Monday, January 28, 2008

Chiropractor Scans

I finally got around to getting my electro-magnetic scans from my first chiropractor visit online.

If it's not readable I'll post it somewhere else, in fact I'll upload this to Flickr once I'm done. I'm not used to uploading pictures on Blogger. Thanks to Ronnie for scanning them in.

EDIT: Yes, those are my actual muscles. It's a frighteningly accurate representation of my amazing musculature and complete lack of love handles.

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Thursday, January 24, 2008

Google Health Inching Closer to Reality?

Just when you thought Google couldn't know anything more about you...

It's not live yet, not even closed beta, but if you look ever so closely there's a login page for Google Health.

My Google account doesn't do anything, the login doesn't work, but the page promise that you will be able to:

* Build online health profiles that belong to you
* Download medical records from doctors and pharmacies
* Get personalized health guidance and relevant news
* Find qualified doctors and connect to time-saving services
* Share selected information with family or caregivers

The service should be up sometime this year, but a few screenshots have surfaced:

More here

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Thursday, January 17, 2008

And I Should Know This... How?

I still haven't blogged my bill for having my appendix removed, because I've been waiting to tie down the bill itself. The hospital I chose was in-network for my health plan, but I'm getting a bill for a little under $800 for the ER services.

So, it turns out that while the hospital is in-network, the doctor in the Emergency Room is not. The doc is not employed by the hospital, but instead is essentially a consultant.

How I'm supposed to figure that out I have no idea. How I'm supposed to find an in-network ER doctor during an emergency I have even less of an idea.

Back when I was a consultant, tax law requires that if I work a certain number of hours for one employer I cannot claim self-employment or consultant status as that would essentially allow corporations to evade employment costs. I wonder if this applies to ER doctors?

Do ER docs work at multiple hospitals, multiple employers?

But still, my main point is that I chose a hospital that is in my health plan's network, but the ER doctor is not being paid by my health plan because she's not in their network. Hence, I have a bill for $900.

How the heck am I supposed to avoid that?

It's an EMERGENCY room. I had appendicitis. I assumed once I was past the front desk and my health card had been entered into the system and approved as a method of payment, that my care was going to be provided by in-network staff. Why should I believe any different? How could I possibly choose which doctor attends to me in the ER?

And had I known or found out, what should I have done? Gone to a different hospital?

I received two bills from the generically-named billing company and I thought I was safely ignoring them, that my insurance would figure it out and kick in at some point. Now I'm getting collection threats which prompted me to follow up and find out that the health plan considers this doctor out of network.

This is the same insurance company that paid the $16,000 appendectomy bill no questions asked, but they won't pay the doctor bill that was submitted for service on the same day as the operation.

Make sense?


And people ask me why I think it's important to bring transparency to health care...
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Monday, January 14, 2008

Quality Surgery, Guaranteed!

It's almost sad that this is newsworthy, but a hospital in Pennsylvania has elected to stop charging people for fixing it's own mistakes.

In other words, if the hospital cuts off the wrong leg or causes you an infection and you require additional treatment *because of the hospital's wrongdoing*, they'll fix it free of charge. I know. It sounds CRAZY right? Anyway, hit the link for the Times article.

How come Pennsylvania always seems to be at the front of these sorts of things? I think it must have something to do with the high Welsh population... all that common sense must permeate somehow :o)
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Disclosures and Disclaimers


My employer is compensated through funding to provide analytical research, technology solutions, and Web-based public and private health care performance reports by the State of New York, the State of Illinois, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the Commonwealth Fund and Bridges to Excellence. I am not being compensated by any of these organisations to create articles for or make edits to this Web site or any other medium; and all posts authored by me are as an individual and do not represent my employer or the agencies I work for.