Ridiculous hospital bills and mergers; when will this insanity end?

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As a healthcare provider who works hard to do the right thing, insurers have been predatory on hospitals and healthcare providers for years.  The result has been hitting consumers in the pocketbook. Smaller practices that care and offer patient-centered care continue to be starved of revenue. At the same time, they evaluate the possibility of working for corporate medical practices where nobody knows who you are. Welcome to conveyor belt medicine where the hospital model is 15 minutes of primary care as you enter a system of visiting doctor after doctor and are tested incessantly because manual skills or thinking no longer applies. Our chiropractic practices believe that personalized holistic care or primary care for the musculoskeletal system is what the public wants and needs.  The problem is, that insurers ignore the financial needs of the best providers through global fees, and no raises even though inflation is rampant and procedural hoops everyone needs to jump through such as clean claim denials or recertification that are denied just because... While large practices and hospital systems do offer a common note system everyone writes into, this does not substitute for individualized care, especially with musculoskeletal problems that need immediate attention to prevent them from becoming chronic problems affecting you for years to come. In our office, we keep it simple to avoid bad diagnoses, excess testing, or costs for procedures or referrals that offer no benefit. The question in everyone's mind is, where is the healthcare inflation coming from?   The answers are drug companies and huge hospital systems that grew as anti-competitive tiering that made more expensive providers cost you less while other more cost-effective ones were made tier 2.   This caused hospital consolidation in NJ.  That consolidation has resulted in hospital systems now wanting more money for care while offering poorer quality service in terms of their ER or understaffing of nurses. The pandemic made these efforts to more evident causing nursing shortages during a pandemic. Recently, a breast MRI that should have cost under $800 dollars was billed at $3400.   That $800 sleep study is now $4000.  You get the idea. Who is paying for this; We are. The only plan able to negotiate with hospital systems now is Medicare.   Shouldn't our politicians simplify healthcare by expanding Medicare to all of us?   Medicare is the simplest path to the USA having Universal Healthcare. Check out the latest article in the NY Times opinions section regarding this below

Your Exorbitant Medical Bill, Brought to You by the Latest Hospital Merger

July 25, 2023 By Elisabeth Rosenthal Dr. Rosenthal, a former emergency room physician, is a senior contributing editor at KFF Health News. Sign up for the Opinion Today newsletter Get expert analysis of the news and a guide to the big ideas shaping the world every weekday morning. Get it sent to your inbox. When Mark Finney moved to southwestern Virginia with his young family a decade ago, there were different hospital systems and a range of independent doctors to choose from. But when his knee started aching in late 2020, he discovered that Ballad Health was the only game in town: He went to his longtime primary care doctor, now employed by Ballad, who sent him to an orthopedist’s office that was owned by Ballad. That doctor sent him to get an X-ray at a Ballad-owned facility and then he was referred to a physical therapy center called Mountain States Rehab that was now owned by Ballad as well. When the price of his P.T. doubled overnight — to nearly $200 for approximately 30 minutes — there was nowhere else to go, because Ballad Health effectively had a monopoly on care in 29 counties of the Appalachian Highlands in northeastern Tennessee, southwestern Virginia, northwestern North Carolina and southeastern Kentucky. Read more