I was interviewed recently by USA Today reporter Laura Ungar of the Louisville Courier-Journal. The story ran Monday 9/14 in that paper and will be in the national USA Today soon. (I expected it on Tuesday 9/15 but it’s not there.)
The subject is summed up perfectly by the headline: Wildly varied health costs a national mystery.
Regular readers of this blog are familiar with my years-long series of posts Let Patients Help: Cost-Cutting Edition, especially my efforts to shop responsibly to get a skin cancer treated. If you’re not familiar with it, and you have the stomach for it, sit back with a cup of your favorite beverage and start digging. (For a shorter version, read the final post, which is pretty unsettling.)
Why do I ask you to read it? Because I believe this is important to the future of health(care) in America. We must put an end to this crap. Providers, give us the facts! Tell us what things will cost, so we can decide what’s important to us!
Good providers who are trying to do a good job at a good price simply cannot win our business in an environment that, 9 years after the original article in Health Affairs, is still best described as that article’s title did: “Chaos behind a veil of secrecy.”
Can you believe that this situation is tolerated and nobody is getting busted? As I told Laura in the interview:
There can be no explanation other than some secret malarkey going on. …
I feel disempowered and disrespected, because aside from the incredible cost crunch we’re all experiencing, it’s a downright sin that my family can’t readily find out what the options are and what the costs are.