EverythingHealth is designed to address the rapid changes in Science, Medicine, Health and Healing in the 21st Century. This site will sift through the vast amount of confusing data and simplify issues that are of interest to everyone interested in a healthy life and longevity. The writings on EverythingHealth are entirely my own views and opinions.
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Insurance Hall of Shame Award
I am giving this weeks Shame award to Cigna HealthCare. They are most deserving for their insurance product that someone actually pays for. I do not know what the monthly premium is but I would sure love to know. The physicians bill was $306.00. Of course the insurance company paid zero. This is not unusual at all. First they disallowed some of the bill as "Not Covered/Discount." The remainder...$220.14 was applied to the patient's deductible for 2011. So far Cigna has applied $3,584.30 toward the deductible in 2011 for this patient.
Do you think the patient will reach the deductible in 2011?
The annual deductible for this patient is $99,999.00.
No that is not a typo. Enough said?
(Thanks to my colleague JS for sending me the provider explanation of medical benefits report)
Nothing like experiencing a medical condition first-hand to really help a doctor understand it from the patient's point of view. After all these years, I had my first (and hopefully last) scintillating scotoma while sitting on the couch playing "words with friends" on my ipad and watching TV. A scotoma is a partial loss of vision in a normal visual field. Scintillate is flashing, sparkles. Put them together and you have moving, flashing sparkles with a blind spot in your eyes.
This visual aura was first described in the 19th century by a Dr. Hubert Airy who had migraine headaches. The visual sparks and flashes are in a zig-zag pattern and they can precede a migraine headache or occur without any pain. The scotoma affects both eyes and closing one or the other does not make it go away. Sometimes the term "ocular migraine" or "retinal migraine" are used to describe this phenomenon but these involve only one eye, not both. The terms are often …
An article in theNew York Times says the reason health care costs are so high in the United States is because doctors are paid too much. I saw that and my eyes bugged out. I just came home from a meeting with physicians and hospital administrators and the entire meeting was spent discussing the financial challenges physicians face in keeping their doors open to see patients. The goal of this meeting was to keep health services in that community so patients will have someone to care for them. Not a person in the room would agree that the doctors earn too much.
Physicians paid too much? Lets break that down. A doctor spends a minimum of 11 years in education and training after the age of 18. Many are in training for 15 or more years. They are living on student loans and contributing zero to their family's income until the residency years. At that time they earn less than minimum wage if you factor in the 80-100 hour workweek. When a doctor emerges from training (and believe me…