Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Government and/or Insurance Companies Directly Driving Costs Of Healthcare UP?!?!

Below is an interview done by Glenn Beck from his show on Tuesday, March 17, 2009
It really is an interesting case. Is it the case just there in New York, everywhere, limited places, or where? I'd be rather interested in who is behind the decision of the State of New York to say how the doctor operates his private practice when it comes to how he charges his fees for his work. Is it just the state being power hungry, or maybe an insurance lobbyist who saw what was ging on and made the push to keep the insurance industry from losing some of its relevance, power, and all that GLORIOUS MONEY? Read below, and let me know what you think!




GLENN: When it comes to healthcare, do they want to fix the problem? Dr. Muney is a doctor here in the New York area. John Muney is his name. You are originally from Turkey, aren't you, Doctor?


DR. MUNEY: Yes, I'm from Turkey.


GLENN: How long have you lived here in the United States?


DR. MUNEY: Since 1975.


GLENN: Since 1975, you've been a doctor here since 1975?


DR. MUNEY: Yes.


GLENN: And you have a regular practice, and it's a thriving practice.


DR. MUNEY: Yes.


GLENN: How many patients do you have?


DR. MUNEY: Well, in our practice now we have about 7,000 to 8,000 patients.


GLENN: Okay, 7,000 to 8,000 patients, and you decided that there's too much waste, it cost too much money, just in your overhead. Tell me a little about the frustration of being a doctor in America today.


DR. MUNEY: Well, the system, it's the wrong system. That's what we have here. It really is mostly to paperwork, waste, bureaucracy, fraud, abuse and that's why we're paying about 50% increase in our healthcare premiums.


GLENN: Say that again. What do you mean we're paying 50% in healthcare premiums?


DR. MUNEY: I mean, the system, the way it's set up, it lends itself to abuse, waste, bureaucracy. And if we were paying $2.4 trillion in healthcare, I think $1.2 trillion is waste. It can be reduced. It can be eliminated.


GLENN: And how is that?


DR. MUNEY: Well, I mean, you know, the way the system's set up, the patient/doctor relationship is broken. People are trying to make as much as possible the way -- for example, the doctors are seeing the patients as a cash cow now, some of them. So they try to do as much, as many tests as possible, as many surgeries as possible. The hospital bills are enormous. $100,000, $200,000, $300,000 bills are common now. And this goes on and on.


GLENN: Okay. How come they can do this?


DR. MUNEY: Well, the regulations, the system itself allows them to do it.


GLENN: In what way? The insurance companies because it's a third party payor?


DR. MUNEY: The insurance company, it's a third party system and, you know, they are trying to do some job but because of the -- it takes certain amount of money to run the system and plus, the patients come to you, they say, "Doc, I have this insurance, do as many tests as possible." And the doctor said, "Well, okay, I'll do it because I'm getting paid. And the hospital does the same thing. And the cost keeps escalating.


GLENN: So in other words, this is -- and I've had this happen a million times. The doctor will say, "Does your insurance cover X, Y, and Z?" You'll say no. Then they will sit there and think for about 30 seconds and they will say, okay, we'll use this instead. That's where the waste comes in. They don't have to do some of the things that they --


DR. MUNEY: No, they don't have to.


GLENN: And would you include some of that waste in the paperwork, you know, to guard against litigation, et cetera, et cetera, and the insurance for the doctors on litigation?


DR. MUNEY: Oh, definitely, there's no question about it. I think in my estimation is the cost of our practice to our healthcare system's about 10% minimum.


GLENN: Okay. So you're talking now about 60% of what we all pay for healthcare is between waste and guarding against litigation?


DR. MUNEY: That's true. I strongly believe it. I believe that we can reduce our healthcare costs by 2/3 easily.


GLENN: Okay. Now so you know, America, I'm just talking -- this is just one man's opinion. He's just a doctor here in New York.


DR. MUNEY: Yes.


GLENN: But he got sick of it and he decided that he was going to charge all of his patients $79. You weren't going to take any more healthcare, you weren't going to do -- no insurance. Just $79 every month and you can go see him -- you can go -- your patients can come see you as many times in that month as they needed.


DR. MUNEY: That's true. They can come, for $79 there's unlimited preventive checkups and includes the bloodwork, sonogram, x-ray, whatever they need at that time.


GLENN: And if somebody gets sick and they need to see you five times in a month, they only would have paid you $79 and there was no, there was no office pay or anything like that. It was just $79 and you can come as many times as you want.


DR. MUNEY: Yes, that's true. As long as they are coming for preventive checkups, yes.


GLENN: What does that mean?


DR. MUNEY: Well, my original idea was to charge $79 flat rate every month for unlimited visits but unfortunately the state stepped in saying that if I do this, I'm doing insurance business.


GLENN: Okay.


DR. MUNEY: So they --


GLENN: Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait. But what I want to go to originally is you said anything for $79 a month, they could see you for anything. That was your original idea?


DR. MUNEY: That was my original idea.


GLENN: Then the state came in and said, "No, that makes you an insurance company and so you can't do that."


DR. MUNEY: That's true.


GLENN: And then the state sent you a letter saying that you couldn't do that.


DR. MUNEY: Yes.


GLENN: And then you came on my program.


DR. MUNEY: Yes.


GLENN: And then they said, "Okay, you can do that; however, you can't charge the $79, it can only be for preventative medicine."


DR. MUNEY: Yes.


GLENN: A checkup, which kind of defeats the purpose. And then you also have to charge them, what is it, $33?


DR. MUNEY: Yes, $33 for sick visit only. If they come in for sick visits, I must charge them $33 because, to cover my overhead costs. That's the law.


DR. MUNEY: Why -- yeah, I know. It's convenient, isn't it?


DR. MUNEY: Yes.


GLENN: How does that help people getting healthcare, who don't have healthcare, how is that helping to have $79 for preventative and if you get sick, you can also pay $33 when the doctor himself says "I don't need to charge the $33"?


DR. MUNEY: That's true.


GLENN: How is that helping?


DR. MUNEY: I mean, it really makes it more difficult for us to charge $33 because then it will increase or administrative costs as well. But I think $79 will cover my costs. That's what I believe, and I wanted to do this but unfortunately in order for me to salvage the program, I still believe it's a good deal, no question about it in my mind. But I had to agree to some kind of compromise.


GLENN: Okay. Have you asked them if, that let's say you go to a restaurant and it's all you can eat for $9.99 if that $9.99 is an insurance program? Have you asked them if that $9.99 for an all you can eat, if you also wanted dessert if they would have to charge an extra $33 for dessert if that would be fair? Have you asked them how do they explain gym membership?


DR. MUNEY: Lawyers, retainers fees, it works on the same principle.


GLENN: What is their response to that?


DR. MUNEY: Well, I haven't -- I never talked face to face with them. We've been only communicating through letters, and my lawyer has contacted them several times and so this is a compromise we chose. I'm hoping that hopefully some legislator will sponsor a bill to change the law and take the primary care out of the insurance business.


GLENN: You know, Texas, South Carolina.


DR. MUNEY: Washington. Washington, the primary care is not under insurance law. They can do it and they are doing it.


GLENN: And is it working out fine for them?


DR. MUNEY: Yes, exactly. I communicated with a couple of doctors from Washington State.


GLENN: Be careful when they get all this stimulus money. I wonder what kind of strings are attached in that. Dr. Muney, I appreciate you very much, sir.


DR. MUNEY: All right. Bye-bye.


GLENN: This is why -- just don't believe them when they say, oh, we're just trying to help out. No, they're not. No, they're not. They're looking for their own power. That's all they're looking for. When they say that they're against giving bonuses to the AIG executives, ask them, do they have a contract? Yes. Is it valid? Yes. In your bailout did you not say that all contracts signed before this date are valid and must be withheld -- must be upheld? Yes. Did you guys in congress write that law? Yes. So it's a valid contract? Yes. You said that if it was signed before a certain date that it was valid? Yes. It would be honored? Yes. You don't believe we can break the union contracts, right? Of course not, no. But this contract with AIG that makes you popular to fight, you can break that one? Yes. So that's like we enforce the law sometimes on the border and sometimes we don't. That means that sometimes this drug law we need to go ahead and enforce but sometimes we don't. That means that sometimes you'll pay a tax penalty if you don't pay your taxes and sometimes you'll be made secretary of the treasury? Yes. Okay, I just want to make sure I understand the rules, which basically means there are no rules... unless you're important or powerful, which is weird because I think that's the way communist Russia used to work. But call me crazy.

3 comments:

swfreedomlover said...

OK you're crazy! LOL But then so am I. Insurance companies drive me nuts. But the idea that it is now insurance companies dictating how our doctors treat us just has me more convinced that I should think twice before signing on to any health insurance plan in the future.

I've about had it with strangers who don't know me trying to tell me what to do and how to do it. I'm also sick and tired of this one size fits all mentality.

Color me rebellious but I'm tired of paying for nothing.

scotterb said...

My wife (who is a CPA) works in a hospital in the finance department, and I can't believe the stories of horrid regulation, insurance company rules, and how utterly broken our current system is. Moreover, hospitals are in crisis because they often have to pay doctors but they don't get the payments from Medicare (our state is years behind on its payments) or the insurance companies for various technicalities. The whole thing seems utterly and completely broken. I'm not sure what the right fix is, but anyone who says our health care system is just fine hasn't really taken a close look!

Mookie said...

Lynda-

I got a few suggestions for you. First get treatment for your cooties (don't worry, that post will come soon!) and let me tell you just HOW you can do that!! LOL

Scott-

My wife works in Human Resources. Her company takes care of everything for Cardinal Health, one of the largest organizations out there of its kind. the stories she tells me, and how things vary for employees depending on which state they live in (nevermind if they actually work in a different state for part of the time)...its freaky stuff. I'd love to slap on a jacket, make up some credentials and just streamline a lot of it. I could make gobs of money with common sense, and the companies all around would save millions in compliance/regulatory/usuary costs