In Support of Modern Medical People

As anyone who has visited my website can easily see, I am a strong advocate of alternative and non-modern medicine. If one didn’t know me, they might even think that I am against modern medicine, hospitals, the American Medical Association (AMA), doctors and even against the often well-meaning organizations with which they are affiliated.

While I feel that many in power of such private and governmental organizations are culpable, discourage and even block patient’s wellness and recovery from ill health, I believe that the vast majority of MDs genuinely care for their patients and would do anything within their power (short of being tossed out of their expensive and hard-earned profession) to help us in anyway that they can.

In my experience, I have enjoyed the services of many fine modern medical practitioners. Perhaps, because I have Multiple Sclerosis (MS), I have had occasion to visit more doctors than most people. In so doing, I have always been greeted and treated with utmost warmth and sincerity. I normally come away from such encounters with respect for and appreciation of the modern medical practitioner. They are good people.

Others, with a diverse range of medical conditions and disabilities, report pretty much the same concerned treatment in their communications with me.

As for the modern medical staff, assistants, technicians, nurses, receptionists, and support attendants, these are “Great” people! Never have I encountered a rude or insincere paraprofessional. Not even a telephone appointments receptionist. Being a deaf guy, to boot, I feel that is indeed remarkable. These wonderful professionals in their own right would have given me the clothes off their own backs, if it had not been a requirement that I strip or wear a gown. I love them, each and every one.

It is the pharmacological industry that I have issues with, and not the pleasant and victimized people under their power. It is they, the drug house power brokers that do pretty much what I recall a Senator saying of the international bankers and of the Federal Reserve in another time. On the floor of the senate, the senator rose to charge, “In this dark crew of financial scoundrels, are those who would cut a man’s throat to get a dollar out of his pocket. There are those who send money into states, to buy votes, and to control legislatures.” Does this sound a little like the legal drug lords? It does to me.

Those people involved in the practice of modern medicine have spent long hours in preparation of their own medical practice. Such has been necessary to gain their expertise, skills, and proficiency in administering good patient care. Too late, some even realize that they are powerless to influence the actions of the leaders of their own professions. Yet they have to earn a living too. I feel that they do the best they can under the circumstances.

This does not take away from alternative, complimentary and traditional medical advocates and/or practitioners who have chosen the more difficult, yet ultimately more rewarding path to improved patient health. Abused and accused as they are by the purveyors of pharmaceuticals, Naturopaths, Chiropractors, Herbalists, Homeopaths and “alternative” medicinal professionals are often a viable alternative to modern medicine because they can often achieve healing for their patients via natural and herbal methods, rather than by surgical and/or pharmacological means.

These people are purveyors of traditional medicine, their traditions stem back to Plato and Aristotle, as do the traditions of the modern medical professionals, but the modernists have stepped out of their traditional role. Traditionally, medical practitioners were involved with healing the individual.

Today, medical practitioners, despite their well-meaning intentions, are so governed by the drug houses that their traditional methods have been cast aside by the determination of the drug houses to increase their profits at the expense of the sick. The drug houses have even gone to the extent of forcing legislation upon us that says: Only drugs and surgery can cure disease. Sadly, this is what the modern medical practitioner has to live with.

Even so, I publish this brief article in support of the modern medical “People.”

Health Care Costs – Patient Advocates Can Save You Thousands

You or a family member may have recently had some health care event, such as a hospitalization. Now, over the coming days, the medical bills will arrive at your home. Every medical provider who contributed to your treatment is going to send a bill, and you are the person who bears the financial obligation for payment. If you have health insurance, the insurer may pay a large percentage of your medical bills.

However, an alarmingly large and growing segment of the American population lives each day without health insurance. Insurance experts estimate that over 48 million Americans are living without health insurance. And that number of uninsured persons is expected to increase quickly as the economy worsens and unemployed workers lose their insurance coverage.

When those bills show up after a health care event, a serious financial crisis happens. That patient, or the patient’s family, has to figure out a way to pay those medical bills. Those bills can be in the thousands of dollars. For more serious illness and treatment, the bills can be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

If you make mistakes while taking care of these medical bills, you could put yourself in a financial situation from which you could never recover.

Think for a moment how ridiculous the system is for providing medical services. You go to your medical provider for a visit. No one gives you a price list of services. You are not told how much ANYTHING costs while you’re being treated. Usually you find out the cost of your medical services when they present the bill to you.

Would you agree to buy groceries like that? Would you get your car repaired with that kind of billing arrangement? Of course not! You wouldn’t even bury your dead cat without knowing what it would cost!

But, in medical services, ignorance about billing is the accepted method among most consumers.

Sadly, many of the medical bills are incorrect…sometimes monstrously incorrect. Billing errors happen daily on all levels…Doctor to patient, doctor to coding staff or billing service, billing service to patient.

So, what can be done? How can a regular person…an average American faced with giant medical bills…determine the correct medical charges and get correct medical bills?

Retain a Patient Advocate.

Hardly anyone knows about Patient Advocates. You can be sure that the medical providers and insurance companies will NEVER tell you about them.

Why?

Think about it from an insurance company’s viewpoint. If the patient hires a Patient Advocate, and the Advocate does his job, the chances are good that the insurance company will pay more on the patient’s claim.

Think about it from the medical provider’s viewpoint. If the patient hires a Patient Advocate and the Advocate does his job, the chances are good that the medical provider is going to receive substantially less money for his services.

A Patient Advocate is a person or company that

o Will collect all your bills, claim forms and statements, even if they’re in a “shoebox”
o Analyzes the bills
o Submits appeals for incorrect charges
o Negotiates settlements with medical providers

The Patient Advocate can cut hundreds or thousands of dollars out of incorrect bills.

EVERYTHING in a medical bill is negotiable. Don’t be the sucker that pays the bills without making sure they are accurate. Medical providers negotiate their bills with insurance companies EVERY DAY. Why should you pay more?

NEGOTIATE!!

Hospital Forgives Medical Debt For 90 Year Old

A Colorado hospital forgave over $21,000 in medical debt for a local 90 year resident. Despite all the stories we hear bashing health care providers, a story where a hospital shows compassion is a welcome change of pace.

My client, Liz, owed a local hospital for services received in 2008 as a result of an accident. Liz was not eligible for Medicare, and had private insurance. After admittance to the hospital on an emergency basis, she remained there for rehabilitation treatment. Her claims were paid at out of network level, leaving her with significant balances owed. While she made small monthly payments, she never really understood why she owed all that she did and how she got into this mess.

Liz had no family to help her and lives in downtown Denver. When she called me, she pleaded with me to come down to Denver and meet with her to help her, as she was very confused about all of her medical bills. I made the trip from Loveland to Denver and sat down with her at a local McDonald’s restaurant (she told me her kitchen table in her apartment was not big enough to spread out the papers). She entered the restaurant very slowly, using a wheeled walker. As I spoke with her and looked through all of the piles of bills, I was amazed at how bright and sharp and intelligent her blue eyes were, as she seemed to understand most of what I was saying, and was able to intelligently answer my questions. Needless to say, I was impressed with her and I certainly felt compassion for her circumstances. She wanted to do what was right, and pay her fair share, but the weight of these large bills were more than she could handle.

I wrote a well thought out letter to the hospital, petitioning them to forgive Liz’s debt, and providing a rationale for why I felt that they do this. The amazing thing: I received a prompt reply from them. They agreed to bring all of her accounts out of collection, and reduce them to a zero balance, for both the hospital and for the physicians amounts owed.

What a wonderful outcome and phone call it was for me to call Liz and inform her of this great news. Imagine her relief to no longer have this burden. And, it is encouraging that the hospital administration truly do have a heart.