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Wednesday, March 11, 2015

A $10,169 blood test is everything wrong with American health care

A lipid panel is one of the most basic blood tests in modern medicine. Doctors use it to measure cholesterol levels in their patients, probably millions of times each year.

This is not a procedure where some hospitals are really great at lipid panels and some are terrible. There's just not space for quality variation: you are running blood through a machine and pressing buttons. That's it.

And that all makes it a bit baffling why, in California, a lipid panel can cost anywhere between $10 and $10,000. In either case, it is the exact same test.



Anonymous said...

Thde 'why' of it is pretty simple, actually.
It depends on who is doing the test and what they think they can get away with.

And since it continues, somebody is getting away with a lot..

Anonymous said...

Sometimes your insurance company dictates which lab you have to use. They have contracts with certain labs and will only pay for patients to go there.

Anonymous said...

The difference is between what they charge insurance companies (who refuse to pay the outlandish rates) and what they charge people without insurance. It should be criminal. It is the same for auto body repairs. All body shops will charge you more for the same repair than they will charge an insurance company. Body shops will ask you who is paying for the repair before they will give you an estimate. Again, it should be criminal to charge two different rates for the same service.

Body shops (the auto kind) claim its because insurance companies do much more business with them than individuals, and that's why the insurance companies get better rates. However, it doesn't matter if they have not ever done any business with a particular insurance company, they will still quote a lower price for them than they will for you.

They get away with it because the insurance companies bribe (ahem, I mean lobby) our legislative members with vast sums of money to ensure that they get preferential treatment, and that regulations don't hinder their operations.

If you wonder who the big winners were with Obamacare, wonder no more. It was the insurance companies. They were the ones that wrote the law (that's why congress didn't know what they were voting for). For all that big money insurance companies give to Congress, they were allowed to write the AHCA.

Anonymous said...

That is part of Obama's grand plan to spread the wealth around,if you make a lot of money you should pay more.Just like if you are a lazy bum and don't want to work,no problem, we will give you a place to live food stamps,health insurance a welfare check and ect and ect.