Baldies' Blog began originally in the UK by a 26 year old journalist with a blood cancer on a mission to inform the world about bone marrow donation.

He has since died, and I took on the cause of making cancer care more transparent for everybody.

Cancer is a disease that will touch everybody through diagnosis or affiliation: 1 in 2 men will be diagnosed and 1 in 3 woman will hear those words, "You Have Cancer."

I invite you to read how I feel along my journey and
how I am continuing to live a full life alongside my Hodgkin's lymphoma, with me controlling my cancer, not my cancer controlling me.

I hope that "Baldies' Blog" will prepare you to handle whatever life sends you, but especially if it's the message, "You Have Cancer."

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Thursday, December 4, 2008

My Dog Gets Better Health Care

My dog receives better health care. Probably, since Vets don’t deal with insurance companies, and if you have a pet, you should be able to pay for its care out of pocket.
Vets don’t have to hire extra help just to decipher insurance pseudo-scientific jargon and ensure the right “problem,” not necessarily diagnosis, is placed in the “reason for test” box.
They are allowed the luxury of low over-head.
Our hospitals are not, because it just costs too much money to fight with insurances for the minimal amount they will be paid.
My Aunt, who deals solely with my medical bills, has clocked over 150 fighting my bills since April 2008.
If we do the math, say I was a hospital who employed her at a rate of $20. She would be an extra $3000 in costs for one cancer patient for a period of five months.
During these five months, May and June I had no treatment.
That sounds like a lot of money to me, especially if you look around and see how many other patients are out there.
Most of these 150 hours, an estimated 60%, are spent on hold.
An old insurance trick to keep you from complaining, make them hold. See if it’s really worth the time to question the charge.
Oh yes, we feel it is, not only to save me money, but for the damn principal.
This makes me wonder how much money is coming out of the pockets of hospitals solely to seek reimbursement for care given, not only from the insurance company, but from people.
I want to know this number in man-hours and in salaries. I’d like to see how this correlates with the rising cost of medical care. I’d like to connect these numbers in what has been sacrificed in direct care to patients. How many new technologies have been sidelined due to combating the insurance companies to receive payment.
It may take a specialist, a nurse practitioner, a nurse manager, a billing clerk, a patient advocate, and possibly more people to combat the insurance companies denials. This is not what these people are trained for, most are trained to treat. Using their expertise to ensure payment, delays treatment for the patient and across the board.
Think about how beautifully and seamlessly our hospitals could function if we did not have the problems in the health care system we do today.
Health care was overhauled in the 80s. It’s been done once. It can clearly be done again.

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