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Old 07-20-2009, 10:37 PM
 
29,214 posts, read 51,814,944 times
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SACRAMENTO, California (CNN) -- Debbie Brown used to process medical and dental forms for a living before a debilitating illness forced her into early disability retirement and left her in a simple, no-frills wheelchair -- a rented wheelchair that has cost taxpayers about $1,200.

Brown says the public should be outraged about her wheelchair.

One wheelchair -- one lesson of problems in health care reform - CNN.com
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Old 07-20-2009, 10:41 PM
 
4,529 posts, read 5,161,505 times
Reputation: 731
Quote:
Originally Posted by John1960 View Post
SACRAMENTO, California (CNN) -- Debbie Brown used to process medical and dental forms for a living before a debilitating illness forced her into early disability retirement and left her in a simple, no-frills wheelchair -- a rented wheelchair that has cost taxpayers about $1,200.

Brown says the public should be outraged about her wheelchair.

One wheelchair -- one lesson of problems in health care reform - CNN.com
That's one of the many reasons I will NOT support national health care.
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Old 07-20-2009, 11:23 PM
 
Location: Earth
24,629 posts, read 26,703,387 times
Reputation: 11373
This story says nothing about they type of coverage she has.
Wouldn't this be a state run program?
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Old 07-20-2009, 11:28 PM
 
Location: Hoboken
19,889 posts, read 17,636,519 times
Reputation: 3141
Quote:
Originally Posted by chielgirl View Post
This story says nothing about they type of coverage she has.
Wouldn't this be a state run program?

The piece said Medicare, a federal program, the same characters that want to take over health care for all of us.
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Old 07-20-2009, 11:31 PM
 
Location: here.
1,359 posts, read 2,168,902 times
Reputation: 437
Quote:
Originally Posted by shorebaby View Post
The piece said Medicare, a federal program, the same characters that want to take over health care for all of us.
what do you think healthcare reform is for....its for things like this...to fix this BS...there is a reason its called R E F O R M
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Old 07-20-2009, 11:34 PM
 
Location: Hoboken
19,889 posts, read 17,636,519 times
Reputation: 3141
Quote:
Originally Posted by SouthCity09 View Post
what do you think healthcare reform is for....its for things like this...to fix this BS...there is a reason its called R E F O R M
Ummmmmm who do you think is going to reform it? The same dopes who brought us this little vignette do you think they are suddenly going to get smarter. Do you think private insurance would do something so stupid?
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Old 07-20-2009, 11:42 PM
 
4,529 posts, read 5,161,505 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SouthCity09 View Post
what do you think healthcare reform is for....its for things like this...to fix this BS...there is a reason its called R E F O R M
Reform doesn't mean nuking the present system and starting over.

One doesn't burn down their house because the roof leaks and needs mending.

HR 676 specifically targets a legal US industry for destruction, the health insurance industry, by mandating that ALL non-cosmetic procedures and tests cannot be covered by private insurance agiencies.

Instead of spending our tax revenue wisely, launching a comprehansive investigation into the exact reasons WHY health care is so expensive, and legislating rational regulations to bring health care costs down, Congress would throw hundreds of thousands of people into the unemployment line, eliminate what competitive pricing that is in place now that keeps the costs of diagnostic equipment somewhat reasonable, force all health care workers to become public employees and take over ownership of all health care facilities, and end up costing us trillions annually to operate.

So you'll excuse me if I advocate actually fixing the problems instead of bankrupting the Nation.
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Old 07-20-2009, 11:52 PM
 
522 posts, read 1,704,169 times
Reputation: 151
READ UP IF YOU SUPPORT OBAMACARE...

As a medical equipment provider, I can tell you exactly why the wheelchair costs taxpayers $1,200....and Brown is right...we should be outraged, just not for the reasons he wants us to be.

My business consists of 80% Medicare and Medicaid clients...so for all intents and purposes I already work under a single payor health system. Over the past 5 years, the Federal government has systematically introduced tougher and tougher "regulations" for all medical equipment, like this poor woman's wheelchair, while simultaneously increasing the "hoops" to jump through to get it covered. Let me tell you what the single-payor system known as Medicare requires for this lady to get her wheelchair:

1) a visit to her physician to specifically recommend a wheelchair. If she went to the physician yesterday for the flu, that doesn't count. She must return for a separate office visit to get an Rx for the wheelchair...in person. Phone-in or fax-in prescriptions aren't allowed. They are for Oxycontin, but not for wheelchairs. The physician must then document in his/her chart notes why a cane or walker will not suffice to treat her mobility deficit.

2) the claim is submitted, with the Rx and chart notes described above, to Medicare to await a decision on payment. The paperwork required to properly submit takes approximately 2 hours to complete. Here's the great part...the medical equipment provider does not receive a payment determination until AFTER the patient receives the equipment. Medicare law also states it is ILLEGAL to take the equipment back if the claim is denied. So, the provider must provide the chair, then pray they get paid back by Medicare. If they don't get paid, for whatever reason, it is a total loss.

3) About 6 months after the submission of the claim, Medicare will provide either A) the funds for the wheelchair or B) the denial of the claim. If the claim is approved, we're starting out with a product we've given to a client for FREE for 6 months. If the claim is denied, we've just given out the product for FREE FOREVER...a complete loss.

4) If, by the grace of God, we manage to cut through all the red tape and actually are paid for a service we rendered 6 months ago, Medicare requires that we provide service to that wheelchair for the lifetime of the chair, paying a tiny flat free once every six months to do so. That fee doesn't even cover the fuel for the truck it takes to run out to the client's home when her seat upholstery tears, much less the actual seat upholstery itself.

After the initial 6 month delay in payment, we get 13 months of rental fees from Medicare that total about $1,200. The best equipment providers in the country have about $1,100 of cost in that wheelchair from the initial fitting to delivery to processing of the claim, and ongoing maintenance. The average equipment provider has $1,500 of cost in it, and would have been better off never providing it at all.

What's worse is that equipment providers all over the country have moved to purchasing low quality equipment from China as the margins continue to decline, just to try to break even in the deal. Patients end up getting worse and worse equipment that costs the taxpayers more and more. All because of bureaucracy. I have personally spoken with physicians that refuse to even prescribe wheelchairs because they don't want involved in the 6 month process. It is getting harder and harder to find a physician even willing to take on the 6 month process. If a patient is lucky enough to have a doctor that will work with them, they still end up with a piece of junk that doesn't meet their needs, and the provider ends up with $300 less than they started with. It is a lose-lose-lose all the way around.

...and you want government to run ALL of the healthcare system?

...Oh yeah...and when I do get a chance to work with a private health insurance, it typically goes something like this: Send in the Rx, wait 24 hours, get approval, get a check in the mail. And that check is often considerably less than the check I'd receive from Medicare for the same equipment. If Medicare is involved, I've got $1,500 cost into a wheelchair I just sold for $1,200. If a private insurance is involved, I sign a contract with them that states I will accept only $800 for that same wheelchair because I know it cost me the price of a fax and one employee's 10 minutes to request payment. I make a 20% profit on the $800 sale through private insurance, and lose 25% on the $1,200 sale through Medicare.

again...and you want government to run ALL of the healthcare system?
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Old 07-20-2009, 11:55 PM
 
Location: here.
1,359 posts, read 2,168,902 times
Reputation: 437
Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptainObvious View Post
READ UP IF YOU SUPPORT OBAMACARE...

As a medical equipment provider, I can tell you exactly why the wheelchair costs taxpayers $1,200....and Brown is right...we should be outraged, just not for the reasons he wants us to be.

My business consists of 80% Medicare and Medicaid clients...so for all intents and purposes I already work under a single payor health system. Over the past 5 years, the Federal government has systematically introduced tougher and tougher "regulations" for all medical equipment, like this poor woman's wheelchair, while simultaneously increasing the "hoops" to jump through to get it covered. Let me tell you what the single-payor system known as Medicare requires for this lady to get her wheelchair:

1) a visit to her physician to specifically recommend a wheelchair. If she went to the physician yesterday for the flu, that doesn't count. She must return for a separate office visit to get an Rx for the wheelchair...in person. Phone-in or fax-in prescriptions aren't allowed. They are for Oxycontin, but not for wheelchairs. The physician must then document in his/her chart notes why a cane or walker will not suffice to treat her mobility deficit.

2) the claim is submitted, with the Rx and chart notes described above, to Medicare to await a decision on payment. The paperwork required to properly submit takes approximately 2 hours to complete. Here's the great part...the medical equipment provider does not receive a payment determination until AFTER the patient receives the equipment. Medicare law also states it is ILLEGAL to take the equipment back if the claim is denied. So, the provider must provide the chair, then pray they get paid back by Medicare. If they don't get paid, for whatever reason, it is a total loss.

3) About 6 months after the submission of the claim, Medicare will provide either A) the funds for the wheelchair or B) the denial of the claim. If the claim is approved, we're starting out with a product we've given to a client for FREE for 6 months. If the claim is denied, we've just given out the product for FREE FOREVER...a complete loss.

4) If, by the grace of God, we manage to cut through all the red tape and actually are paid for a service we rendered 6 months ago, Medicare requires that we provide service to that wheelchair for the lifetime of the chair, paying a tiny flat free once every six months to do so. That fee doesn't even cover the fuel for the truck it takes to run out to the client's home when her seat upholstery tears, much less the actual seat upholstery itself.

After the initial 6 month delay in payment, we get 13 months of rental fees from Medicare that total about $1,200. The best equipment providers in the country have about $1,100 of cost in that wheelchair from the initial fitting to delivery to processing of the claim, and ongoing maintenance. The average equipment provider has $1,500 of cost in it, and would have been better off never providing it at all.

What's worse is that equipment providers all over the country have moved to purchasing low quality equipment from China as the margins continue to decline, just to try to break even in the deal. Patients end up getting worse and worse equipment that costs the taxpayers more and more. All because of bureaucracy. I have personally spoken with physicians that refuse to even prescribe wheelchairs because they don't want involved in the 6 month process. It is getting harder and harder to find a physician even willing to take on the 6 month process. If a patient is lucky enough to have a doctor that will work with them, they still end up with a piece of junk that doesn't meet their needs, and the provider ends up with $300 less than they started with. It is a lose-lose-lose all the way around.

...and you want government to run ALL of the healthcare system?
Rather have Govt run it...than a CEO of a for profit company.
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Old 07-21-2009, 12:00 AM
 
Location: Hoboken
19,889 posts, read 17,636,519 times
Reputation: 3141
Quote:
Originally Posted by SouthCity09 View Post
Rather have Govt run it...than a CEO of a for profit company.
It has been clearly demonstrated in this example that the government can't do it efficiently, yet you would still prefer them to do it. That is pretty silly.
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