Sunday, November 22, 2009

Miscellaneous: More bitching about healthcare

If you've ever owned your own business as an adult, you should know why you charge the prices that you do for services or goods. First of all, in the case of goods, you have to pay for raw materials. A little extra for your time spent making the goods, a little extra for unseen expenses like products that get lost in the mail or damaged in transit. Plus maybe a little more extra to buy new tools and equipment, pay the electric used in the process, etc.

This is why I'm beginning to see medical professionals as the greediest bastards on the planet.

Don't get me wrong, my new dentist is a nice guy. I wasn't too sure at first (he must have been having a bad day) but now he's grown on me.

Recent medical costs have made me start to wonder though... exactly what are they charging me so much money for? Or my insurance company?

When I had to go to the emergency room while on vacation, I walked into the building under my own power, so no ambulance. I sat waiting on a gurney in the emergency room for a half-hour, the doctor came, talked to me for five minutes, took a blood test, gave me a prescription, and sent me on my way. For this they charged a total of ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS.

My insurance company paid 60% of this, that's not the point. The point is does the doctor actually think he's worth $2000 an hour? I don't give a flying f*ck if it's Saturday, nobody is worth that much. Even if the blood work was $500 of that total, that's still pretty arrogant.

Yeah, I'm probably paying to cover a lot of people who go in there whom they can't turn down who can't pay their bills. But even accounting for that, the two ladies in reception who are being paid to be there, the doctor, the pharmacist in-house, the immense amount of electricity being used, that much money for five minutes of personal attention is pretty fucking steep.

I have a feeling that I was also paying for the big, fancy atrium they had put in last year with the big greenhouse glass ceiling and a fountain. A FOUNTAIN. It's a clinic in a town of less than 20, 000 people, and they put in a fountain the size of a swimming pool. Are you fucking kidding me?

And guess what's attached to this clinic? That's right, the same care facility where they have my grandfather housed, which is charging over $6K a month for him to stay there.

Greedy fuckers.

I didn't start out intending to talk about that clinic, I was more flabbergasted by the $200 charge for teeth cleaning I had recently (ten minutes of a lady poking around in my mouth with a metal stick... $200 really?) but you know the more I think about it, it's all the same animal.

I just don't see why it's so expensive. Especially since the assistant that helped with my last procedure admitted to me that she'd never gone to school for dental assistance, and was getting her training on-the-job. I *know* that chick is probably only making $10 bucks an hour. All the equipment in the office is falling apart, and it's the same equipment that's been there for at least three years. You know they don't even have sinks except in the one bathroom? It's like they took over an office building, and didn't go to the expense of a plumber.

I suppose they thought $50 an hour was too expensive. :/

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