So, it's been a few weeks now since I last saw my new Bona Fide American Doctor. The prescriptions he ordered for me are working like a treat. It's really amazing how quickly I felt better after putting up with stomach trouble for a verrrry long time. Congrats to the man. I paid $20 for the visit which I suppose is pretty fair in this day and age. That's probably less than it would cost the cable guy to come over and "prescribe" something for my snowy channels and I bet the cable guy has not spent the last 10 years in training. A real eye opener for me was receiving the statement ("this is not an invoice") from the insurance company which let me know how much he wanted from them. $240. The man barely broke a sweat sitting and talking with me and he wants $240?? I've heard reasons such as "the cost of electricity and rent is risssinggg" wail, wail, moan, moan from the AMA but that still seems a little pricey for me because ultimately the cost is not just magically absorbed by insurance companies, but paid for by the healthy (and not just the wealthy). If the health care industry wants to work this way, then fine, I actually don't mind. What I do mind is the "not telling you the price" bit.
I think I've moaned about this before so I'll dispense with the examples but if I came in, sat down and he asked for my issues. Kept a poker face and said "Well, I can give you some prescriptions, tell you what is going on, take a look at your chest, ears, mouth and eyes, but it's going to cost you you $240." Then i'd be happy. I'd probably think "Well, that's a bit pricey but I want to feel better so what the heck." I might even try saying "Well, my ears and chest are fine and I don't need to know the real reason. Can you skip those and I get a discount?". I don't think there is any other industry in which you accept the service without knowing the cost.
My other bit of health care news is that I went for my 2nd refill of my prescription the other day and was shocked when the price had sky-rocketed. First time it was about $6 which I thought was fantastic. I could live with that. 2nd time around, about 20 days later, and it's almost $20. Same drug, same amount of pills. So, I ask the pharmacist (when I got home after prompting from Ms. Allclick who helps keep me in check with these kind of things) and they say something like "Oh, it's your insurance company. They must have adjusted how much they are willing to cover" or some such. I call my insurance company "Oh, it's the pharmacy. They must be paying more for the cost of the drug in the first place. I return back to the pharmacy and they shrug their shoulders. "Yer, the price went up and so it's just fluctuations really. Next month it could be less." Apparently I'm at the whim of the drug companies now. Sigh.