Thursday, October 13, 2005

In today's NYT: The impenetrable mystery of medical billing

Today, another article in the NYT's series on being a patient, this time on medical billing. Snip:
The paperwork nightmare started for Ms. Mayer when her oncologist switched hospitals. Everything suddenly seemed to need a justification, or a new piece of paper with an authorization. The stacks of papers, folders and Post-It notes related to Ms. Mayer's treatment have started to take over her house. They fill manila envelopes, boxes and files, which fill closets. They spill from the dining room table onto chairs.

"You can't just be sick," she said. "You have to be sick and be drowning in paperwork." So overwhelming has the paperwork grown that Ms. Mayer has considered giving up and ceasing all treatment because of the bureaucratic hassle that accompanies it. "It's comical, it's unbelievable," she said. "And I think to myself, 'What if I was an elderly person, or a single person? What if I wasn't healthy enough to handle it?' "

Link to article in NYT (free reg req'd)
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1 comment:

mdmhvonpa said...

It almost justifies mercy-killing. Not so much to end the misery of the disease, but the horrific mountains of harassment and impersonal distain spewed forth by bean-counters and pencil-pushers.