Tag Archives: costs

Oligarchy

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We all keep hearing that the Fed (the Federal Reserve) is confounded.  The economy is growing (albeit slower than they would like), but inflation- given the unemployment rates- is virtually non-existent.  And, what else is non-existent is a real rise in wages.

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Slowing down- finally?

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The health care cost spiral is slowing- finally. Prior to 2008, the increase averaged at least 8% a year- for two decades!  Over the past 5 years (up to 2014), total healthcare costs have growing by less than 3% annually.   That trend is up for grabs through, as the last year’s(2015) increase seems to 5.5%- but the current year’s increase will be a little less at 4.8%.   Except, these numbers still don’t tell the whole story….

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If my magic wand had batteries…

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It always amazes me that U.S. dialysis patients are not more healthy than the rest of the world’s.  Even though our program costs more than everyone else’s.  Of course, many of our dialysis patients end up as dialysis patients because they have diabetes- which is the proximate cause of their kidney failure.  And, keeps our dialysis population at the top of the charts (as in “way too many patients”).   And, this also often leads to cardiovascular complications, which reduces the ability of these patients to undergo kidney transplants.

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Isn’t there an easier way?

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Yesterday, we discussed indemnity, catastrophic, and conventional health care plans. One of the primary reasons to have a health care plan is to be able to get lower prices for each service that may be needed.  Without such a plan, you pay what the provider wants- or get sued.  The difference in pricing can be 90%.  It is routine for me to see an Explanation of Benefits (EOB) detailing a bill that came in as $ 7244, was considered to be $ 1200 once reduced by my insurance carrier,  and for my share of the costs to be only $ 50 or so.

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