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Screw the health care industry


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Here we go again.   This morning I was at work when I started having abdominal pain.   The pain escalated so I headed home.    Half way home, the pain escalated so I could no longer drive.  I called 911 (keep in mind that I literally died 3 months ago - cardiac arrest and I had no heart beat for 8 minutes).

I get top the hospital curled up in the fetal position, unable to talk or function because of the pain.  30 minutes later I'm on a morphine drip, I've been diagnosed with kidney stones and I'm in a hospital room.  They are scheduling my surgery for tomorrow morning.

BUT.  I haven't been admitted.   I'm under observation.  I can't leave because I need the pain meds.  I couldn't drive if I had to having been on the morphine.   The kidney stones need actual surgery to remove because of their location and size (9mm).

But the hospital is billing it as under observation and non- emergency.  As a result, many of things I absolutely require will not be covered under my (actually many) insurance plans.

 

Talking to the hospital got me Nowhere.  they agree I can't leave.   They agree I need surgery immediately to prevent kidney damage.   But they will NOT admit me and they will not classify it as an emergency so the ambulance ride which was necessary will not be covered.   And they know this.   Because if it isn't covered (Blue Cross Blue Shield)  then I have to pay the non- negotiated rate.  Same with the hospital room and all the medical stuff they've done.

 

FUCK YOU too every admin, insurer, and executive that has created this screwed up system.  I hope each and every one of you health care executive assholes end up trapped in this system you've created, and end up bankrupt and under observation.

 

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All I can add is that:

My US citizen wife had a traumatic accident in Canada requiring ambulance, admittance to a hospital and surgery:  $800.00 charge. 

My US citizen brother-in-law had a traumatic accident in Finland requiring surgery and 2 weeks hospitalization and rehab:  No charge

My US citizen sister suffered massive insect bites in Uganda* and ultimately required a week of hospitalization in Rwanda:  No charge

My US citizen self came down with an infectious disease in Germany requiring 3 days hospitalization:  No charge.

So, yes, we have something seriously broken in our wonderful-to-be-rich-in country.

 

*  Yeah, this one was self-induced.  She decided it would be amusing to flop down on Idi Amin's endangered-species skin covered bed on a tour of his former palace.  

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1 hour ago, Grrr... said:

Here we go again.   This morning I was at work when I started having abdominal pain.   The pain escalated so I headed home.    Half way home, the pain escalated so I could no longer drive.  I called 911 (keep in mind that I literally died 3 months ago - cardiac arrest and I had no heart beat for 8 minutes).

I get top the hospital curled up in the fetal position, unable to talk or function because of the pain.  30 minutes later I'm on a morphine drip, I've been diagnosed with kidney stones and I'm in a hospital room.  They are scheduling my surgery for tomorrow morning.

BUT.  I haven't been admitted.   I'm under observation.  I can't leave because I need the pain meds.  I couldn't drive if I had to having been on the morphine.   The kidney stones need actual surgery to remove because of their location and size (9mm).

But the hospital is billing it as under observation and non- emergency.  As a result, many of things I absolutely require will not be covered under my (actually many) insurance plans.

 

Talking to the hospital got me Nowhere.  they agree I can't leave.   They agree I need surgery immediately to prevent kidney damage.   But they will NOT admit me and they will not classify it as an emergency so the ambulance ride which was necessary will not be covered.   And they know this.   Because if it isn't covered (Blue Cross Blue Shield)  then I have to pay the non- negotiated rate.  Same with the hospital room and all the medical stuff they've done.

 

FUCK YOU too every admin, insurer, and executive that has created this screwed up system.  I hope each and every one of you health care executive assholes end up trapped in this system you've created, and end up bankrupt and under observation.

 

Have you tried contacting the insurance carrier to see if they can exert any influence?   

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Hospitals are in the business of making money. Insurance companies are in the business of making money by giving the hospitals as little as possible.

What could go wrong?  best of luck Grrr....  that really sucks.

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Chesapeake, on what planet would an insurer call and ask to spend money?

Why do you believe an insurance company would FIGHT to spend money on my bills?  Of course they won't.

No, this is an obvious scam being run by the hospitals.   Their billing departments set the codes.   They decide what the difference between inpatient and outpatient is,  and intentionally skew or skip it so as to screw over patients and move the costs of the insurers and hospitals and onto the patients.  They decide what is an emergency and what isn't - and believe me when I say that their definition is NOT a common sense or reasonable one.

Get this.   Calling the insurer resulted in THEM asking US if the hospital was in their network.

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I just went through a similar situation.  I went to the Emergency Room, the hospital admitted me.  24 hours later, the hospital told me that they were an out-of-network facility, but they would file the paperwork  and that my insurance policy states that any emergency service or admission as a result of said emergency is covered as an in-network policy.  Now that I've been dismissed, the insurance company is declining coverage saying they do not feel that I had a medical emergency and should not have been admitted for treatment.  The hospital is now saying I am responsible for all of the charges and is not willing to dispute the insurance company's decision.

WTF???

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It does suck, and yeah, it's scammy as hell, just as Grrr observes. Several years ago one of my kids was taken by ambulance to the ER, I get a bill for $3k for the ambulance ride. Turns out the ambulance company that accepted that particular 911 call, didn't accept insurance. Some do, some don't, that one didn't.

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2 hours ago, Grrr... said:

FUCK YOU too every admin, insurer, and executive that has created this screwed up system.  I hope each and every one of you health care executive assholes end up trapped in this system you've created, and end up bankrupt and under observation.

Don't blame them - they are in it for the money.

Lay the blame where it belongs - the Republicans and the sucker voters they have convinced that your system is the best in the world.

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46 minutes ago, SloopJonB said:

Don't blame them - they are in it for the money.

Lay the blame where it belongs - the Republicans and the sucker voters they have convinced that your system is the best in the world.

 

4DF7D9E0-3406-4A14-9FC2-A79029E06B5C.jpeg

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1 hour ago, Left Shift said:

All I can add is that:

My US citizen brother-in-law had a traumatic accident in Finland requiring surgery and 2 weeks hospitalization and rehab:  No charge

My US citizen self came down with an infectious disease in Germany requiring 3 days hospitalization:  No charge.

Do not expect this to continue in many EU countries. It is getting out of control. Too many tourists with al that cheap flying. Most hospitals here have a small stash to cover that kind of stuff. If it is empty, you are out of luck. Budgets are getting tighter.

I had one stitch in an US hospital, 500 dollars, 15 years ago.
Back home in the EU; last two years two surgeries, one emergency at Xmas night, more then a week in hospital, additional MRI's etc, cost (except my higher taxes who pays for that), 800 Euro.
We have 400 Euro a year own risk...

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You make a huge mistake in calling it "The healthcare industry".... It is the "Insurance/pharmaceutical industry".

 Notice that they put you on pain meds instantly. And that the first people they called to establish your ability to pay was your insurance company.....

 Yeah they want you to live. It would look bad if you died on their watch, but they sure as hell want to get paid for it.

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2 hours ago, Left Shift said:

All I can add is that:

My US citizen wife had a traumatic accident in Canada requiring ambulance, admittance to a hospital and surgery:  $800.00 charge. 

My US citizen brother-in-law had a traumatic accident in Finland requiring surgery and 2 weeks hospitalization and rehab:  No charge

My US citizen sister suffered massive insect bites in Uganda* and ultimately required a week of hospitalization in Rwanda:  No charge

My US citizen self came down with an infectious disease in Germany requiring 3 days hospitalization:  No charge.

So, yes, we have something seriously broken in our wonderful-to-be-rich-in country.

 

*  Yeah, this one was self-induced.  She decided it would be amusing to flop down on Idi Amin's endangered-species skin covered bed on a tour of his former palace.  

 

My wife went into A-Fib in Canada on vacation. The first thing they ask her was to give a Credit Card imprint. They laughed when we showed them our Insurance card from US. About 2 hours in the ER  they gave her a med to get her rhythm back sent us home. $ 3,500 CAD bill translated into $4,000 US. Cheap place for vacation until you sick there.
Thanks Canada.

 

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$ 3,500 CAD bill translated into $4,000 US.

?????

You need a new currency exchange. The Loonie is only worth about $0.75 USD.

And how much would that have cost you in the USA? Even with insurance I bet you'd have paid more just in deductible.

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1 hour ago, lamorak said:

I just went through a similar situation.  I went to the Emergency Room, the hospital admitted me.  24 hours later, the hospital told me that they were an out-of-network facility, but they would file the paperwork  and that my insurance policy states that any emergency service or admission as a result of said emergency is covered as an in-network policy.  Now that I've been dismissed, the insurance company is declining coverage saying they do not feel that I had a medical emergency and should not have been admitted for treatment.  The hospital is now saying I am responsible for all of the charges and is not willing to dispute the insurance company's decision.

WTF???

Yep....you have to dispute their assertion/assessment that it wasn't an emergency (if it wasn't) through their process. They will often assert that for out of network facilities/providers as the opening salvo on medical "leaners" - especially if its only a pain control thing as they rarely accept that as an emergent condition. I have successful at insisting and having the decision reversed but it is a hassle and takes lots of time.

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4 minutes ago, SloopJonB said:

$ 3,500 CAD bill translated into $4,000 US.

?????

You need a new currency exchange. The Loonie is only worth about $0.75 USD.

And how much would that have cost you in the USA? Even with insurance I bet you'd have paid more just in deductible.

 Sorry just pulled the bill out,  $4000 Cad, $2750 US.   ER visit is a $50 co-pay in the US on my insurance.

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10 minutes ago, SloopJonB said:

$ 3,500 CAD bill translated into $4,000 US.

?????

You need a new currency exchange. The Loonie is only worth about $0.75 USD.

And how much would that have cost you in the USA? Even with insurance I bet you'd have paid more just in deductible.

It depends on what policy/level of coverage you purchase. Mine wouldn't.

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My wife is uncovered by United Health care and pays 600 a month, yet every time she goes to any medical stuff, they cover nothing wtf

The CEO of United Health care, is against Medicare for everyone , as he says it will screw up the health care system in this country, 

Well, this suck bag mades 17 million a year,

United States has the highest Cost for Health care, But we live the shortest, have the highest infant morality rate, and hundreds of thousand die each year 

for the drug companies and doctors giving us things like Oxycon. 

The system is broke and medicare may not be the answer, but we need to fix this broke system and we all no , our elected ,President, congress and Reps ,

are all on the Take$$$$$$$

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5 hours ago, Grrr... said:

Here we go again.   This morning I was at work when I started having abdominal pain.   The pain escalated so I headed home.    Half way home, the pain escalated so I could no longer drive.  I called 911 (keep in mind that I literally died 3 months ago - cardiac arrest and I had no heart beat for 8 minutes).

I get top the hospital curled up in the fetal position, unable to talk or function because of the pain.  30 minutes later I'm on a morphine drip, I've been diagnosed with kidney stones and I'm in a hospital room.  They are scheduling my surgery for tomorrow morning.

BUT.  I haven't been admitted.   I'm under observation.  I can't leave because I need the pain meds.  I couldn't drive if I had to having been on the morphine.   The kidney stones need actual surgery to remove because of their location and size (9mm).

But the hospital is billing it as under observation and non- emergency.  As a result, many of things I absolutely require will not be covered under my (actually many) insurance plans.

 

Talking to the hospital got me Nowhere.  they agree I can't leave.   They agree I need surgery immediately to prevent kidney damage.   But they will NOT admit me and they will not classify it as an emergency so the ambulance ride which was necessary will not be covered.   And they know this.   Because if it isn't covered (Blue Cross Blue Shield)  then I have to pay the non- negotiated rate.  Same with the hospital room and all the medical stuff they've done.

 

FUCK YOU too every admin, insurer, and executive that has created this screwed up system.  I hope each and every one of you health care executive assholes end up trapped in this system you've created, and end up bankrupt and under observation.

 

Sorry to hear that. I hope you have a full and speedy recovery. That is one type of pain that I thankfully do not know (kidney stones), but I know the painful health care system too well. 

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22 minutes ago, garuda3 said:

My wife is uncovered by United Health care and pays 600 a month, yet every time she goes to any medical stuff, they cover nothing wtf

The CEO of United Health care, is against Medicare for everyone , as he says it will screw up the health care system in this country, 

Well, this suck bag mades 17 million a year,

United States has the highest Cost for Health care, But we live the shortest, have the highest infant morality rate, and hundreds of thousand die each year 

for the drug companies and doctors giving us things like Oxycon. 

The system is broke and medicare may not be the answer, but we need to fix this broke system and we all no , our elected ,President, congress and Reps ,

are all on the Take$$$$$$$

UHC screws me at every opportunity as well. 

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I had a non- life threatening medical issue n Denmark.  Doctor, hospital, meds, etc. cost was nada.

son was on an international business trip.  Got food poisoning on his flight (thank you United).  Missed all kinds of meetings while he was holed up in his hotel room discharging noxious fluids and solids from both ends.  Hotel MD came to see him, prescribed some meds and had a nurse check on him for a couple of days.  Total out of pocket for him was about $50.  

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Many times I admit atients for 23 hour observation post op. Insurance companies will pay for observation but not the admission

transport big problem. Especially air. But many times the insurance will send check to patient.  They believe check for a few thousand is a windfall and cash it. It is supposed to passed to transport company

In the socialized countries there is definitely some benefits. However everyone pays taxes into the system not like the US where 47% of people don't pay federal taxes. Also there is more expensive technology I use that is not available to my European colleagues since the hospital is not reimbursed for it. Also there is more rationing and difficulty getting procedures. Yes probably works better for less emergent issues

In the US ERs cannot turn anyone away. I have seen non US citizens as borders in hospitals I worked at because they could not be discharged. Such as renal failure patients, no outpatient dialysis Center would accept them without insurance. 

Want to see govt healthcare in action. Go to a VA. I worked in one as a resident. Ask vets how satisfied they are

I don't have the answers. I just try to take care of people. Even when I was private I wrote off many bills from people who had no insurance or under insured on an almost daily basis. What other business will do the same? How many restaurants will accept 30% of bill and stay afloat? Who gives out free cars because people need them?

Hospitals have to pay for supplies, elevator repairs, staff, lawsuits and a host of other products. I trained at Hahnemann and as I watch the 171 year old hospital close it saddens me. But when half the elevators are not working and supplies aren't delivered because they aren't paid for, it can't keep going.

If you end up in a US hospital chances are you will get very expensive care because it is standard care.  However all those scans and procedures aren't cheap. 

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I have a sailing buddy here in NorCal who is now 2 years into what he was told would be a simple 2 month basic cancer treatment.  He thought, well, I'm insured, some of the best care is right down the street, so there's no need to go back to Europe to fix this, I'll just do it here.

Long and short of it he's now $650k into this thing, out of pocket.  It's pretty well cleaned him out.  Insurance premiums were $400/month 2 years ago, and ratcheted up every quarter till they got to $2,000/month.  Co-pays and deductibles similarly grew till they were $37,000/year EACH.  Why and how?  Because they could.  Luckily he became 62½ and qualified for MediCal.  But still much of what he's having to do is not covered, and is on his dime.

Tests, tests and more tests - cover your ass.  Treatments that make him sicker than he was before, and then treatments for the problems brought on by the previous treatments that make him sicker yet.  He would go elsewhere, but is told he can't fly or travel.  No final resolutions, just promises.

My late Dad was a medical professional in the UK.  He would be spinning in his box if he saw this sort of thing.

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My son has been an ER nurse for about 8 years in an inner city hospital. He became so disgusted by the bullshit and screwed up system that only takes care of the CEO and people at the top, he resigned and got his Nurse Practitioner.

Insurance is  a joke. Our monthly premiums keep going up year after year. 

Grrr, here’s to healing. Your lawyer will be able to sort this out, especially since you arrived via ambulance through the emergency room. 

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6 hours ago, burndoc said:

 

In the socialized countries there is definitely some benefits. However everyone pays taxes into the system not like the US where 47% of people don't pay federal taxes. Also there is more expensive technology I use that is not available to my European colleagues since the hospital is not reimbursed for it. Also there is more rationing and difficulty getting procedures. Yes probably works better for less emergent issues

In the US ERs cannot turn anyone away.

If you end up in a US hospital chances are you will get very expensive care because it is standard care.  However all those scans and procedures aren't cheap. 

Where do you get this rubbish from?

Australia. Low income earners pay no medicare levy. 

My son's had totally state of the art treatment for a congenital bone condition over 15 years, multiple bone grafts and rodding, Ilizaroff, telescopic rods. Electro magnetic bone lengthening https://www.stanfordchildrens.org/en/about/news/releases/2016/magnet-powered-bone-lengthening-device.

and a lot more.

Some of there procedures done in the UK too...at Stanford (see above) and initial diagnosis in Amsterdam.

My daughter's had cancer treatments for rare ovarian cyst with specialist consulted world wide and timely follow up scans for 5 years.

Children in particular are taken care of, but as for your "Yes probably works better for less emergent issues"

My Ex was rushed in for a heart problem, not immediately life threatening but admitted, stabilised and in surgery for valve replacement within a couple of weeks. It.s the life threatening stuff gets top priority so ignorant statements like this make me furious. 

All done in absolutely timely manner, no waiting list and in private hospitals and public.

 

Cost to me..absolutely zero

Not all "socialised countries are equal, but in first world countries like the USA and Australia there's simply no excuse other than profits and greed and a bamboozled populace.

 

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12 minutes ago, Shortforbob said:

Where do you get this rubbish from?

Australia. Low income earners pay no medicare levy. 

My son's had totally state of the art treatment for a congenital bone condition over 15 years, multiple bone grafts and rodding, Ilizaroff, telescopic rods. Electro magnetic bone lengthening https://www.stanfordchildrens.org/en/about/news/releases/2016/magnet-powered-bone-lengthening-device.

and a lot more.

Some of there procedures done in the UK too...at Stanford (see above) and initial diagnosis in Amsterdam.

My daughter's had cancer treatments for rare ovarian cyst with specialist consulted world wide and timely follow up scans for 5 years.

All done in absolutely timely manner, no waiting list and in private hospitals and public.

 

Cost to me..absolutely zero

Not all "socialised countries are equal, but in first world countries like the USA and Australia there's simply no excuse other than profits and greed and a bamboozled populace.

 

Not always the case... SWMBO needed a shoulder reco, tried to go public, ended up paying to go private (out of pocket cost about 6K)

The public hospital finally confirmed an initial appointment for six months time by letter, the letter arrived six weeks after the operation in the private hospital.

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10 minutes ago, Rushman said:

Not always the case... SWMBO needed a shoulder reco, tried to go public, ended up paying to go private (out of pocket cost about 6K)

The public hospital finally confirmed an initial appointment for six months time by letter, the letter arrived six weeks after the operation in the private hospital.

That's not an emergency or life threatening is it? Painful but manageable? of course you wait depending of your age, general health and  non invasive treatment options,. The point of public health systems is to ensure that those that can't afford private get appropriate treatment in a time commensurate to the severity of the condition. 

And your 6K costs were subsidised by Medicare were they not?

No system is perfect, but this constant slandering of "socialised" health care by those that aught to know better (like Doctors) is simply mischievous.

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11 hours ago, woodpecker said:

 

My wife went into A-Fib in Canada on vacation. The first thing they ask her was to give a Credit Card imprint. They laughed when we showed them our Insurance card from US. About 2 hours in the ER  they gave her a med to get her rhythm back sent us home. $ 3,500 CAD bill translated into $4,000 US. Cheap place for vacation until you sick there.
Thanks Canada.

 

Tiffer. You expect Canada to treat you? Sure get a reciprocal agreement...OH hang on a minute. 

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13 minutes ago, Shortforbob said:

That's not an emergency or life threatening is it? Painful but manageable? of course you wait depending of your age, general health and  non invasive treatment options,. The point of public health systems is to ensure that those that can't afford private get appropriate treatment in a time commensurate to the severity of the condition. 

And your 6K costs were subsidised by Medicare were they not?

No system is perfect, but this constant slandering of "socialised" health care by those that aught to know better (like Doctors) is simply mischievous.

6K was after the rebate

Medicare sort of works

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1 hour ago, Shortforbob said:

Where do you get this rubbish from?

Australia. Low income earners pay no medicare levy. 

My son's had totally state of the art treatment for a congenital bone condition over 15 years, multiple bone grafts and rodding, Ilizaroff, telescopic rods. Electro magnetic bone lengthening https://www.stanfordchildrens.org/en/about/news/releases/2016/magnet-powered-bone-lengthening-device.

and a lot more.

Some of there procedures done in the UK too...at Stanford (see above) and initial diagnosis in Amsterdam.

My daughter's had cancer treatments for rare ovarian cyst with specialist consulted world wide and timely follow up scans for 5 years.

Children in particular are taken care of, but as for your "Yes probably works better for less emergent issues"

My Ex was rushed in for a heart problem, not immediately life threatening but admitted, stabilised and in surgery for valve replacement within a couple of weeks. It.s the life threatening stuff gets top priority so ignorant statements like this make me furious. 

All done in absolutely timely manner, no waiting list and in private hospitals and public.

 

Cost to me..absolutely zero

Not all "socialised countries are equal, but in first world countries like the USA and Australia there's simply no excuse other than profits and greed and a bamboozled populace.

 

Since when's is your country European? I never mentioned Australia.

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11 minutes ago, burndoc said:

Since when's is your country European? I never mentioned Australia.

No, you didn't mention a lot of places.My Son's leg's been treated in 3..Netherlands, UK and Australia.

European systems are all different and funded differently. There's no such thing as "a european system.". the Dutch system is excellent, as is the German and I've no problems with the UK either though it's been a while. The Japanese system is also excellent. Your blanket comments are ignorant. As I said, countries like the USA, Australia,... add Germany, Canada, Japan, the Netherlands have no excuse not to provide a good universal health care system affordable to all  without taking your right arm and first born if you actually get sick.

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Typical comment from the self righteous. Everyone gets something for free. Interestingly enough I got a call once from a London Burn Center for a transfer. I thought it was a joke. Older lady on vacation who passed out in the shower and was scalded. She needed a skin graft. They would not do it in England. Arranged transfer to my hospital and I grafted her in the US. That was less than ten years ago.  

I used to place gastric pacers and people from Canada would come to our cent and pay to have them placed because they couldn't get them in their country.

there used to be public healthcare in the US. With state and city run hospital. The government shut them down because too expensive. Unfortunately I believe we are heading to a two tiered system again. 

Personally I have not had any medical horror stories in my family but we always paid for good insurance.  You do get what is paid for.  Conversely I have navigated friends through the system much quicker than the could do on there own

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11 hours ago, jerseyguy said:

I had a non- life threatening medical issue n Denmark.  Doctor, hospital, meds, etc. cost was nada.

 

16 hours ago, Left Shift said:

My US citizen brother-in-law had a traumatic accident in Finland requiring surgery and 2 weeks hospitalization and rehab:  No charge

My US citizen sister suffered massive insect bites in Uganda* and ultimately required a week of hospitalization in Rwanda:  No charge

My US citizen self came down with an infectious disease in Germany requiring 3 days hospitalization:  No charge.

People keep saying this ^^ like  healthcare is magically "FREE" in those countries.  Its NOT - someone is paying for it, namely the taxpayers in those countries.

Personally, if I were a taxpayer in Denmark, Finland or any of those other countries mentioned in this thread - I would be fucking pissed if someone on vacation showed up and got free healthcare on my nickel.  Yes, emergencies happen - but I think they should at least be expected to pay for some of their emergency care given they have paid nothing into the tax system to fund it.  Why would that be an unreasonable request???

And for the taxpayers who live in those countries - they are also NOT getting free HC.  As already stated, they are paying very healthy taxes to fund their "free" HC system.  I personally have zero issue if the citizens of a nation decide collectively that they want to pay upfront for their HC through taxes.  More power to them and if they are happy, then I'm happy for them.  But please stop fucking calling it "Free healthcare"!!!  

 

 

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5 minutes ago, Shootist Jeff said:

Yes.... to YOU.  Cost to someone else?  100%

That's correct. And today and for the last 5 years, I pay for someone else.

And for the 15 years I worked before kids, and for the next 7 years

and the kids will pay for someone else's  when they're older ,It's how it works.:rolleyes:

 

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21 hours ago, Wet Spreaders said:

Or an attorney...

I'm serious about invoking the legal system to help - and sooner is better. If the situation is as you describe, then you might argue that you have been "functionally admitted", which means that the paperwork for formal admission might not matter, or, if it's not filled out accurately, might constitute fraud. 

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19 minutes ago, Wet Spreaders said:

I'm serious about invoking the legal system to help - and sooner is better. If the situation is as you describe, then you might argue that you have been "functionally admitted", which means that the paperwork for formal admission might not matter, or, if it's not filled out accurately, might constitute fraud. 

I don’t know.....they have buildings full of lawyers and time on their side. I would think billable hours would quickly eat whatever extra you have to pay. I’m no lawyer but I’m thinking no-one is going to take something like that on contingency.......so unless some enterprising attorney wants to take some class action effort.....

Pop used to say “you can shit on the steps of city hall, but they WILL make you clean it up eventually”.

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You guys are scaring the hell out of me. I had a seizure (1st time in my life) on Tuesday. Lots of firsts..1st ambulance ride, which I don't really remember much of. 1st EEG with the gooey stuff in your hair, 1st MRI, 1st hospital stay.

BCBS PPO. Can't wait for the bill...And they never found the cause.

Fun fact - if you're in for a seizure, you can't even go pee without calling a nurse 1st. And the shitter was even in my damn room! I guess you're considered a falling hazard.

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6 hours ago, Shootist Jeff said:

 

People keep saying this ^^ like  healthcare is magically "FREE" in those countries.  Its NOT - someone is paying for it, namely the taxpayers in those countries.

Personally, if I were a taxpayer in Denmark, Finland or any of those other countries mentioned in this thread - I would be fucking pissed if someone on vacation showed up and got free healthcare on my nickel.  Yes, emergencies happen - but I think they should at least be expected to pay for some of their emergency care given they have paid nothing into the tax system to fund it.  Why would that be an unreasonable request???

And for the taxpayers who live in those countries - they are also NOT getting free HC.  As already stated, they are paying very healthy taxes to fund their "free" HC system.  I personally have zero issue if the citizens of a nation decide collectively that they want to pay upfront for their HC through taxes.  More power to them and if they are happy, then I'm happy for them.  But please stop fucking calling it "Free healthcare"!!! 

I don''t see why you ever=n wasted your time in responding to this, LS's whole post is rife with BS... 

 

 

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42 minutes ago, Point Break said:

I don’t know.....they have buildings full of lawyers and time on their side. I would think billable hours would quickly eat whatever extra you have to pay. I’m no lawyer but I’m thinking no-one is going to take something like that on contingency.......so unless some enterprising attorney wants to take some class action effort.....

Pop used to say “you can shit on the steps of city hall, but they WILL make you clean it up eventually”.

A number of states are taking action to limit unreasonable denial of coverage as well as the “in network hospital but out of network “contract practitioners” that often lead to “insured but not covered” situations. At the very least, contact your state reps, AG, licensing boards in addition to your Congress critters that have not stepped up to limit/remove the loopholes. 

Also consider your local TV “consumer advocate” reporters. Nothing like having the situation broadcast on the 6:00 news to get the insurance company to take you seriously. 

 

Not it all of the medical establishment is like this. While I was being treated for a rare (I was told that there are only 1 or 2 cases annually in my demographic) and  aggressive tumor, my medical team made a decision that I should receive some advanced radiation treatments. Insurance denied as “not standard of care for your diagnosis” and the cost was $65K.  Hospital policy was that if they determined that the proper treatment was X and were unable to convince the insurance company, the cost of that care was on them. Final cost to me?  $0.00. Not even a copay as I had reached my catastrophic cap for the year. I’m certain that it helped that this was a major research center as my treatment is now supporting evidence in expanding the standard of care for future patients. 

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On 7/24/2019 at 2:33 PM, Grrr... said:

Here we go again.   This morning I was at work when I started having abdominal pain.   The pain escalated so I headed home.    Half way home, the pain escalated so I could no longer drive.  I called 911 (keep in mind that I literally died 3 months ago - cardiac arrest and I had no heart beat for 8 minutes).

I get top the hospital curled up in the fetal position, unable to talk or function because of the pain.  30 minutes later I'm on a morphine drip, I've been diagnosed with kidney stones and I'm in a hospital room.  They are scheduling my surgery for tomorrow morning.

BUT.  I haven't been admitted.   I'm under observation.  I can't leave because I need the pain meds.  I couldn't drive if I had to having been on the morphine.   The kidney stones need actual surgery to remove because of their location and size (9mm).

But the hospital is billing it as under observation and non- emergency.  As a result, many of things I absolutely require will not be covered under my (actually many) insurance plans.

 

Talking to the hospital got me Nowhere.  they agree I can't leave.   They agree I need surgery immediately to prevent kidney damage.   But they will NOT admit me and they will not classify it as an emergency so the ambulance ride which was necessary will not be covered.   And they know this.   Because if it isn't covered (Blue Cross Blue Shield)  then I have to pay the non- negotiated rate.  Same with the hospital room and all the medical stuff they've done.

 

FUCK YOU too every admin, insurer, and executive that has created this screwed up system.  I hope each and every one of you health care executive assholes end up trapped in this system you've created, and end up bankrupt and under observation.

 

At some level Congress created the system, so why would anyone have high expectations?  Hospitals seem to assign you to whatever status is best for their finances.  Look up the "2 midnight rule".

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4 hours ago, Point Break said:

I don’t know.....they have buildings full of lawyers and time on their side. I would think billable hours would quickly eat whatever extra you have to pay. I’m no lawyer but I’m thinking no-one is going to take something like that on contingency.......so unless some enterprising attorney wants to take some class action effort.....

Pop used to say “you can shit on the steps of city hall, but they WILL make you clean it up eventually”.

Yeah - they do. Business law experts. Last time I looked, fraud was a criminal offense. If they have a pattern of behavior, then perhaps invoking RICO would be fun. The hospital admins might be fond of their bonuses and happy to fuck you for a few thousand bucks for their corporate coffers, but no-one wants to go to jail for their company bottom line.

Physically admitting you, but filling out paperwork saying you were not admitted looks like a lie to me. Lies designed to make money are called fraud. Fraud perpetrated on many people many times is racketeering.  And if neither of those things is provably true to a legal standard, they make a very fun story to torture them with to get your fees covered.

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On 7/24/2019 at 11:33 AM, Grrr... said:

Here we go again.   This morning I was at work when I started having abdominal pain.   The pain escalated so I headed home.    Half way home, the pain escalated so I could no longer drive.  I called 911 (keep in mind that I literally died 3 months ago - cardiac arrest and I had no heart beat for 8 minutes).

I get top the hospital curled up in the fetal position, unable to talk or function because of the pain.  30 minutes later I'm on a morphine drip, I've been diagnosed with kidney stones and I'm in a hospital room.  They are scheduling my surgery for tomorrow morning.

BUT.  I haven't been admitted.   I'm under observation.  I can't leave because I need the pain meds.  I couldn't drive if I had to having been on the morphine.   The kidney stones need actual surgery to remove because of their location and size (9mm).

But the hospital is billing it as under observation and non- emergency.  As a result, many of things I absolutely require will not be covered under my (actually many) insurance plans.

 

Talking to the hospital got me Nowhere.  they agree I can't leave.   They agree I need surgery immediately to prevent kidney damage.   But they will NOT admit me and they will not classify it as an emergency so the ambulance ride which was necessary will not be covered.   And they know this.   Because if it isn't covered (Blue Cross Blue Shield)  then I have to pay the non- negotiated rate.  Same with the hospital room and all the medical stuff they've done.

 

FUCK YOU too every admin, insurer, and executive that has created this screwed up system.  I hope each and every one of you health care executive assholes end up trapped in this system you've created, and end up bankrupt and under observation.

 

On 7/24/2019 at 12:59 PM, d'ranger said:

Hospitals are in the business of making money. Insurance companies are in the business of making money by giving the hospitals as little as possible.

What could go wrong?  best of luck Grrr....  that really sucks.

It's more the Insurance rather than the care.

Once you called 911, got in the ambulance and went to the ER. The took care of you and at least you did not have to wait.

I've had kidney stones since I was 30 and have nothing but praise. Lithotripsy is the best thing ever.

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2 hours ago, Meat Wad said:

It's more the Insurance rather than the care.

Once you called 911, got in the ambulance and went to the ER. The took care of you and at least you did not have to wait.

I've had kidney stones since I was 30 and have nothing but praise. Lithotripsy is the best thing ever.

I've had multiple stones.  Has invasive Lithotripsy last Wed on the right side and ESWL on the left side for 2 still in the kidney yesterday.  If ESWL doesn't work and it's too big to pass, open surgery is a tough option.  

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40 minutes ago, Innocent Bystander said:

I've had multiple stones.  Has invasive Lithotripsy last Wed on the right side and ESWL on the left side for 2 still in the kidney yesterday.  If ESWL doesn't work and it's too big to pass, open surgery is a tough option.  

They did mine with a basket catch....under lite sedation of course. Yours still in the kidney rules out that procedure. Try jumping up and down to get those things at least into the ureter..........:huh:

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3 minutes ago, Point Break said:

They did mine with a basket catch....under lite sedation of course. Yours still in the kidney rules out that procedure. Try jumping up and down to get those things at least into the ureter..........:huh:

My guys uses the basket for small, a laser lip for in the in the ureter but too big to pass and ESWL for those large and still in the kidney.  the two yesterday by ESWL were 6 and 8 MM.  The one last week was 6 MM and stuck 1/2 way.  With ESWL, you get lite sedation and nothing up your dick.  Much preferred over the other options as far as I'm concerned.  

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Just now, Innocent Bystander said:

My guys uses the basket for small, a laser lip for in the in the ureter but too big to pass and ESWL for those large and still in the kidney.  the two yesterday by ESWL were 6 and 8 MM.  The one last week was 6 MM and stuck 1/2 way.  With ESWL, you get lite sedation and nothing up your dick.  Much preferred over the other options as far as I'm concerned.  

Hey a little versed and you won't remember a thing..........:lol:

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First procedure yesterday.  The ureter is too small and the stone is too large and too far up in the kidney.  They are using a device they installed to stretch it out so they can get farther in.  In another 2 weeks I go in for hopeful extraction.  At that point a stent will go in to prevent the ureter from swelling closed.  Two weeks after that I go in for a third procedure to wrap it all up.  My pee is a wonderful red brown right now - but i can pee.

A young doctor went to bat for me.  He told the "care coordinator" that he was writing it up such that I was in danger of acute kidney damage, and he wrote up a recommendation for me to be admitted.  The care coordinator argued more with us, so we called my cardiologist who informed her that the heart attack I had 3 months ago put me at high risk for a repeat if I was left under a high amount of stress (BP was 190 on arrival to the hospital and I was already on BP meds).  We won.  My wife may or may not have threatened to call our lawyer in the process.

The "care coordintaor" does not have a med degree.  She has a degree in business and was attempting to override the doctors.

Because I was admitted, it is covered.  As is the ambulance ride and the follow up procedures.  I spent 2 hours in my hospital bed peeing blood while I argued with the beareaucratic fools.

BONUS: the hospital admitted they retroactively changed a code on  a previous visit from emergent to non emergent.  That resulted in the insurance company refusing some claims.  We are fighting to have them reinstate the original emergent code.  They are fuckerz.

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3 minutes ago, Grrr... said:

The "care coordintaor" does not have a med degree.  She has a degree in business and was attempting to override the doctors.

Ah, the business of healthcare.

Glad that young doc stepped up.

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35 minutes ago, Grrr... said:

First procedure yesterday.  The ureter is too small and the stone is too large and too far up in the kidney.  They are using a device they installed to stretch it out so they can get farther in.  In another 2 weeks I go in for hopeful extraction.  At that point a stent will go in to prevent the ureter from swelling closed.  Two weeks after that I go in for a third procedure to wrap it all up.  My pee is a wonderful red brown right now - but i can pee.

A young doctor went to bat for me.  He told the "care coordinator" that he was writing it up such that I was in danger of acute kidney damage, and he wrote up a recommendation for me to be admitted.  The care coordinator argued more with us, so we called my cardiologist who informed her that the heart attack I had 3 months ago put me at high risk for a repeat if I was left under a high amount of stress (BP was 190 on arrival to the hospital and I was already on BP meds).  We won.  My wife may or may not have threatened to call our lawyer in the process.

The "care coordintaor" does not have a med degree.  She has a degree in business and was attempting to override the doctors.

Because I was admitted, it is covered.  As is the ambulance ride and the follow up procedures.  I spent 2 hours in my hospital bed peeing blood while I argued with the beareaucratic fools.

BONUS: the hospital admitted they retroactively changed a code on  a previous visit from emergent to non emergent.  That resulted in the insurance company refusing some claims.  We are fighting to have them reinstate the original emergent code.  They are fuckerz.

The stent is no fun at all but does serve it’s purpose. Glad to hear you are headed in the right direction and yes, the red brown is how it go’s fpr a whi,e. 

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On 7/24/2019 at 1:25 PM, Left Shift said:

All I can add is that:

My US citizen wife had a traumatic accident in Canada requiring ambulance, admittance to a hospital and surgery:  $800.00 charge. 

My US citizen brother-in-law had a traumatic accident in Finland requiring surgery and 2 weeks hospitalization and rehab:  No charge

My US citizen sister suffered massive insect bites in Uganda* and ultimately required a week of hospitalization in Rwanda:  No charge

My US citizen self came down with an infectious disease in Germany requiring 3 days hospitalization:  No charge.

So, yes, we have something seriously broken in our wonderful-to-be-rich-in country.

 

*  Yeah, this one was self-induced.  She decided it would be amusing to flop down on Idi Amin's endangered-species skin covered bed on a tour of his former palace.  

Tell me more about the insect bites. That sounds wild.

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43 minutes ago, Ease the sheet. said:

I paid 800 dollars last financial year.

Had a 9 night stay in hospital.

Socialised medicine sure works for me......

I have been billed over $140k in the last two years.   Last year it was a spinal fusion.   This year it was a hearty attack and kidney stones.   Last year was the last time my work offered an HMO, and we didn't have any of this ridiculousness going on.   This year the best plan they offer is a high deductible plan max out of pocket 8 grand (plan costs my employer 15k and me another 6k in premiums).

This year with this plan is the first time I've had to deal with the hospitals intentionally recoding or initially coding things so my insurance company can refuse to pay.

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18 hours ago, Point Break said:

Hey a little versed and you won't remember a thing..........:lol:

Under the influence of that post op her is repair and later found out I agreed to buy the anesthesiologist's sailboat!

Stuff is potent!

 

WL

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2 hours ago, White Lightnin' said:

Under the influence of that post op her is repair and later found out I agreed to buy the anesthesiologist's sailboat!

Stuff is potent!

 

WL

YES IT IS! I really like that “twilight” for any procedures it’s eligible........I’m not a fan of being intubated......and you know why. :rolleyes: In fact, I had the gas passer agree to it for my hip replacement but the surgeon said only if you get a spinal block as well......don’t want you moving around. Which surprised me since those ortho guys are not exactly doing.......delicate work. :lol: I picked the intubation...........

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13 hours ago, Point Break said:

YES IT IS! I really like that “twilight” for any procedures it’s eligible........I’m not a fan of being intubated......and you know why. :rolleyes: In fact, I had the gas passer agree to it for my hip replacement but the surgeon said only if you get a spinal block as well......don’t want you moving around. Which surprised me since those ortho guys are not exactly doing.......delicate work. :lol: I picked the intubation...........

I have had both of my knees replaced.  A hip is a walk in the park compared to a total kee.  So I have a history of spontaneous pneumothorax x 3, the last one happening about a year before my 1st knee replacement.  Actually I was scheduled for the knee surgery and I had to postpone it due to the pneumothorax.  The anethesiologist didn't want to give me general anethesia because of my lung history.  So they gave me a spinal block with sedation.  I was in and out through both procedures, at one point during the second knee, I remember them repeatedly whacking my femur so hard with a hammer that it was jarring the part of my spine that I could feel.  Operating tables are not designed for patient comfort either, the padding on them isn't exactly thick memory foam.  And the sounds, saw buzzing, etc.  While they were hammering on me, I asked the anesthesiologist to give me a little more joy juice, he complied, and I nodded off. 

I wasn't too excited about having the second knee done with the spinal, I knew what to expect from the first time.  It wasn't too terrible, and with the sedation my memories are vague.  But all in all I prefer to be totally out anytime I am having major renovations done.  Fortunately, when I had surgery on my lung after the 3rd pneumothiorax, I was under genral anethesia.  However waking up from that one was a real joy, 2 chest tubes, one down low to drain the blood and one up high to evacuate the air, and a metric shit ton of pain.  Don't let anyone fuck with your lungs unless they absolutely have to, those things are tender.

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18 hours ago, Grrr... said:

I have been billed over $140k in the last two years.   Last year it was a spinal fusion.   This year it was a hearty attack and kidney stones.   Last year was the last time my work offered an HMO, and we didn't have any of this ridiculousness going on.   This year the best plan they offer is a high deductible plan max out of pocket 8 grand (plan costs my employer 15k and me another 6k in premiums).

This year with this plan is the first time I've had to deal with the hospitals intentionally recoding or initially coding things so my insurance company can refuse to pay.

In the last 2 years, extended family's health issues.

FIL, burst appendix. 4 nights in hospital. No waiting. Zero cost.

Mother had a spinal laminectomy. Had to wait 1 year for surgery. Multiple admin fuck ups. 6 days in hospital. Zero cost.

Both over 60 so pay no income/federal tax, hence the zero cost

Wife broken arm. No waiting. Surgery, one night in hospital. Private insurance. $500 excess only cost

Me, septic bursitis. No waiting. 9 nights in hospital, no surgery. My cost was $800 for our socialised medicine, paid through the tax system.

 

We do have private insurance, about $4000 a year with $500 excess for each hospital stay. In reality, that $4000 means we don't wait.

Health insurance through employers is not something done here in Australia.

 

Either way, poor health sucks. Though complaining about details is a sign that your on the improve!

 

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Every time I leave Australia I get overseas travel insurance especially no limit healthcare - so that when I have a problem in another country the cost to me is zero, but the hospital in whatever country I am in gets paid by my insurer, not by that country's taxpayers. If I go to the US the premium rises significantly, but I am still covered by them - they argue with the health care provider I assume.

Were all the previous posters privately insured in the countries that they mentioned? As a US citizen can you buy reasonable cost travel insurance to cover you overseas, or even in Canada or say Mexico? Would you buy it coming to Australia?

The Australian system looks after emergencies brilliantly, and if you are a private patient the hospital gets paid by your insurer, rather than Medicare, meaning a lower overall cost to the taxpayer. Ambulances are covered by private insurance - not sure what happens if you don't have private health cover. Non life threatening surgeries always come with out-of-pocket costs, whether Medicare or private, but only for the surgeon, anaesthetist and laboratory tests etc, not for the hospital.

I have spent some 26 weeks in hospital over the last few years - cost to me zero. As a private patient I was able to get beds that were not available in the public system for my particular problem. I pay arounds AUD$250 a month to BUPA - they have paid out over $100K. As a citizen you can look up exactly how much you have had paid on your behalf by Medicare, which is very illuminating!

We are starting to have some public/private consortiums building hospitals in Australia - it will interesting to see what happens if healthcare becomes more about money than treatment.

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Oh, and I have been having recurring kidney stones for over 30 years - I agree it is the worst pain known to man - as recognised by hospitals! When I first got it in 1987 my GP had to convince a hospital I was genuine as Renal Colic was the most used excuse by druggies to get a hit of drugs!

The other most painful thing for man is torsion testes. Google that one - very painful - I was 17 at the time!

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3 minutes ago, mccroc said:

The other most painful thing for man is torsion testes. Google that one - very painful - I was 17 at the time!

I trust you stopped dating her?

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When I was a paramedic it was not frequent but not uncommon either to get a call for a man in extreme pain which turned out to be kidney stones. Although we carried morphine the medical trend at the time was not to give undiagnosed abdominal or flank pain patients morphine because it would mask symptoms thus making diagnosis harder and could reduce intestinal motility which for certain conditions might complicate their condition. So unless they were in REALLY extreme pain there was little we could do but start an IV and haul them. I remember sitting there in the back during the ambulance rides with the patient moaning and thinking to myself “for criss sakes suck it up you snowflake”. Then at around age 36........I received my lesson and karma payback in the form of my very own kidney stones. HOLY SHIT ! Yes....it hurts......

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4 minutes ago, Point Break said:

When I was a paramedic it was not frequent but not uncommon either to get a call for a man in extreme pain which turned out to be kidney stones. Although we carried morphine the medical trend at the time was not to give undiagnosed abdominal or flank pain patients morphine because it would mask symptoms thus making diagnosis harder and could reduce intestinal motility which for certain conditions might complicate their condition. So unless they were in REALLY extreme pain there was little we could do but start an IV and haul them. I remember sitting there in the back during the ambulance rides with the patient moaning and thinking to myself “for criss sakes suck it up you snowflake”. Then at around age 36........I received my lesson and karma payback in the form of my very own kidney stones. HOLY SHIT ! Yes....it hurts......

I hoppe you sckted it up to SF.................. :)                     

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1 minute ago, Snaggletooth said:

I hoppe you sckted it up to SF.................. :)                     

Nope.......I begged for narcotics.......and got them. :lol: But I knew the nurses pretty well......well.......very well.......B)

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Just now, Point Break said:

Nope.......I begged for narcotics.......and got them. :lol: But I knew the nurses pretty well......well.......very well.......B)

Thissis pree Mrs SF rite?                                        :)

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On 7/25/2019 at 9:41 PM, Shootist Jeff said:

Personally, if I were a taxpayer in Denmark, Finland or any of those other countries mentioned in this thread - I would be fucking pissed if someone on vacation showed up and got free healthcare on my nickel. 

Jeffy the greedy self-centred cunt.  A nickel, yes I'm sure you would be pissed about sharing a nickel. 

Fortunately there are people in those countries who do not think like you do.

Get out your precious and fantasize about an intruder you can shoot.

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On 7/24/2019 at 6:17 PM, woodpecker said:
On 7/24/2019 at 6:08 PM, SloopJonB said:

$ 3,500 CAD bill translated into $4,000 US.

?????

You need a new currency exchange. The Loonie is only worth about $0.75 USD.

And how much would that have cost you in the USA? Even with insurance I bet you'd have paid more just in deductible.

 Sorry just pulled the bill out,  $4000 Cad, $2750 US.   ER visit is a $50 co-pay in the US on my insurance.

So you're complaining that Canada isn't socialist enough?

- DSK

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Since this thread started I went on a road trip with my brother.  On the way he told me that he had ditched his health insurance because (he told me) in this country (Australia) you get great services for free.  If you have insurance cover, the specialists pad the bill and you get an invoice for the difference.  Mmmm, I knew that but my wife and I still pay about $300 a month for cover.

Anyway, we got back and he had a stroke, spewed, crawled to his mobile phone and dialed 000. He really thought he was going to die.  Ambulance picked him up and took him to one of the best hospitals in the area.  They stabilised him and shifted him to a private hospital near where he lives because his wife can visit him more easily.  Total cost to him will be $0.

I will be visiting him in hospital tomorrow, long rehab planned.  

I will have to have a conversation with my wife soon.

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Bit on here.

Sister-in-law is terminal with melanoma.  Blondes are more susceptible.

Nice part of the story.  They picked her up today to take her to a hospice.  Now I have seen a post about something like this before but this was touching.  Three young ambo's picked her up.   They of course knew what the deal was because of where she was going.  She said that she had not been in the area for some time but used to spend a lot of time at the beach so they offered to take her there.  She accepted.

They did a tour, took her to all the best places to see the ocean and surrounds before dropping her off in a house that she will never leave alive.  I thought that was pretty special.

Edit: Oh yeah forgot.  Total cost to her $0.

 

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On 7/24/2019 at 10:47 PM, P_Wop said:

I have a sailing buddy here in NorCal who is now 2 years into what he was told would be a simple 2 month basic cancer treatment.  He thought, well, I'm insured, some of the best care is right down the street, so there's no need to go back to Europe to fix this, I'll just do it here.

Long and short of it he's now $650k into this thing, out of pocket.  It's pretty well cleaned him out.  Insurance premiums were $400/month 2 years ago, and ratcheted up every quarter till they got to $2,000/month.  Co-pays and deductibles similarly grew till they were $37,000/year EACH.  Why and how?  Because they could.  Luckily he became 62½ and qualified for MediCal.  But still much of what he's having to do is not covered, and is on his dime.

Tests, tests and more tests - cover your ass.  Treatments that make him sicker than he was before, and then treatments for the problems brought on by the previous treatments that make him sicker yet.  He would go elsewhere, but is told he can't fly or travel.  No final resolutions, just promises.

My late Dad was a medical professional in the UK.  He would be spinning in his box if he saw this sort of thing.

We'll see when my time comes, but I have no desire to become a pin-cushion gravy train for the medical industry so that I can extend my life (in a miserable way) while they enrich themselves.  I'm not saying I won't take morphine or similar to ease the trip towards the inevitable, but that $650k will be better used by my beneficiaries than the medical industry.

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6 hours ago, random said:

Bit on here.

Sister-in-law is terminal with melanoma.  Blondes are more susceptible.

Nice part of the story.  They picked her up today to take her to a hospice.  Now I have seen a post about something like this before but this was touching.  Three young ambo's picked her up.   They of course knew what the deal was because of where she was going.  She said that she had not been in the area for some time but used to spend a lot of time at the beach so they offered to take her there.  She accepted.

They did a tour, took her to all the best places to see the ocean and surrounds before dropping her off in a house that she will never leave alive.  I thought that was pretty special.

Edit: Oh yeah forgot.  Total cost to her $0.

 

Glad she was treated well.  Hope her remaining time is as comfortable for her as circumstances permit. 

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Just came back from visiting the brother, he is doing well but has problems walking in a straight line, speech has almost returned to normal.  But he has been told, based on the scans that he will recover it all.

He said that a manager nurse came around yesterday, clipboard armed, asking for confirmation of his health insurance status.  He confirmed that he had none, cancelled it last year.  She leaned over and whispered "we cancelled ours 5 years ago.  if you were insured you could rattle up a bill here between $10,000 and $30,000 no problems".  Crazy hey.  Same hospital, same doctors.

Looks like my insurance will go too.

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