Modernize medical payment systems

  • Article by: BRIAN K. BEUTNER
  • Updated: May 2, 2012 - 8:46 PM
  • 13
  • Comments

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orpheus90May. 2, 12 9:50 PM

You want to modernize medical payment systems? Here's the obvious answer: Give us a national healthcare system, like every other industrialized nation has.

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fvequals0May. 2, 1210:19 PM

The issue has never been that people think they should receive free medical care. The issue is that it is ILLEGAL to pressure patients to pay prior to their receiving care in the Emergency Room. Continue to try to draw the attention away from that, its fine. Intelligent patients know that they should go somewhere other than Fairview. As Mayo said, they never ask for payment up front. They comply with the law and they are wildly successful. Amazing.

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bob12345May. 2, 1211:30 PM

Already got a robotic collectors call, but no written bill after two requests for it from Fairview Maple Grove. Do you really need Accretive in order to get the address right on the envelope? Apparently so.

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gwbuddyMay. 3, 12 4:43 AM

I'll never understand WHY it is so difficult for our country's leaders to see that we need a system that is easier for BOTH Health Care providers, and consumers, to actually use. The current system involves so much paper work that the TIMING of insurance payments is often pathetic. Many Health Care providers probably don't accept Minnesota Care, or Medical Assistance, for just that reason. They are not sure about WHEN they will get paid. I've often found that it is easier for me to just pay for things with cash NOW, and work things out with my insurance company LATER. I want to be sure that the Health Care provider gets paid -- they have to pay their: Workers, Suppliers, etc. -- and spare myself the agony of any angry collections calls because my trusty insurance company hasn't paid the bill, YET. After several weeks? Yes, that has happened to me. Anyone else? There is a MUCH TOO COMPLEX maze of requirements for some things to be paid. I can't wait until this country goes to a simpler Single Payer system. However, it looks like that might not happen until the current system just CRASHES. When that will be is anybody's guess.

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hswcb1May. 3, 12 6:32 AM

For me Brian isn't giving me an argument to hire him. NO, He provides the facts about the cost of the ridiculous billing system we have that give the major support for a single payer, universal health care payment system - i.e. Medicare for All. It is time to retrain all those insurance folks and hospital billing folks to actually provide a value added service for our health care and stop wasted so much money on a failed system that only benefits a few rich CEOs and stock holders. For example, hospitals should be paid based on a budget and not some complex itemized billing process. The should provide coordinated care in a system that is based on patient need and not on profit. And, yes, profit is the motive whether or not the provider or insurance company are officially for profit or not. They all operate as if for profit and they all pay their high level managers ridiculous salaries and benefits.

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pdxtranMay. 3, 12 9:48 AM

Ideas presented by yet another middleman taking his cut out of our health care dollars. Phooey.

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jimmybobbyMay. 3, 1210:27 AM

Make the cost of procedures and office visits transparent. Stop charging me $300 for the visit, then collect only $200 if I am insured (Medica discount) but then expect my self-insured neighbor to pay $300. Post the prices. Offer discounts for cash payments. I think most medical providers are fine turning the screws on people to pay, but have little appetite for actually making their payments system easy to understand and closer to one price because then they would have admit all of the hands that have their hands in the money stream in addition to the doc and nurses.

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geisjbMay. 3, 1210:41 AM

Can someone please explain to me how we benefit by having insurance companies involved in this equation? Seems to me we are just adding a huge layer of paperwork and bureaucracy between me and my health care provider. The problem with healthcare is that you have guys like United Health CEO making 43 million a year.

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beebee82May. 3, 1212:44 PM

While I appreciate the author's effort to provide an alternative to the Accretive extortion goons — We don't need more tinkering and more middlemen in the medical billing process. We need to figure out how more people can afford those bills in the first place. (Either by significantly lowering the costs of services, significantly increasing the wages of Americans, or both). It doesn't matter what color, shape or form the bill comes in if the patient can't afford it anyway.

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jpcooperMay. 3, 12 1:45 PM

geisjb "Can someone please explain to me how we benefit by having insurance companies involved in this equation? Seems to me we are just adding a huge layer of paperwork and bureaucracy between me and my health care provider."

You dont need that insurance company, drop your coverage and pay cash! No one in the middle of you and your doctor except his admin trying to collect from you

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