28 September 2009

Am I just reading this wrong?

There was a time when my Google Reader shares were a mostly jocular affair; links to particularly funny blog posts, particularly insightful takedowns of people who think Twitter is important, or particularly lol lolcats. To the dismay of the 6 people in the entire world who give a shit though, it's lately become an echo chamber of links to Daily Kos and HuffPo stories re: health care. Stories about rescission, links to videos of a Republican Congressman laughing about people losing their insurance not because they can't afford it, but because they're losing their jobs! Get it!? Hilarious! Really though, it's depressing stuff and if you're my sharebro and you're also reading this, I'm sorry.

Today I was inspired to post about it on here because I got this letter in the mail (you're gonna have to click to enlarge it if you want to be able to read it):


I've gotten a lot of these lately because I went to 8 sessions with a physical therapist to try (unsuccessfully) to fix my back a bit. They're indecipherable, at least insofar as figuring out what particular charges were for, and they're always slightly different. I don't know what procedure code 97012 is, but I have to assume that's how much my therapist charges for...maybe holding my legs down while I do back extensions hanging off a table? Or telling me to ride a stationary bike for 6 minutes? 97110 was a bit pricier, so maybe that was for strapping me into the traction machine.

What's more, it seems like my flat $45 copay for any specialist visits (PT counts as a specialist) covered all but...$2.58 of my treatment on 8/26? The postage to send out the statement cost a double-digit percentage of the cost of the treatment. Golly, it's no wonder I have to pay about $400 a month for the privilege of being a HealthNet customer.

And it's even more wonderful that, given the cost, they saw it in their infinite wisdom appropriate to tell me initially I could only have 5 sessions, and that if I wanted more my therapist would have to write some reports about why I needed more. Which she did, and I was graciously granted a few more sessions before I decided to throw in the towel on the whole thing (partly because I'd already spent $360 on copays for minimal results).

Does any of this make any sense at all, ever? Who are these people who are so happy with the way health care works right now that they'll scream themselves hoarse in defense of these companies?

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