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It's Enough to Make You Sick
updated: Jan 31, 2013, 9:22 PM

By Edhat Subscriber

My doctor recently sent all his patients a letter asking for a $250 upfront fee so he can stay independent. His position is insurance/medicare reimbursement keeps going down while his costs keep going up making it a struggle to stay in business. (Can't we all claim that?) He claims he wants to offer the "highest level of care" and this fee will help him do so. It feels like extortion. He also only gave one month to comply. Regardless if this is the trend in the industry, what do readers think?

Comments in order of when they were received | (reverse order)

 COMMENT 369662P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-31 09:32 PM

Fire him.

 

 COMMENT 369664P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-31 09:35 PM

I'd gladly pay the fee, especially if you feel comfortable with the doctor. Please don't view it as extortion - prices will be much higher if MD's join our Cottage. A recent Wall St. Journal article showed the same medical procedure billed by the same MD, before as an independent doctor, and afterwards when he joined the hospital in Reno, NV. Price doubled.

 

 COMMENT 369665P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-31 09:36 PM

$250 - "It's enough to make you well."

 

 COMMENT 369666P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-31 09:36 PM

Your doctor has to stay afloat financially. He is being squeezed by government decisions re how much he can be paid and Medicare pays a small amount.. I cannot blame him for taking the best approach to keep in business. This is just a taste of what will happen in the next years as the federal govm't takes over health care. Physicians will be paid small amounts and will start giving up.... I don't look forward to this cluster f of government telling doctors and patients how they must run their relationships.

 

 COMMENT 369668P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-31 09:42 PM

What does one expect when Cottage took over St. Francis and soon perhaps will join with Sansum? Cute Cottage is in reality a King Octopus. I don't understand why there has not been publicity how the hospitals in Ventura and Oxnard have fewer staph infections. The information is there on the internet, but somehow it's not publicized. $20 or so a month is small change to have an independent MD.

 

 COMMENT 369670P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-31 09:51 PM

Even though most of my monthly income is spent in full most months, I would not only pay the additional $250 a year to a good, independent MD, but also to show appreciation, encouragement, and good faith by providing an additional $250 a year. My general practitioner isn't paid sufficiently for his care of our family. He's accessible on short notice, listens carefully, does not rush our office visits. Do you think the larger, group practices will be run like that? Save money by cutting corners elsewhere; it's your health, life.

 

 COMMENT 369672P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-31 10:04 PM

I think an independent or small group practice is the best way to go. When a medical practice reaches a certain size, two things happen:
1) The practice has an abundance of shared resources allowing it to deliver a variety of services under one roof and promote better communication between providers which improves coordination of care (good).
2) Responsibility for important decisions about how to run the practice and how to treat patients is increasingly shifted from medical care providers to administrators who tend to be influenced to a great degree by financial motives (terrible).

So if you are willing to 1) coordinate your own care, 2) be your own advocate, 3) educate yourself about healthy lifestyles and any conditions you have, and 4) thoughtfully participate in your medical care, then there is nothing better than a small private practice run by a knowledgeable and responsible physician.

Financial pressures are driving more physicians into group practices, but I don't think it's a good thing for health care, and I certainly don't think it's worth saving $250/year.

 

 COMMENT 369674P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-31 10:14 PM

Government is not taking over healthcare. The US is the only country in the world where health care is run by private businesses for a profit. What is needed is more competition among the private healthcare providers, some of whom take home $30,000 per month paychecks. This competition will occur when exchanges are set up where many different PRIVATE healthcare providers offer different plans to consumers - much like people can shop around for different car insurance, home insurance, etc.

 

 COMMENT 369676P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-31 10:44 PM

The USA spends more on healthcare and receives less than any industrialized country. Am working on my taxes and insurances today - have to use different pharmacies because the lowest price isn't always the same pharmacy. Sometimes the same medicine is available in a double sized dose for exactly the same price, and I order the larger dose and cut them in half.
The health care industry is such a big, confusing industry which operates in the stockholders best interests, instead of the patients. My friends in Australia think their system works fine and it costs the country a lot less.

 

 COMMENT 369679P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-31 11:21 PM

674P> I agree completely, but you missed a little on the CEO pay at the major insurance companies. The average is more like $30,000 a DAY. For instance, the CEO of Cigna, David Cordani, made $19 million in 2011, that is $52,054 a day. Picking on a doctor trying to make a living isn't fair when the insurance companies, hospitals, and drug companies are calling the shots.

 

 COMMENT 369680 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-31 11:21 PM

When I see doctors take the bus, I will feel sorry for them.

 

 COMMENT 369682P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-31 11:29 PM

He is not giving you a deadline to comply, he is offering you the opportunity to keep seeing him, and he'd like hear back within a month. Reframe, reframe.

 

 COMMENT 369692P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-01 03:30 AM

It is called a retainer. Several years ago my doctor tried something similar but after a few years found that it was even more of a hassle and went back to taking insurance. Made me glad I stayed with him.

 

 COMMENT 369696 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-01 06:10 AM

Less than $1 a day per year to keep a good ally in your life----sounds like a deal to me. We pay more to our hair stylists, plumbers, car mechanics..... A good doc deserves remuneration---there are more demands, challenges, & overall investment of time than virtually any other profession. And if it continues as it is, with Obamacare, he will have to join the mediocre machine that is Sansum Clinic. If he's good, he's worth it. And riding the bus makes no sense, when you have to go between your office & 2 hospitals a few times a day for emergencies.

 

 COMMENT 369700 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-01 06:30 AM

Is it really from your doctor? I got one late last year addressed to my grandfather from a doctor claiming to be his primary, saying he had to pay up by January to remain a patient. Trouble is my grandfather had been deceased for nearly two years. And that doctor was never
his primary. I've known the names of his primary doctors for years because he liked his last one as much as he disliked the previous one. I skimmed his last year's medical statements and didn't see that mystery doctor's name pop up even as a referral.

Seemed like a shady attempt to skim some cash from elderly people who may not notice that the letter wasn't from their actual primary care physician.

 

 COMMENT 369702 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-01 06:36 AM

Since your doctor has opened the conversation on his financial situation, ask him to see his plan on how the $250 is going to save his practice. What is his income? What are his expenses? How will this one time "bonus" rectify what will obviously be an on going problem for him?

I can only guess that you will find that his income is far greater than yours. You will probably also find that his expenses are higher than yours but he still gets to take more home than you do. And of course you will find that he really has no business plan that shows that a one time payment will fix an on-going and increasing problem. Be prepared for the next "bonus" in the near future.

 

 LEAHKING agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-01 06:38 AM

if the doctor is on any insurance panels, this is not a legal practice. he is not allowed to ask for more money above and beyond what the insurance company pays for contracted services. if he is not an on panel provider, i see no problem with this request.

 

 COMMENT 369709 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-01 07:00 AM

I recently had 2 ambulance rides to Cottage Goleta, $2500 per ride. Add $18,000 in tests over a 4 hour stay at Goleta hospital for high blood pressure and it was totally useless. Two more doc visits, again totally useless. Lots of bad doctors out there. I felt like I was used as a cash cow. A doctor with proven worth is valuable. A hospital values your money only. Hospitals for profit should be banned. If your doc is good, PAY him.

 

 COMMENT 369711P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-01 07:01 AM

702, that's wild. Is there any other professional service person you would have the nerve to question so in-depth? If your plumber of gardener or manicurist raised their rates, or imposed a one-time charge you considered excessive, would you "ask to see their books?"
People have a weird sense of entitlement and judgment about doctors. Nowadays, very few of them are raking in giant salaries like they did when baby boomers were kids and what they earned was on par with being an attorney for high income.
Either pay it if you love your doctor, or find a new one. If you want to stay with them, but the charge is onerous, ask them what you can do to help support affordable healthcare in our society. We tend to complain about so much, yet, especially with healthcare, the only thing that drowns out our whining is more whining.

 

 COMMENT 369719P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-01 07:17 AM

Interesting, so no one thinks there is any connection whatsoever between Obamacare and this action by small business people, in this case a doctor?
No one sees any connection at all, eh?.......crickets.......

 

 COMMENT 369721P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-01 07:20 AM

Does that mean he guarantees treatment? Does he take Medicaid patients? How often will he want this fee? By the way, a retainer is a deposit AGAINST future expenses. This sounds like a gift. Or an upfront fee or a political statement. Go to Sansum. A group practice is better anyway.

 

 COMMENT 369722 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-01 07:20 AM

We had the same experience several years ago. Most doctors will give you a pass if this poses a financial burden. For those of you who resent the cost of health care, I recommend you support taking the for profit insurance 'industry' out of the equation. Second, consider what you pay Cox by comparison.

 

 COMMENT 369740P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-01 07:50 AM

I think the $250 is fair considering how much time and money is now spent them having to deal with insurance companies and getting payments from them.
My old doctor is independent and no longer accepts any corporate ( blue cross, blue shield etc) insurance plans. This doctor does however accept government health care (medicare) as it is much less obstructionist and the bureaucracy is actually easier to deal with than for-profit insurance companies.

 

 COMMENT 369742P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-01 07:51 AM

Nothing new here, it's where medicine is headed, our LA doc asked my father for a $3,000 retainer each year, hello to the world of Obamacare and docs not wanting medicare patients. Concierge medicine is the way of the future for those who can afford it. I can hardly blame the doctors considering their paltry reimbursments, but it's going to be hard on the rest of the population who can 't pony up.

 

 COMMENT 369743 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-01 07:55 AM

Health CARE has become conflated with health COVERAGE, They are not one in the same.

It's fine to have health coverage but you might be seen by an inexperienced, newly minted "provider" or "physician extender." It may be "covered" but is it good healthcare?

I'm a retired physician. Who do you think is going to want to spend decades training to be a doctor only to be under the control of beurocracy and being told what to do, treat or order by insurance companies or bloated governmental agencies?

If you want to stay a patient of that doctor, pay him his fee. Physicians don't take in as much as some of you think. We work hard, have tremendous responsibility and liability.

 

 COMMENT 369747 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-01 08:06 AM

It is unclear what the $250 charge is for. If it is a retainer that means you have on account or deposit with this doctor, $250 for services that you may need which are billed against the retainer with statements from the doctors offices as services are provided and charged against the retainer. If it is merely a charge as a priviledge to remain a patient that is another matter. Clearly there needs to be a written agreement exactly what this $250 is being asked for, otherwise it is nothing but a gift which the doctor can spend on anything (not necessarily overhead cost) and he could drop you as a patient anytime, keep asking for more money or a higher "retainer", advance payment (or whatever it is)! Also such a payment could cause problems with insurance coverage, medicare (if your on it), etc. Without a doubt it will multiply paperwork for doctor and patient because if it is a retainer exactly how it is spent must be provided in writing to the patient.

 

 COMMENT 369748 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-01 08:06 AM

OP, we must have the same guy. Talk about out of the blue! I'm still considering whether or not to pay, as I have NO health insurance thanks to the so-called industry. And I have five years to wait for Medicare, IF it survives the Reublicans. Talk about a rock and a hard place. Good thing I'm healthy (so far). Sheesh.

 

 COMMENT 369759 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-01 08:21 AM

OP here. My doctor has provided exceptional service over the years. He has every right to make the income he chooses. His charge is an administration fee, not a retainer, and it is legal. What's interesting is he's employing a form of game theory called "Quality Choice". In the game if a provider does not offer a service guarantee, the service will always creep back to the original lower level. Because he's offered nothing to cap his patient load, extend time per visit or insure a level of quality that I'm not already getting, there's no guarantee. This is not an issue of dollars, I agree the fee is worth the peace of mind alone. Yet, when does it stop? Consider this curiosity with a trend and how we all see healthcare evolving . (You can also see Quality Choice in play at restaurants with waiters, how they are paid and tips that become "expected" over time.)

 

 COMMENT 369762 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-01 08:24 AM

my doctor just stopped taking insurance. She was told to hire more people and that she had to see so many patients during the day. It is just her and her nurse. I love her but it costs me $200 to see her out of my pocket once a year so far I am staying with her for now.

 

 JG agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-01 08:25 AM

Our Dr put on this "plan" a year ago. $350. each!
This year it's $375. each. That's a lot of monthy outlay but don't know what else to do. At least he takes medicare.

 

 COMMENT 369773P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-01 08:36 AM

Concierge medical care options have been around long before Pres. Obama was president. It's called, in any case, the Affordable Health Care plan, not Obama care and it was approved by the Republicans as well and it was partially based upon Romney's health care plan in Massachusetts, when he was governor.

 

 COMMENT 369774 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-01 08:37 AM

If you are on Medicare your
physician has to resign from Medicare in order to ask you to pay the $250. You also have "botique" MDs who charge $!,00 to 5,00 retainer fees.

 

 COMMENT 369783 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-01 08:44 AM

You should be mad at all the insurance companies that keep taking all of our money but never pay out a fair amount on valid claims.

 

 COMMENT 369785 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-01 08:46 AM

Imagine if a patient sent their doctor a letter saying, "I need you to send me money so I can afford to have you as a doctor. I would really like to remain under your care but your rates are more than I can pay, please send $$$ or I will have to switch to a cheaper doctor." Most of you know how a doctor would respond to such a request. Your responce should be likewise.

 

 COMMENT 369786 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-01 08:49 AM

Come on people, somethings not right with this. One month to comply or what? You don't get to be his patient any more? I have been with the same doctor since 1983. He's independent and has a good life but does not live extravagantly. He's been in the same small office and had the same staff for most of that period except for when they retire. I feel fortunate but I don't feel sorry one bit for your doctor. If my doctor could have a successful practice all these years and not need to ask patients for an annual "retainer" then so could yours. Time to move on.

 

 CORKY agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-01 08:51 AM

I believe the years of study and the cost of education entitles doctors to make a good salary. I don't know what excessive income would be, but they have your life in their hands.

 

 COMMENT 369791 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-01 09:00 AM

A retainer in not what I need to pay to keep me well.

I have Medicare and pay Anthem $60.69 per month for a second insurance. Recently I needed to renew my yearly blood pressure prescription which requires an office visit, charge of $82.50. I end up payingthe office $72.42 out of my pocket. I was not sick and they did not even take my blood pressure!

 

 COMMENT 369793 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-01 09:03 AM

OP here-DirtyHarry, 785. His letter did not give a consequence nor does it need to. That's his prerogative. Am I still a patient although I've not paid? Sure. Has he burned my records? Can't. His letter was woven with trepidation and frustration and came across as one he regretted sending emotionally. He just said, dated December 17th, "I need more money or I can't stay in business. You can make two installments due by January 31st." That's it. And you know what? I get the feeling he's sweating bullets today if he's not received $$$ from half his patients. So, outside of the game being played, it's also an issue of his abrupt handling of the matter. Again, THIS IS NOT A RETAINER. It is labeled an administrative fee and is legal in the bounds of Medicare. It is not applied to future services.

 

 COMMENT 369796 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-01 09:06 AM

If I had an excellent primary doctor like you, I would gladly pay the $250.00. If you want to feel like a non-person when you have a medical issue then try the big clinics like Sansum and wait for 2 months to see a doctor that is only allowed to see each patient for 15 minutes.

I would pay a much larger fee to a good doctor if that is what he needs to keep his practice, your health and peace of mind can't be measured in dollars and cents.

 

 ARCHIE agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-01 09:07 AM

This additional fee usually comes with additional services, such as more ready accessibility (answering email questions from patients, being called back promptly, diagnostic results 1 or 2 days later, commitment to seeing patients within 1 day of their call if important). Suggestion: ask what additional/expanded services are included.

 

 COMMENT 369802 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-01 09:12 AM

Our system is broken, no doubt about that. So much money wasted on paper-pushers who look for ways to deny coverage, an industry that does nothing but impede service between patient and doctor.

That said, there are always trade-offs in life. I was asked last year to pay $200 yearly fee and decided it was worth it to me to have a doctor and nurse who KNOW me, know my history, have provided excellent treatment in the past, respond to my emails and phone calls, give me their full attention during appts. and very rarely make me wait. $17/month, less than a pizza,a few coffee drinks, a dinner out. If someone doesn't want to pay the fee, choose another doctor. For a young healthy person I can understand resistance to paying such a fee, but for those of us who are farther along in years, it is often more important to have a doctor who knows us and our history. That's our system, love it or hate it.

Besides, I don't wanna break in a new one. :-)

 

 COMMENT 369807 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-01 09:22 AM

Something smells here. $250.00 is about the amount the average person can come up with. How did he (if it is really him) come up with this amount? How can you deduct this off your taxes? What about the mnedical oath? I find this one hard to believe. I would speak personaly with your doctor and talk with him about it. It just does not seems right. And an update on the helicopters: Bakersfields does not have any doctor that will be on call for urinary (ie. kidney failure, kidney stones etc) they just put them on the copter and send them to Cottage. Oh and a recent visit to the ER: 6 hours a bill of $5,000.00 and told it was a muscle spasm after an MRI, and about $1,200 in lab costs. Makes you wonder if they just run all the test because you have insurance and they can. Rant over.

 

 COMMENT 369812 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-01 09:32 AM

Congress has approved a 26% cut in reimbursements for medical, mental health care, etc through Medicare. While this cut has not yet "gone into effect", it will soon -- it actually has to, as there is no other way for the US govt to cover medicare, etc. Once Medicare adopts to cuts, private insurers will, as well. Can you imagine being asked to take a 26% reduction in your income????

I am a psychologist, and this cut will make a huge difference to my family. My only options are: move somewhere with a lower cost of living, start committing insurance fraud (which I actually wouldn't do, but you can see where this becomes tempting, and leads to continued out of control medical costs!), cut back on the quality/time spent with patients (making me enjoy my profession less, and be able to help people less), or try to remain serving the people in Santa Barbara, being helpful and effective by asking them to pay for my services out of pocket.

 

 COMMENT 369816 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-01 09:40 AM

It is impossible without knowing more about the business end of this doctors practice. Hopefully it is not the doctor in Santa Ynez Valley that spends so much time gambling and losing money at the casino even during his office hours.
Odd that one poster justifies such fees by refering to the length of eduction yet folks are often so critical of lawyers and other professionals who also spend years on their education and have years of experience, is there some kind of double standard?

 

 COMMENT 369817 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-01 09:41 AM

Is this amount not more than enough to cover the boat payments?

Can anyone explain how this doctor would possibly make more money by giving up his independence and joining a group?

 

 COMMENT 369818P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-01 09:42 AM

Julian - I want my doctors to make good money. Otherwise, why spend all that time in school not making any money. They will choose other careers leaving the less qualified to take their place. Besides, when you are on call the bus won't work. I am not a doctor but have friends and relatives who are. They are upper middle class but not rich.

 

 COMMENT 369819 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-01 09:42 AM

A number of years ago I had a doctor ask for $2500 (not a typo) per patient a year for "personal concierge service"... is this the same idea? (our healthy family of 5 fired him, but grandma didn't and he didn't even show up at the hospital when she had a stroke...)

Bottom line is.... which doctors are "in network" for your insurance. $250 is NOTHING **IF** you love your Dr. AND they are **IN NETWORK**

Years later... Our family who has had "good" (PPO) medical insurance for our entire working lives is facing monumental medical bills because "out of network" doctors (unbeknown to us) treated my dying husband (at Cottage)... I had hoped to be paying college tuition for my kids at this stage rather than being hassled by medical bills....

 

 RHS agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-01 09:45 AM

The LA Times ran a story a couple days back about an Orange County woman who had outpatient knee surgery which averages about $3k but her insurance company was billed about $75k and sent her a check to sign over to the provider. She refused and eventually the provider 'negotiated' the charge down to about $16k which was still grossly disproportionate. Who got this money? Both the insurance industry and the user are being screwed by the profit center approach to health care in the US. But Insurance companies merely charge more to their customers and so in the end it is us that are being messed with. This is why US health care is at least double the cost of better medical care in Europe and places like New Zealand, Australia and Japan. I suspect also that this particular doctor is being a bit more greedy than most with such a letter. It reminds me of the Holiday Cards that my newspaper carries includes in delivery each December.

 

 KEVINSB agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-01 09:50 AM

Don't blame the victims, in this case, the doctors. Years ago, there were no insurance co's. they came in, cut the doctors' pie in half and kept half for themselves, paying their CEOs $2M a year etc. at the same time medical technology and big pharma drove up objective costs.

The net effect is doctors getting squeezed. I can guarantee our great local docs are telling their kids to join hedge funds not go to medical school based on how under appreciated they seem to be by our society. The medical doctor lobby is infinitesimally small compared with the healthcare lobby. Health insurers got everything they wanted from obamacare law whereas doctors got slashed.

 

 COMMENT 369830 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-01 09:55 AM

So if he is doing this and then every independent doctor starts doing this followed by dentist, and everybody that has an independent business are you going to be ok with that and pay fee to pay for visits? I say this is rediculousness.

 

 COMMENT 369847 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-01 10:13 AM

@773- What are you talking about? Republicans did not approve of it. All of the Republicans in the House and Senate voted against it. Even some democrats voted against it, but they had the majority of the house and the senate at this time.

 

 COMMENT 369857 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-01 10:29 AM

I was speaking with a client (before ObamaCare) who has continually medical problems. She lived in England where she had their medical plan. She said everyone got the same treatment in the health care system but for every procedure there was a "waiting" list of sorts that no matter "WHO" you were you had to wait your turn in line. She said in the US it's who has the money that gets the better care. If you can't pay then you die. Big difference in visions there. I am not sure which one I agree with but it goes to show that US health care is all about the ole mighty dollar and if you don't have it no one cares. If you have it you will get the best of care. I am not sure I would pay $250 extra for my doctor especially when I live paycheck to paycheck now due to huge paycuts in my profession, and with decent insurance and a $20 copay I can't complain. But I am one of the lucky ones. Catch 22 here.

 

 COMMENT 369858 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-01 10:30 AM

Yes. Doctors are getting squeezed. Yes, Medicare cuts lead the way and ins. co. reimbursements follow. Yes, rents, malpractice insurance, employee costs for docs are going up. Yes, some kids in med school are choosing specialties over general practice in an attempt to make more money (Yet only so many can crowd a specialty). Yes, if one doc charges $250 and is successful, others will follow. Note: If you make $100k per year off of 1000 patients, theoretically you can charge a $250 fee, expect to keep only 500 patients, make $125k from the fee plus the $50k from halving your patient group equating to a a 75% pay raise. Not all time saved needs to go towards patient care, only some of it.)

 

 COMMENT 369863 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-01 10:40 AM

I have no healthcare insurance as I'm not employed and have virtually no income yet when I go to County Health, I'm still billed. Makes no sense and it goes to credit. I'd love to have $250 to give a doctor and have my complaints attended to without bad credit.

 

 COMMENT 369872 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-01 10:57 AM

709. Cottage IS a non profit hospital. In general, Medicare does not cover the cost of care, and Medi-cal is even worse.

 

 ANIMALLISTNER agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-01 10:59 AM

Comment 9743. Thank you! Those who voted for Obama, thanks a lot.

 

 MESAJIM agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-01 11:14 AM

Please, please, PLEASE stop calling it Obamacare! Don't give that Unicorn King the glory of using his name in the descriptor. Call it what it is: Mandated Health Insurance, and be done with it.

 

 COMMENT 369885P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-01 11:16 AM

Yes, Cottage is a non-profit. BUT did you ever look at the salaries that they pay their administrators? Not hard to figure out why they don't make a "profit".

 

 COMMENT 369908 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-01 11:43 AM

This is what we get because of the lobbies that kept us from having a single-payer health care plan like all other developed countries enjoy. Those have a few downsides, but they do provide better care for the majority of citizens at a much lower cost. Obamacare is a shadow of what we should have adopted. Obama deserves a lot of credit for a substantial improvement. Too bad we couldn't have gone further.

 

 COMMENT 369918P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-01 11:54 AM

We got the same letter... perhaps even from the same doctor. He's a good doc, and we'd like to keep him. Our elderly Mom is on Medicare and Tricare (military). We're uninsured. It made sense to bill an administrative fee to those patients who have insurance, because you get paid less and have additional paperwork to do. Those of us who aren't insured (because it is literally unaffordable) just pay up front for our self-rationed care, so paying an additional "administrative" fee didn't seem fair, esp. seeing as how I usually see him for my own needs once/year or less. I brought that up. He agreed to cover the whole family for one family fee, rather than each of us for an individual fee. They're just trying to be good primary care physicians and stay in independent business.

 

 COMMENT 369933 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-01 12:32 PM

If he's a primary care doctor, MediCal reimbursement rates for primary care visits actually are doubling as of January 1. So he should be getting more, not less money for his services.

 

 COMMENT 369935 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-01 12:34 PM

773 Obummercare was rammed down our throat by Pelosi and Reid,now all we can do is wait for the disaster to unfold.

 

 COMMENT 369942 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-01 12:41 PM

More people having access to health insurance and health care. THE HORROR! THE INSANITY!

 

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