SOME SYMPTOMS AND
CAUSES OF AMERICA'S
HEALTH CARE PROBLEM
• WE’RE NUMBER 1!! America spent $3.6 TRILLION on health care in 2018,
20% of our GDP.
Source: Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and CIA World FactBook
• The average premium for family coverage has increased 22% over
the last five years and 54% over the last ten years.
Source: The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation
INSURANCE COMPANIES + HOSPITAL GROUPS
Companies negotiate with doctors and hospitals to set prices, and
when they can’t agree, the insurance companies just
pass the cost on to the consumer because why not!?!
MEDICINE FOR PROFIT - PRIVATE EQUITY HAS INVADED HEALTH CARE
Private equity investors have caused consolidation among health care
companies and hospital groups, decreasing competition and increasing costs.
Yea, they're just plain evil.
Pure, uncut, premium grade, extra-strength malicious evil.
Driven by financial incentives and defensive medicine (the fear of being sued),
many doctors overtest their patients.
Low value or unnecessary care and overtreatment contribute to
$75.7 billion to $101.2 billion in waste every year.
Source: Journal of American Medical Association
Research, research, research.
Ugh, but you hate reading.
What if I told you that if you were to do just a little research, you could
potentially save hundreds or even thousands or even millions (probably not) of dollars?
Just pretend you’re about to take your car to a mechanic,
and you want to make sure you don’t get screwed.
Now imagine that the car is you and the doctor is the mechanic.
Also, your medical issue is your “undercarriage”
because it’s a double entendre and we’re a comedy show.
Your relationship with your doctor
(and yes! It is a relationship,
and one that sometimes involves them “touching you”)
rests on two things: Trust & Communication.
You must communicate to your doctor all of your questions and concerns.
Trust their answers are in your best interest.
Don’t hold back
Tell your doctor everything related to your illness or injury - no detail is too small.
Sometimes doctors will overtest because they’re trying to rule out something that you may not have revealed.
So yes, you should probably tell them the exact reason why your nose is so unusually stuffy.
They know what you’ve been up to and it’s terrible for you.
Ask the right questions
1. Is this test necessary or are you just covering your bases?
2. Is this test / procedure you’re suggesting going to change my treatment?
3. What is the value-add of what you’re suggesting?
4. Are there cheaper options?
5. Do you have a conflict of interest? Are you getting paid by commission?
Do you own the place you’re saying I should go to?
It ain’t over ‘til it’s over
1. Before you leave the office, request an itemized bill just like when you put your card down at a restaurant,
take a photo of the bill and then ask for money from EVERYONE on Venmo.
2. Challenge anything you didn't order.
Let them know you HATE surprises.
Don’t feel like you’re powerless.
Remember, they already gave you the medicine.
They can’t take it back.
Call both your insurance company (if you’re lucky enough to have insurance)
and your provider directly and take notes on your call like you’re a 3rd year med student,
and there’s about to be a pop quiz on your own anatomy.
Write EVERYTHING down!
This is your chance to be your own court stenographer!
Write down who you talk to,
when you talked to them,
the number you called,
what you asked for,
and what their response was.
While we'd love to take the credit for all of this, we can't.
This site and the associated piece could not have been possible without:
Dr. Sandeep Jauhar
Cardiologist, NY Times Best Selling Author
Dr. Elisabeth Rosenthal
Physician & Editor-in-Chief of Kaiser Health News
Journalist covering Investigations & health policy for NY Times
Dr. Atul Gawande
Surgeon, Writer, Professor
(We didn’t talk to him, but his writing helped inspire this piece)
DISCLAIMER - THE NOT SO FINE PRINT
Every health care thing, legally, has to tell you that it won’t solve your problems.
This pamphlet certainly won’t. But it’s a start. But also, none of these statements have been approved by the FDA.
No dentists recommend this because we didn’t ask them.
They’re dentists. What do they know? All teeth and no bite, those dentists.
Also, if this is an emergency, stop reading and dial 9-1-1.
Where are your priorities if you’re reading during an emergency?
Are you still reading? STOP AND CALL 9-1-1. Unless your emergency is that you just discovered you can read.
In which case - read away you literate son of a gun.