Author Topic: lowest paid nurse in the U.S. talks about collecting on medical debts  (Read 1022 times)

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Offline franksolich

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Oh my.

Ms. Ed, the unappellated eohippus:

Horse with no Name  (1000+ posts)       Mon Feb-04-08 08:17 PM
Original message
$350 BILLION spent annually to collect medical debts

Just in case you were wondering where the fat could be trimmed to pay for everyone.

The biggest problem facing the health care industry isn't the quality or availability of treatment, he says. The real danger to our national medical system is the soaring cost of getting the bills collected.

The chief executive of Irving-based MedSynergies Inc. sees this firsthand in handling the back office operations for more than 2,300 health care providers in 26 states.

Each year, more than $350 billion is spent needlessly as bills bounce among patients, doctors and insurers, says Mr. Thomas, citing a comprehensive study by McKinsey & Co. last year. "That's 15 percent of total health care expenditures in this country." Squeeze out this waste, and there'd be money to cover the 40 million Americans who are uninsured or underinsured without adding to our tax burden, he contends.

"Industrywide, the cost of collection is 20 percent of the medical benefits provided," says Mr. Thomas. "What business do you know of that has a 20 percent cost of collection and survives? None."

You know, forget the primaries; debt and debt collection must be the primitive topic de jour today.

thunder rising  (1000+ posts)       Mon Feb-04-08 08:56 PM
Response to Original message
1. Damn it's expensive double and triple billing every party involved.

app_farmer_rb  (334 posts)       Mon Feb-04-08 09:10 PM
Response to Original message

2. k&r!!!

20% of the whole healthcare budget is spent just chasing payment? Wow, what a scary statistic.

Candidates: how about targeting this waste before loading-up more mandates on us individuals or dipping into our (already falling) wages?!?

QuestionAll  (1000+ posts)      Mon Feb-04-08 09:48 PM
Response to Original message
3. i recently got a call from a bill collector regarding a medical debt...

the debt was owed to a company called north shore pathologists, and i had no idea the bill existed.

the pathologists are the ones who test things that the dr. sends them when you have a procedure that requires it- the patient never even deals with them directly. but- somehow someone somewhere transcribed my address wrong- so i never got any of the bills they sent out when medicare and blue cross ppo didn't pay quick enough. and when i didn't respond to the bills i didn't get, they sent it to a collection agency.
the collection agency said my debt was $160-something, so i called north shore pathologists to confirm it- not having an actual bill, finding their number wasn't easy, but i finally got to an actual person.

north shore pathologists said that my outstanding balance was $5.25- yes, FIVE DOLLARS AND TWENTY-FIVE CENTS. and they took my correct address info and said that they would send me a bill for the $5.25. i considered the matter pretty much done.

the next day the collection agency calls again- i told the woman about my conversation with north shore, and my bill only being $5.25, and that i would just deal directly with them, and NOT the collection agency- she said that she now showed it being $47, and that i would have to pay it thru the collection agency.

in not so many syllables, i suggested that she might want to experience intercourse with herself and hung up.

it's been two weeks, and i still haven't gotten my bill for $5.25...i guess i'll have to make another call tomorrow.

btw- in trying to find their phone number online, i came up with someone else's memorable experience with north shore pathology and their collection goons when google directed me too ""...but when i just went there to post a link, the negative review for north shore pathology is much for the good folks at

the point of all this...?

we NEED Single-Payer, Universal HealthCare, like the REST of the civilized world.

Now, one feels nothing but sorrow for those enmeshed, enmired, in medical debts; it can't be easy.

It however can be avoided.

Two suggestions: (a) a change in conduct and behavior that encourages ailments and (b) checking into non-medical options for dealing with an ailment.

Works for franksolich.

Democrats: A bunch of rich people convincing poor people to vote for rich people by telling poor people that other rich people are the reason they are poor

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