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| | |-+  Welcome to the Dystopia: the Myriad wonders of a privatized health care system
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Author Topic: Welcome to the Dystopia: the Myriad wonders of a privatized health care system  (Read 550 times)
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Miamiu1027
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« on: April 25, 2012, 03:12:09 pm »
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http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/25/business/debt-collector-is-faulted-for-tough-tactics-in-hospitals.html?_r=1


Hospital patients waiting in an emergency room or convalescing after surgery are being confronted by an unexpected visitor: a debt collector at bedside.

This and other aggressive tactics by one of the nation’s largest collectors of medical debts, Accretive Health, were revealed on Tuesday by the Minnesota attorney general, raising concerns that such practices have become common at hospitals across the country.

The tactics, like embedding debt collectors as employees in emergency rooms and demanding that patients pay before receiving treatment, were outlined in hundreds of company documents released by the attorney general.

..
Still, hospitals are in a bind. The more than 5,000 community hospitals in the United States provided $39.3 billion in uncompensated care — predominately unpaid patient debts or charity care — in 2010, up 16 percent from 2007, the hospital association estimated.

Accretive is one of the few companies specializing in hospital debt collection that is publicly traded. Last year, it reported $29.2 million in profit, up 130 percent from a year earlier.



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Franzl
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« Reply #1 on: April 25, 2012, 05:36:43 pm »
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Absurd, but then again the whole healthcare system is.
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Ernest
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« Reply #2 on: April 25, 2012, 06:38:34 pm »

Perhaps if there was not such a wide disparity in the prices charged to the uninsured and what the insurance companies extort out of the system, there would be less in the way of people not paying what they owe for health care.
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« Reply #3 on: April 25, 2012, 09:21:58 pm »
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While a privatized health-care system is better than a public one most ways (it does better in a myriad ways), this is rather amoral and shouldn't be done. A hospital's first task should be to cure the sick, or at least care for them -- a hospital's second task should be to get money. The second is also honorable, but it shouldn't interfere with the first.
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Ernest
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« Reply #4 on: April 25, 2012, 10:47:35 pm »

Without money, how can a hospital afford to provide health care?  There is no such thing as free health care.  Someone has to bear the expense of its provision in some form.  Hence a hospital has to worry about what you consider to be its second task at least as much as its first task.
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My November ballot:
Ervin(I) Gov.
Sellers(D) Lt. Gov.
Hammond(R) Sec. of State
Diggs(D) Att. Gen.
Herbert(D) Comptroller Gen.
Spearman(R) Supt. of Education
DeFelice(American) Commissioner of Agriculture
Hutto(D) US Sen (full)
Scott(R) US Sen (special)
Geddings(Labor) US House SC-2
Quinn(R) SC House District 69
Yes: Amendment 1 (Gen. Assembly may allow and regulate charity raffles)
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Vosem
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« Reply #5 on: April 26, 2012, 05:47:44 am »
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Without money, how can a hospital afford to provide health care?  There is no such thing as free health care.  Someone has to bear the expense of its provision in some form.  Hence a hospital has to worry about what you consider to be its second task at least as much as its first task.

I understand that, but I don't think it's really 'right' to be pestering people about debt before they are discharged. Afterwards, as much as you want. But then, I don't work in the medical field -- one of the beauties of privatization is that if that's how you want to govern your business, by all means you can do that.
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Illegally selling arms to North Korea, providing most of the money to anti-Morales rebels in Bolivia, and using the remainder as hush money for his three ex-mistrisses. 
Kevin
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« Reply #6 on: April 27, 2012, 12:04:40 am »
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Perhaps if there was not such a wide disparity in the prices charged to the uninsured and what the insurance companies extort out of the system, there would be less in the way of people not paying what they owe for health care.

There was a report I was reading(I'll dig it up later when I have the time) that showed less then 2-3% of all health care costs going towards insurgence company profit. The overwhelming majority of costs(like 90%+) went towards things like paying for equipment, instruments, personnel, administration, other related programs etc. Keep in mind health care in itself under any type of system(whether public or private) is incredibly expensive and someone has to foot the bill. Like Vosem just mentioned.  

Although, I can say that I find this practice(if true/not blown out of proportion) to be outrageous.
« Last Edit: April 27, 2012, 12:16:16 am by Kevin »Logged

greenforest32
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« Reply #7 on: April 27, 2012, 10:03:13 am »
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Keep in mind the for-profit basis of U.S. healthcare extends to the hospitals themselves. Even if we had Medicare for all and had virtually no private health insurance, you would still have the issue of the hospitals' profit margins, pharmaceutical profit patents, and medical device manufacturers' test-pushing and kickbacks.
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