One blog I read regularly is “Not Running A Hospital” by Paul Levy, formerly CEO of my hospital, Beth Israel Deaconess. Today’s post is A Tale of Two Blues, in which an MIT professor colleague recounts the insane, infuriating situation with his insurance company. His tale:
The last couple of months have been very heavy duty bad medical stuff for me. Horrendous. So, I’ve been able to see the dysfunctional medical insurance system in action. Do you understand how Blue Cross/Blue Shield actually works? Out of, oh, maybe 80 transactions over 2 months — they managed to get one, as in the number 1, correct. The rest are mistakes, mis-billings, computer errors, everything one can imagine. And the only reason I can ever figure it out is because I am dogged and know something. I can’t even begin to imagine the bone-head database that lurks behind all of it, along with inept programming, but whatever it is, the people running the place (sorry if I tread on toes) — up to and including all the executives, are simply, sorry to say, totally bonkers. And they are just middlemen. They aren’t providing services, just managing to extract rents. Badly.
P.S. BTW, my running statistics on them, is that out of 540 transactions with them over the past 1.8 years, they have gotten two, as in the number 2, correct. Not a good batting average. Why are they so inept?
As regular readers know, this general subject (not BC/BS of MA) has been one of my pet peeves lately, especially since I so often hear “Our costs are high because patients are irresponsible lazy slugs.” I summarized the past year’s posts in a comment there; I’m pasting it in here:
A quick preliminary response, Paul:
As I think you know, Paul, this is something I’ve been blogging about for the past year. [Read more…]