Reply]  [No Email]
First thing I heard on opening my eyes this morning was some doctor crying about malpractice rates. No offense to anyone who has a loved one in the medical profession, but nothing would please me more than to see the rates go higher and higher....and higher.

Doctors have been in cahoots with the insurance companies and the drug companies, at the expense of the patient for so long it's not even a joke. Drug kick backs for one. Prescriptions are written daily for drugs, merely for the kickbacks that the doctor recieves. Symptoms are overlooked, illnesses are not tested for, people get sick and DIE, because insurance companies compensate doctors for NOT testing for illnesses that might result in expensive treatments.

Guess what....PATIENTS cannot afford quality insurance and when we finally find rates we can afford we get crappy treatment. The doctors haven't had a problem up til now working the other side of the insurance game, now that it's hurting them they don't like it. Boo....flipping....hoo.

They have finally learned what most of us already know. The insurance monster doesn't care who it hurts, and will bite the hand that feeds it to stay fat and strong. Welcome to the club Doc, sucks don't it.

I hope the malpractice rates climb to ninety percent. Workman's comp shot to 64 percent for our roofing company, and guess what, no doctors cried for me when I had to shut down my company because between liability and workman's comp and auto insurance I couldn't afford to pay my men.

Think about this. We were paying 64 CENTS ON EVERY DOLLAR we made for insurance. JUST FOR WORKMAN'S COMP. Guess who contributed to this. The doctors. Workman's comp is like money in the bank to a struggling new medical practice.

I hope they all go out of business. I hope they all have to start over and rethink this thing. I hope they start picketing all over the country. Maybe then we will see some type of reform in this insurance nightmare. Doctors have been one of the leading reasons that insurance rates are out of control.

So Doc, don't ask me to feel sorry for you. I don't even know who you are. I haven't been able to afford to get in to see you in over ten years, and furthermore, don't ask me for an estimate on a new roof.




Cindy in Geneva    Posted 08-05-2003 at 11:03:12       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I have only recently become a member of the dreaded medical community. One year ago, I was an uninsured ordinary member of society with similar beliefs as you. Now I work for a doctor’s office and have, through experience, been educated.

First, let’s talk about insurance companies and the doctors they are in “cahoots” with. The insurance companies are in existence for only one reason. Shocking as it may seem, that is to Make A Profit! There are three ways that they do this:
1) Raise rates to the patients. Since there is only so much of this that the consumer will allow, they proceed to…
2) Lower the rates paid to doctors, labs and hospitals. Most insurance carriers have contracts as to what they will pay. They dictate how much they will pay for each and every procedure. Contrary to popular belief, this rate is mostly at a significant discount to the insurance company. My experience is anywhere from 60% to as little as 2% of the normal charges. (Yes, my insurance once paid a whopping $1.74 for an $87.00 lab test. Know anyone who can perform an accurate blood test for $1.74?) Which moves us on to…
3) Excluding benefits. The insurance writes into all its policies these wonderful things called exclusions. Which means, in a nutshell, what they refuse to even consider paying whether you need it or not. And no amount of technical jargon from the doctor is going to change their minds.

I can guarantee that NONE of this money being saved is going back to the doctors.

Which leads us to the issue of drug kickbacks. I have never seen, read about, or heard of any doctors taking kickbacks from drug companies. I have, however, gotten a nifty pen with the drug companies name on it.

How does all this effect malpractice insurance? Imagine the following scenario:

Patient: I have the following symptoms of “X” disease. Please cure me!

Doctor: Let’s run these tests. (Which I don’t get paid for, but run because I am a good doctor.) OK looks like you have “X” disease. The treatment is “Y” medication.

Insurance Company: Sorry doctor. “Y” medication is excluded because it is too expensive. Use another medication.

Doctor: But the other medications have these horrible side-effects and do not work as well.

Insurance Company: Tough cookies!

Doctor: I believe that “Y” medication is the best treatment. If the insurance does not pay for it, the patients will have to pay for it themselves.

Patient: I refuse to pay for my own healthcare. Give me what my insurance pays for.

Doctor: OK

(Much time passes)

Patient: Doctor you have given me this horrible medication that has caused these horrible side-effects. My hair is falling out, my nose is purple and I am still no better. You are a bad doctor. I WILL NOW SUE YOU!!!!!

And so our medical malpractice rates go up.

So you ask, why do doctors get on all these insurance plans? The answer is simple. A little money is better than no money. The mindset of this great country of ours is “pay as little as possible.” Unfortunately, that means that when you ask a patient to pay for services rendered by a physician with over 10 years dedicated to studying medicine, the reply is “No way, that’s what I have insurance for”. So, if everyone has insurance, and nobody wants to pay, the only option is accept insurance and take your lumps. (By the way, my personal family physician DOES NOT accept any insurance. His rates are NOT inflated. He stopped accepting insurance because “he was tired of the insurance companies telling him how to practice medicine.” Unfortunately, most doctors and especially specialists don’t have the fortitude to take that risk, as I am sure his patient base has declined due to that decision.)

In a perfect world, the doctors would be allowed to practice the profession that they have dedicated their lives to, the patients would realize that nothing is free or guaranteed in this life, the insurance companies would remember that they were created to help both doctors and patients not just themselves, the lawyers would stop trying to make a buck off of every hang nail, and malpractice rates would be lower.

Unfortunately it’s not a perfect world.


Mike D. thank you for thi    Posted 08-05-2003 at 19:22:14       [Reply]  [No Email]
Nice to have a decent firsthand insight. Cuts the deadweight off of the subject.


Cindi    Posted 08-05-2003 at 11:24:35       [Reply]  [No Email]
Thank you for that insight. Everything you say makes sense. But I have to ask the question. Why don't the doctors accept the limited payment from the customer/patient and cut out the insurance company altogether?


Mine Do...    Posted 08-05-2003 at 17:38:04       [Reply]  [No Email]
They still make 'house-calls' on Thursdays (don't attempt to make an office appointment for a Thurs. *gasp*)...They both make rounds at the hospitals for any of their patients that are admitted, and they still will get out of bed to be the 'Physician Of Record' at a home birth...

I have made deals with 'Bunky' for 'well child checkups' for hogging his pasture...Lee 'works' for berries & syrup...

Please stop the generalizations...Half of it is the attitude of the customer...

Salmoneye


Cindy in Geneva    Posted 08-05-2003 at 17:25:20       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Because most patients are not willing to pay even that much. They are programmed to pay the "small co-pay" and the insurance company will pay the rest. I guess they just forget about that huge monthly insurance payment that they have been making for the past XXX years because it comes directly out of their paycheck They are paying for their healthcare, it just goes into the pockets of the insurance company instead of the doctor. In my office, we have offered the insurance companies rates to cash customers and even then very few patients accept the charge.

I’m not saying that all insurance is a bad thing. In my opinion, the original purpose of insurance was to protect the average person from being ruined by catastrophic loss, such as long-term medical care, major surgery, etc. It seems that we have allowed it to mushroom into this great entity that is supposed to take care of everything from the warts to open heart surgery, and do it all with a $10 co-pay.


by the way.....    Posted 08-05-2003 at 10:17:23       [Reply]  [No Email]
This started out as just a simple, rant that got out of hand.....sorry for making such a mess.


LH    Posted 08-05-2003 at 08:50:39       [Reply]  [No Email]
OK Heres some input from someone who's wife is a nurse practitioner. Since she performs the same basic tasks as many family practice doctors she is required by law to carry the same medical malpractice insurance which has to be kept up and on file with the state in which she practices. This insurance runs around $4000 per year the last i knew. We also pay for our own health insurance which costs over $6000 per year for the family and never seems to cover squat and thats with a $1000 deductible per person so we are in the same boat as many other self employed people with those rates. She is a salaried employee of the practice she works for and her base pay minus bonuses is around $44,000 so when you knock off the insurance that drops it down to $34000 then uncle sam gets all of his share based on the salary so its not always as profitable as many people think. As far as drug companies giving kickbacks Im not aware of any of that. I do know they do give a few of what could be called perks meaning they provide meals for the office staff when giving their presentations, and the usual drug samples for patients, ink pens, etc. And then during medical conventions they usually host hospitality rooms for the conventioneers where food and refreshements are provided, but again to the best of my knowledge no monetary kickbacks are ever handed out. Big problems I see that drive medical costs up are lots of people filing suits against doctors for frivolous claims, and like most insurance companies do they are usually settled out of court since its less expensive than getting attorneys involved in litigation. And then of course lawyers who advertise they will get anyone money by filing a claim, those are the true sheisters of the world and we all pay because of them


Redneck    Posted 08-05-2003 at 09:47:45       [Reply]  [No Email]
What about real,legitamate claims?We are fixing to get sued over a bill that a doctor addmitted he screwed up on procedure,his procedure number and was totally in the wrong.He forgave his bill(WOW) but since he screwed up,the hospital wants their money.Our insurance would cover it if he would change the wrong code he put down,but no he won't white out the code so the insurance won't pay so guess who is going to have to pay?We went to the state Medical Board,but the jackasses there said because we didn't go back to this doctor to let him correct his surgical mistakes,we would be responsible.I mean how many times does he get to screw something up before he is held accountable?


Dang...    Posted 08-05-2003 at 09:06:55       [Reply]  [No Email]
I finally agree with you on something...

;-)

Salmoneye


LH    Posted 08-05-2003 at 09:09:57       [Reply]  [No Email]
Scary aint it??? LOL


Salmoneye    Posted 08-05-2003 at 09:11:49       [Reply]  [No Email]
Sorta...

But in a good way...

:-)



LH    Posted 08-05-2003 at 09:18:02       [Reply]  [No Email]
Uhhuh lol


Salmoneye    Posted 08-05-2003 at 09:22:29       [Reply]  [No Email]
You cut me to the quick...

Doubting my veracity in such a manner...

*sniff*

I am sensitive, you know...

:-)


Sam    Posted 08-05-2003 at 08:46:19       [Reply]  [No Email]
Seems like if the roofing business went well for you Cindi, everything would be ok in your life.

Trying to blame your misfortunes on some one else is not the answer. Get over not being able to compete with the big roofers. Like the old saying goes"It takes money to make money."

Think you are totally wrong about the doctors taking money from insurance and drug companies. Think the government would be on them like a duck on a Junebug! Look at Enron and the rest. Someone in the company would be an informer and report them.

Just where do your "facts" come from? I would like to look for myself....no, not what you think is happening but what is published that I can read for myself.

Ever thought about doing one roof at a time by yourself and pay no one except yourself rather than doing 40 and going broke? I know several roofers that do this and make a pretty good living.


Cindi    Posted 08-05-2003 at 10:00:28       [Reply]  [No Email]
I'm sorry I don't know how to make all these addresses into links so please copy and paste. They DO get them when they CATCH them.

As to your suggestion of doing one roof at a time by myself....have you ever tried to manipulate forty thirty foot 5V metal roof panels up a ladder and onto a roof by yourself? If you have please explain to me how it's done. There's more types of roofing besides shingles. The roofing business went very well for me, it was the insurance business that screwed me to the wall.

I'm not blaming my misfortunes on anyone else, I'm simply saying, yay....it's not just us.

Here are the reports you requested.

http://atheism.about.com/library/FAQs/phil/blphil_ethbio_prescript.htm

http://www.tdi.state.tx.us/commish/news/nr08198.html

http://www.aegis.com/news/ct/1995/CT950602.html

http://www.obgyn.net/newsrx/general_health-Health_Insurance-20010813-28.asp

http://www.pharmaceutical-kickbacks.com/

http://www.drbobmartin.com/2003k_04_28news06.html

http://www.aegis.com/news/ct/1995/CT950602.html



Sam    Posted 08-05-2003 at 10:27:18       [Reply]  [No Email]
Nope but neither have I tried to fly a 747 airplane. If you can't do the job, quit and find one that you can do. Looks as if you can type and maybe could carry a piece of paper or two to the mailbox. From what I read in the local paper, typist are in great demand. Haven't seen any ads for someone to carry forty thirty foot 5v metal panels up Mt. Everest either. Don't think the demand is too great.


Cindi    Posted 08-05-2003 at 10:37:45       [Reply]  [No Email]
I have a job I can do, and my husband now works for one of those BIG roofing companies. Now if we could just get affordable health care.

I don't think even quality 5V would hold up on Mt Everest. That could explain the lack of ads for that. Maybe a good standing seam. The fasteners are concealed which would lower the risk for neoprene washer degradation due to the extreme cold temperatures. Maybe.


Nahhh,, Ron/PA    Posted 08-05-2003 at 08:23:04       [Reply]  [No Email]
I just absolutely think this is all bass ackwards. We blame the doctors 'cause of prescription costs, office visit costs, and hospital stays.
WE, the public got a taste of insurance money, and suddenly wanted meds, visits, and operations covered FREE OF CHARGE!! Well we got it, and our employers paid for it (WE PAID FOR IT) then we wanted more, so we got our government to pay some of it (WE PAID FOR IT) Finally we decided that we need to have a little cash to live well on, while we recuperate,, so we started suing the very Dr. that we visited for help. ???
Suddenly we are all p1ssed off cause we can't afford the very things that WE demanded!
I have no sympathy for Doctors, they have created their own nightmares, however they are not the sole cause of this mess. I have no sympathy for the generation that has expected to be cared for from cradle to grave, I pity the elderly, they are a victim of a system that they contributed to, unwittingly, but can no longer afford, nor will they live long enough to change it.
I pity the babies of today, they will become victims of their parents greed and lack of self reliance.
Blame the doctors? nope, they have worked within the system that was delt to them.
Imagine being a doctor, the first time that someone got an exam and then said, hey doc, I ain't gonna pay you now, but some guy my boss hired, will send you a check next month,,, No honest he will, just fill out 47 forms and you'll be paid????
Blame the Lawyers?? Nuh,Uhh,,, They offer a service, they would have no business if no one used the service they offered,, Remember, somewhere someone still wants to sell you a buggy whip, Bought one lately??? Wanna put them out of business? Don't use them!!! Soon they'll be growing pigs and driving trucks!
We've got 3 businesses, it takes 8 insurance policies to cover them, not counting vehicles! It's the cost of doing business in today's sue happy world.
Get over it, you're gonna have do find a job with bennies, and make the roofing business a sideline, or get bigger than the guy down the street.
Later
Ron


Cindi    Posted 08-05-2003 at 09:11:03       [Reply]  [No Email]
I'm not placing all the blame at the doctor's feet. I'm saying that they have contributed to this mess, and now they are getting a taste of what it's like to not be able to afford to run a business or provide for their families due to high insurance costs. Or to be able to afford badly needed insurance coverage.

Insurance is over the top. Insurance of all types. I don't expect anybody to 'pay for me'. I expect to be able to buy a reasonable insurance policy that will cover me and my family memebers if someone gets seriously ill. I have no problem paying fifty dollars to see the doctor. I have no problem paying for prescriptions. I have a problem not being able to get coverage in case of a serious illness. Even an eighty-twenty type policy, but you can't get them anymore unless you pay about the same rates as you would for an HMO. I've been there I've checked.

All I can say is the more people that get dragged into the horror of this situation the better, doctors, lawyers, maybe we need malpractice for lawyers.........and as far as I'm concerned, let the doctors squirm. They have pretty ladies sitting at the front counter to tell you 'sorry about your luck' when you're sick and don't have that magical little card.

This is not personal. This is life as I know it. I don't have anything against doctors persay, but I have no pity for the profession. They claim on a regular basis that they don't get paid what they have due them, and when I have one move in down the street from me on JohnQ Avenue and drive a 1998 Ford pickup, and bitc* about the cost of child care and complain because the light bill went up thirty dollars, then I might just believe it. How many doctors live on your block?

For now, I am Dr Mom, I treat fevers and cuts and infections using OTC medicines. As recently as five years ago, if I had a child that needed to go to the doctor for something I couldn't identify or treat, if an antibiotic was prescribed, it was always 'spilled' or misplaced so that I could call in for a back up prescription. So in case one of the other kids started showing the same symptoms I would have enough medicine to go around. Messed up? Oh yes. But at sixty five dollars for office visits, you do what you have to do.

Now at twenty dollars a visit, which is what the doctors claim they get after insurance anyway, I could have paid the doctor cash, had all three of my kids seen, and everybody's happy.
If Insurance is treating these doctors so badly, then why don't they have two sets of rates. One for those who pay cash and one for those who use insurance?


Sam    Posted 08-05-2003 at 10:18:31       [Reply]  [No Email]

Well stated Ron! Cindi, have you ever considered getting a job that pays money? No, posting here on the net doesn't pay money and it isn't even a job. I work. Am off today but blaming your problems on doctors and lawyers wont work!

I had my roof "repaired" three months ago and it still leaked. I had another man fix it and it still leaked. I think if we got rid of all the roofers in the world we would all be ok. Wars would cease, famine no longer exist, and my rheumatism would go away if we could just get rid of roofers. They make too much money!!

Roofers are the root of all our problems. The companies that make roofing nails give kickbacks to roofers. The manufacturers of roofing give kickbacks to roofers. The ladder manufacturers give roofers kickbacks. I know this for a fact just like you know that the doctors get kickbacks from drug companies.

Did you know that it is a Federal crime (a felony) for drug or any other companies to buy or give a doctor any gift that costs more than $5? The law was passed last year.

Cindi, take the time you spend posting here and get a job. You have no problem that money will not cure.


Cindi    Posted 08-05-2003 at 10:32:42       [Reply]  [No Email]
Well it's typical of someone to get personal when they have no better argument and you just proved that. I never got the first kickback on any roofing materials and you should probably read all the posts here before you start slinging around insults, okay?

I didn't(attempt to)fix your roof so I don't know why you brought that up.

Now as to getting a job, I have a job, I'm a homemaker and mother and I also raise show pigs and other assorted livestock, my husband works full time, and just for the record it's insensitive and rude to make such a suggestion to someone when you have no idea of their given situation.

Of course kickbacks are a felony, and using that line of thinking we just solved all the problems of the world. If it's illegal, it isn't done. Dang where were you earlier.

I am attacking the insurance industry which I feel is out of control, astronomical medical costs, and disreputable doctors who take advantage of patients. You are attacking me. Where does that put you?

Take that salt and vinegar to congress and see if you can fix this insurance nightmare.


Sam    Posted 08-05-2003 at 10:49:17       [Reply]  [No Email]
You betcha it is rude to attack someone that you do not know their circumstances. Just re-read what you have said about lawyers and doctors. You even get mad when someone says some idiotic things like I said about roofers. Just what I thought you would say...take up for them. You know about them and I don't so I have no right to say anything about them.

That is what I was doing, taking up for someone that your were giving them the devil that you knew nothing about! You just saw a news story about a doctor who couldn't make it if his insurance kept going up when you saw the news this morning then started blaming all your problems on insurance, doctors , and lawyers.

That is not fair....just like you said.


Cindi    Posted 08-05-2003 at 11:01:44       [Reply]  [No Email]
If you are naive enough to believe that there is no health crisis and insurance crisis in this country then I just don't know what to do with you. I have documented my points very well I think. I have supported my views with reports that you asked for.

Now unless you are prepared to give me some documented examples of how roofers are ruining this country, I think it's best that we let this matter drop. Reverse physchology only works if it has a practical application. Your comparing appples to oranges.


Sam    Posted 08-05-2003 at 11:20:03       [Reply]  [No Email]
Still think you need a job. Also read the reply from Cindy in Geneva. She sums it up.

www.roofers.com/chargetoomuch
www.roofers.com/wivesshouldwork
www.roofers.com//getkickbacks.
www.roofers.com/arethecauseofallourproblems


Cindi    Posted 08-05-2003 at 11:26:14       [Reply]  [No Email]
Still think you need manners. Read my reply to Cindy in Geneva, it pretty much poses the obvious question.


Ron/PA    Posted 08-05-2003 at 09:33:19       [Reply]  [No Email]
Nope, still don't agree. First of all I'm not envious of a Doctors income, cause I wasn't willing to even consider the education he needed to invest in, to achieve that income. I don't care what he drives, or who watches his kids. I care if he can sew me up when I need it!
As far as dragging everyone into it, I really hear sour grapes, "I'm miserable, so if I make everyone else miserable, they'll make my life better" It's a system, we have lots of them, I hate most of them, however causing other folks grief is not the answer.
As far as being DR. Mom,, that's fine to a point, I've seen posts on here about treating with medicines intended for animal use. My thoughts are, If you have to ask if it's ok,, then you shouldn't be prescribing ANY medicines, let alone one that could harm your family.
Back to the system, it's what's in place, you can try to change it, but you better have one very large bank account, and be prepared to turn it over to the dreaded lawyers.
The only reason I work outside the farm is to provide medical coverage for my wife and I. I've done this ever since I discovered that I can no longer afford to pay cash, and I feel that it is the only responsible thing to do for our well being.
Ron


Cindi    Posted 08-05-2003 at 10:07:58       [Reply]  [No Email]
"I don't care what he drives, or who watches his kids. I care if he can sew me up when I need it!"

Lol! It's a nice service of you can get them to do it with no insurance.


Sour grapes, I imagine you're right. But please understand that I am not causing their misery or trying to share mine. They are getting that same misery that I have been getting. They(some of them)have benefited from the insurance companies and now the worm has turned, and the worm is heartless.


Errin OH    Posted 08-05-2003 at 06:34:17       [Reply]  [No Email]
Well Cindi theres a way to fix the lawyer - doctor promblem.

In the case of lawyers, adopt a loser pays plan. If'n I was a lawyer, right now I could go sue HP because W2000 doesn't run right on their box. Spend a few bucks on fileing and drag the whole buch to court. If I should loose, oh well on to the next. Just like buying a lotto ticket. But, Those lawyers aren't going put their necks on the block. Make them pay if they loose. Do you really think one would have went after micky D's with a plan like that in place. Unless you have a rock solid case, there gona tell you to take a hike.

For doctors - Remove the gold from the egg. Limit the awards to actual and future damages. Not a dime more. If they need to be punished, fine or throw them in jail.


GREED - LAWYERS    Posted 08-05-2003 at 06:06:14       [Reply]  [No Email]
Jeez Cindi,
What can I do about these blasted bugs on my tomato palnts. One of our plants has 44 tomatoes on it. Well, now how about that?

Mike D.

p.s. I thought workmans comp. is based on money earned by the worker, not the gross earned by the company. I'm a bit suspect of the entire subject you raised.
I know several excellant Drs. There is a major flaw in your reasonong based on my life experience. Sorry for your poor outlook on this one. Paul Harvey says it is the 'sewers' that have damaged our society. Folks that sue, the weak minded juries that grant stupidly high awards, and greedy lawyers. Seems you left this factor out. That's like running your tractor without oil.


SusanMo    Posted 08-05-2003 at 07:58:45       [Reply]  [No Email]
I have been reading all of the responses here so i guess i will put in my two cents. I have always thought doctors and lawyers and insurance companies always were too high priced. As for workmans compensation i used to think it was good, till i saw what happened one time while my husband was on it. We went to the doctor for a visit after an injury to his knee on the job. I went along to know what was going to happen blah blah blah...we went to get a follow-up appt. the nurse said that will be x amount of dollars...my husband replied this is a workers comp claim...she took the paper marked off the price she was charging us and almost tripled it. We stood there and watched her do it. I couldnt believe it. Asked her why she did that her reply we have different charges for workers comp claims. After thinking about this for awhile i came to the conclusion that it was so the insurance company wouldnt have to pay out such a big settlement at the end of the claim. On the other hand when my daughter fell from the second floor of a parking garage and landed face down my insurance here at work payed everything but 200 hundred dollars. Out of 20 thousand i thought that was extremely good. Like everything else there are good ones and bad ones. Seems like tho there are more bad than good


Cindi    Posted 08-05-2003 at 06:31:55       [Reply]  [No Email]
First...sevin dust

Secondly it's based on payroll, my bad, still payroll is a major expense. Typically in our line of work, 30% of what we earned on any job went to payroll, 40% to materials, 30% to overhead and so-called profit. So say a job is ten thousand dollars, 3000.00 went to payroll....4000.00 to material 1920.00 to workman's comp balance of said profit and overhead funds....1080.00.

By the way, when we started our business, our work comp rate was 46 percent. Naturally we could have raised our prices to compensate as the rates went up, but Joe Blow runs a company with a hundred roofers and due to the size of his company he still gets the old 46%, and numerous other perks for being a big business, so basically he can do the work cheaper anyway. So raising our prices makes us non-competitive, and ultimately we go out of busines anyway. Just a longer death.

...."I'm a bit suspect of the entire subject you raised."

I'm not running for office, or touting conspiracy theories, based on my life experience my reasoning is right on. There are new members to my club every day, it's just a matter of time for most folks before the insurance company rapes them and leaves them for dead, and as I said before, there are 'some' good doctors out there. Usually the ones who set up practice before the nineteen seventies or eighties.

And I did not 'leave out' the leaches in our society and the professional court jesters, they are definitely part of the problem, but in my opinion not all. Not anymore.


Well....I dunno.....    Posted 08-05-2003 at 06:04:50       [Reply]  [Send Email]
This is what I'm aware of from friends and others in the
field:

1. The reimbursement from the insurance company for
a visit is pennies on the dollar, and its slow in coming.
Meanwhile the doctor/dentist has to keep up his office,
pay his techs and nurses, etc. My dentist dropped Blue
Cross because he couldn't meet his financial
responsibilities on their program.

2. Malpractice insurance premiums are so high now
that doctors HAVE to see an impossible number of
patients every day to meet costs. That's why you feel
like they're saying "here's your hat what's your hurry".
They can't afford to spend more than a few minutes with
a patient anymore.

3. Malpractice insurance is so high now that some
doctors are forgoing it (which I think is illegal) or not
practicing in certain fields. I think I saw or heard
something on PBS or NPR about towns (especially
rural communities) losing their only OBGYNs because
of this problem with malpractice insurance premiums.

4. It has gotten so bad that some doctors are forgoing
insurance participation all together (I think doctors in
Florida - according to the thing I read) and catering to
people who can pay. The people who can pay and are
able to participate in these programs love it - their
doctors have time for them. Fortunately for me, at the
NIH/NCI we have inhouse health offices with nurse
pratcitioners who can cover a lot of prescription stuff
and physicals.

I don't think its as cut and dried as a consipiracy
between doctors and insurance companies.

Paula


Cindi    Posted 08-05-2003 at 06:43:43       [Reply]  [No Email]
1. Then why.....is the first thing they ask you when you walk in the door, "where's your insurance card?"

2. Good. Let us all suffer, eventually someone will do something. Right now, the only ones who suffer are the ones who can't pay and can't afford insurance. We pay taxes, but our tax money pays for someone else's medical care. Go figure that one out.

3. Well then hopefully the problem will become serious enough that a change will come about regarding ridiculous insurance rates across the board. Ob-Gyn? Haven't seen one since 1990. I can not pay, so I wouldn't miss them if they all dissppeared. Do you see?

4. Good for them, but you can bet those cash paying customers are few and far between so it's not going to be an epidemic, unless of course office visits go down to twenty five dollars and medicines become more reasonable, and testing is done only on an as needed basis which would, probably happen if office visits lasted more than fifteen minuets and the man with the diploma properley diagnoses the condition without sixteen specialists to back him up.


Sven    Posted 08-05-2003 at 06:15:11       [Reply]  [No Email]
Paula, thought that was you, I don't think Cindi meant to imply there was any kind of conspiracy.
Doesn't need to be, the insurance companies dictate it.
Like I said before, get rid of insurance.


Dale    Posted 08-05-2003 at 05:31:38       [Reply]  [No Email]
Totally backwards. The reason insurance rates, ALL rates, are climbing is because of our cowardly society where everyone wants to blame everyone else, sue, and sit on their butt for the rest of their lives, and the lawyers and juries reward them with the golden egg AND the goose that laid it.


Sven    Posted 08-05-2003 at 05:56:02       [Reply]  [No Email]
The reason there are so many lawyers is because it is so easy to milk the insurance companies.
Lets get rid of both the lawyers AND the insurance companies!


Cindi    Posted 08-05-2003 at 05:37:34       [Reply]  [No Email]
Look in the phone book under doctors and lawyers, they run neck and neck in this country, and they all (okay most) want the same things. To be rich off the misfortunes of others.


Sid    Posted 08-05-2003 at 05:15:24       [Reply]  [No Email]
I have to disagree with this one. Doctors do not pay for malpractice we do. Doctors get sued a lot because of greed not grief.


Cindi    Posted 08-05-2003 at 05:35:29       [Reply]  [No Email]
Granted, but it's going to take steadily increasing rates that impact everybody, not just the unfortunate few, that is going to bring about a change in the whole system.


Sven    Posted 08-05-2003 at 04:49:42       [Reply]  [No Email]
I am going to be a bit controversial here, and say, THIS WORLD WOULD BE A MUCH BETTER PLACE IF THERE WAS NO SUCH THING AS INSURANCE. Then the drs. would have to charge only what people could afford, and they would do the job right the first time, because they would know that there are no deep pockets to dip into.
It would also limit the number of people going into the medical profession to those who are serious about being M.D.s


Cindi    Posted 08-05-2003 at 05:34:14       [Reply]  [No Email]
Sven.....if only....


Ret    Posted 08-05-2003 at 04:43:05       [Reply]  [No Email]
Boy Cindi, you may be partly right, but you sure are wrong too.Have to remember one thing, when you are SICK really SICK, you don't go to the nearest store of any kind, or see anyone else in town you know, You Go to the doctor. I think you are lumping all of them together, bad idea. And if you haven't been to a doc in 10 years, you really are lucky.Doctors can always get a job, putting on roofs if they have to, but one of your roofers can't treat an ill person. Before you get the wrong idea, I have had 2 abdominal operations in the last 2 years, and the last one has had lasting consequenses for me. SO, I sure am not in love with the surgeon who done these. The trial lawyers and us, who sit on a jury to give someone a multimillion award instead of a sensible settlement are to blame in a big way. By the way, they are treating us for diseases today that had no treatment 25 years ago.
Coffee time Cindi, just hope they are not picketing in front of the hospital that you or a loved one is just getting admitted to in an emergency


Sven    Posted 08-05-2003 at 05:52:50       [Reply]  [No Email]
We have a whole slew of doctors in our town that cannot or will not treat ill people, let alone be able to find a roofing job.
The majority of those doctors cannot speak english either.


Cindi    Posted 08-05-2003 at 05:42:58       [Reply]  [No Email]
I didn't say I didn't NEED to go. I said I couldn't afford to go. Right... there are some good doctors and we all need them eventually but if you can't afford to pay for insurance or pay for services then they are like those little doohickies on the front end of a mercedes. Nice to look at but pretty well so useless.

If you're on an HMO, the next time you have a doctor visit check your watch. If you are in there for longer than fifteen minutes I will be amazed. Watch what happens at fourteen minutes. Doc starts to fidget and edge toward the door. The really ironic part is that the majority of that fifteen minutes is spent with the nurse, who asks most of the questions and takes vitals, I've never been with a doctor more than five minutes if I want to be accurate about it.


Matt    Posted 08-05-2003 at 03:56:34       [Reply]  [Send Email]
You are right Cindi.
The problem is not just the top ten go on to practice.
The bottom 90 are out there too.
Matt


Cindi    Posted 08-05-2003 at 04:19:28       [Reply]  [No Email]
That's another thing. The city I lived in three years ago had a population of 52,000. Why does a community that size need 24 pages of physicians?

What does it come back too. Too many kids going to college. Sorry. At what point do we say well...looks like we have enough doctors for awhile.

Doctors don't treat anything anymore that can't be handled with a prescription of amoxicillan. The refer. The specialists have specialists that they refer people to. The hypocratic oath is just a formality anymore in order to get a license to practice. It doesn't mean a thing.

'First, do no harm....'

Well, excuse me, but taking kick backs on meds can never amount to a reputable practice. Greed will eventually win out.



Salmoneye    Posted 08-05-2003 at 04:56:15       [Reply]  [No Email]
Dunno about where you are, but the local GP here is swamped and not accepting new patients and hasn't in 3 years...Bunky (Dr Bernstein) and Lee (Dr Weisman) will both do minor surgery in the office in an emergency...I have had metal shavings and a 4 inch hunk of wood extracted with a phonecall...Saves me a 15 mile trip to the ER...Lee saved my little Sisters' life as a kid...She had been to every 'specialist' from oncology to endocrinologists...Lee took one look at my sister and asked if she had gotten scratched by a cat in the last 2 months...Old Lady cat had gotten her good and no one thought another thing about it...'Cat Scratch Fever' is a real thing, and it can kill you if it goes undiagnosed...Who knew?

Oh yeah...And they are the type that do not hand out meds willy-nilly...They get lots of calls from idiots that think they know what they need and want them to call it in sight unseen...

The Doc in the next town over is swamped too...Plenty of room here for another GP or two to hang shingles...


Cindi    Posted 08-05-2003 at 05:33:17       [Reply]  [No Email]
I know of course that there are exceptions to every rule, and I don't mean to lump all doctors into one category but I have been mishandled too many times.

A pediatrician I used for three years could not seem to keep from calling me by my child's name and vice versa. Three years. The last time it happened I asked if it might be easier to assign us numbers. I had three kids in five years, I was in and out of that office several times a year. She had taken over for my previous doctor who retired at forty five and moved to Hawaii.

Another doctor informed me during stomach trouble testing that "I would love to answer your questions but my partners told me I'm only allowed fifteen minutes with you people." HMO people. I don't think she was supposed to tell me that. Based on the way it made me feel I think I know why.

I have yet to have an insurance company pay off in any significant way. Maybe it's just me, but I am thoroughly jaded on both doctors and insurance.


Fawteen    Posted 08-05-2003 at 03:35:46       [Reply]  [No Email]
Cindi, I think you have it backwards in this case. Malpractice rates directly affect healthcare costs. You think the DOCTORS pay that increased rate?

Mais non, cherie'! They pass it on to US!

Best way to bring healthcare costs down is to remove the bag limit on lawyers.

RE: collusion between drug companies, doctors and hospitals...Yeah, you got that one right.

Only thing that could make it worse is to let the gummint run it.


Sven    Posted 08-05-2003 at 06:00:34       [Reply]  [No Email]
If you are on an HMO, the government does run it.


Randy    Posted 08-05-2003 at 04:02:20       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I'm a caretaker for a Dr. Many times he tells me how it cost him to give that person an operation, more then he gets back from the insurance company. All I know is that when I check the answer machine there are calls from around the world thanking him because that persons wife or mother is alive because of him. One day that call could be from Fred, if Bob can afford to stay in business. I asked him when he was going to retire, "when my accountant says I can no longer buck the system."


Cindi    Posted 08-05-2003 at 04:01:29       [Reply]  [No Email]
I understand the trickle down effect but that will only work for so long. There's only so many of us to trickle down to. That's exactly what I'm saying. Let those rates climb, climb, climb.

When doctors have to shut down because they can't afford the rates, and folks in the insurance industry start to suffer from the same shoddy health care that we are getting, then maybe someone will wake up.

I have nothing to lose. I can't afford to see doctors anyway. I've already seen the impact of the rate increases, 700.00 a month to cover our family adequately, and even then you have to pray that you don't get REALLY sick because it's a crap shoot as to whether you're going to be covered.

But there is a rock bottom and we are rapidly approaching it, and eventually the 'trickle up' effect will kick in when health care is not affordable to ANYONE that isn't willing to invest half their salary every year just in case they get sick, then someone somewhere who can do something about it, will say, it's time to do something else.

Don't ever think for one second that just because you have coverage that you are covered. Not unless you've read that policy word for word and had it combed over by a lawyer. If and when you develope a serious illness and need extensive treatment is when you find out what kind of policy you have and that's when you learn you have been burned.

"Oh yes I know you paid us for cancer coverage, every month at a rate of five hundred dollars a month but if you'll see page six hundred and four of your policy, section twenty five under 'special stipulations' we only cover cancer of the tongue on the third Thurday of the month of July in a leap year. Sorry, should have read your policy."

It's going to have to get REALLY ugly before it gets any prettier. Right now it's just at the fairly homely stage. Only poor people are getting sick and dying due to the lack of proper health care. I just hope that some type of reform is in place by the time my kids have kids.


bob    Posted 08-05-2003 at 05:33:27       [Reply]  [No Email]
Cindi I have to disagree as to poor people not getting good care. My mother is on medicaid and her treatment is as good as mine. I am thankfull for my ins and feel for others but I do think everyone has equal chances. But I will add that maybe it depends on where you live .I am in midwest I don,t want to offend any one but there still is hope and a grand country to live in.Bob


Cindi    Posted 08-05-2003 at 05:46:27       [Reply]  [No Email]
Okay 'poor people' may be a bad choice of wording. If I was truly poor in the socially acceptable sense, I would probably be able to get medicare. But we don't qualify.

Like I said before, just because you have coverage, does not mean you are covered as well as you might think. Skin cancer..... whack it off...everybody's happy. Leukemia....oooops....where'd the coverage go?

God forbid.


Randy    Posted 08-05-2003 at 04:16:12       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I'm lucky, my wife has a real job with good insurance. Got my hernia fixed last year and didn't see a bill. Lots of tests this year and no bill. Couldn't go if not for her.
Plus for me I know that if anything happened that was out of the local Drs. expertise around here I would be in NYC in a minute to one of Bob's friends and taken care of. Real good to be me.
Time to go mow very wet lawns. Have a great day.


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