Outrageous behavior at UVA Health Systems.

Today’s paper has an above the fold front page story that is not on Pilotonline. I believe it is WAPO. Get it on ePilot I suppose.

Reading the entire article we find such “wonderful, heartwarming” stories. Billing emergency intestinal surgery for double the amount paid be insurance because the woman’s insurance had lapsed through a clerical error. $2000.00 for a $20.00 feeding tube.

The medical center declared $322 million in financial assistance in 2018. Turns out it was $4.3 million since the figure was based on the phony, full, uninsured “retail” prices and did not include all the state and federal monies that covered most of it.

The people featured were middle class with jobs and some assets such as homes. But they had either out of network or “bridge” coverage that was totally inadequate. And they were losing homes and declaring bankruptcy.

Turns out also that UVA Medical is one of the worst in the nation when it comes to “honoring” their tax exempt status. The staggering number of lawsuits by UVA is startling.

Time for Trump to roll out his promised “beautiful” plan.

More and more people have lost health insurance since fines and insurance company subsidy losses became the hallmark of

And the GOP is wondering why Medicare for all might gain traction.

15 thoughts on “Outrageous behavior at UVA Health Systems.

  1. RE: “And the GOP is wondering why Medicare for all might gain traction.”

    Medicare for all will never gain traction with me, no matter how many sob stories I hear.

    The way Medicare for all would eliminate collections for non-payment of medical bills is by raising everybody’s taxes. You could end up with more people dealing with the horror of collections over taxes than over health care.

    Doesn’t sound like much of a solution to me.

    Like

  2. “The way Medicare for all would eliminate collections for non-payment of medical bills (non-payment?) is by raising everybody’s taxes,” whereas now, the insurance companies just raise everyone’s premiums (plus 8% for profit)..

    The bill will be paid, but I dunno, an 8% discount sounds like a deal to me.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. RE: “The bill will be paid, but I dunno, an 8% discount sounds like a deal to me.”

      Only, you’ll never see it.

      Every going concern has to have more income than expenses. The surplus is used, largely, to pay for production improvements that, if not funded, will eventually make the enteprise unsustainable. Thus, if M4A takes the “profit” out of medical services, taxes will have to go up to replace them.

      Like

    2. That 8% “profit” does not take into account the huge payroll expenses for the corner offices and other “expenses” and perks.

      the problem is that most of the private insurance companies are shareholder owned. Decades ago, most were some kind of mutual. They used to give rebates to their owners, the premium payers, if the expenses were less the premiums.

      Managing an insurance company is not cutting edge science. The principles are the same as they were centuries ago.

      Also, what is happening now is that the providers (doctors, clinics, diagnostic centers and hospitals) are forming large conglomerates like Kaiser and Sentara. That makes the insurance company a weak party in negotiating payments for services. Particularly in the whole concept of an “in or out of network” system.

      Liked by 2 people

    3. RE: “That 8% ‘profit’ does not take into account the huge payroll expenses for the corner offices and other ‘expenses’ and perks.”

      That’s a colorful, but misleading picture. The Civil Service has its own CEOs (the Senior Executive Service), with corner offices and all the rest. The full organizational cost for an SES employee is probably comparable to that of a private sector CEO. At least, there’s not much to gain in switching from private executive talent to public executive talent.

      I think, too, you misstate the management puzzle. It is certainly true that the financial model of insurance is well understood, but the tools, human resources, and market conditions for operating the model are always changing. There’s no obvious advantage to government management over private sector management. They both have to deal with the same issues.

      Its the same for just about every pro-government argument.

      Like

      1. Senior executive service folks don’t make as much as executive actuaries in the private sector. SES pay hovers around a little under $200,000. Top actuaries are around $200-395,000. And the are just math whizzes.

        Meanwhile:

        “Cigna CEO David Cordani’s total compensation was $18.9 million in 2018, up about 7.7% over 2017.”

        “In her first full year as CEO of Anthem, Gail Boudreaux’s pay totaled $14.2 million, up from the $2.2 million she made for part of 2017…”

        Etc, etc.

        https://www.modernhealthcare.com/insurance/some-insurer-ceos-see-bigger-paychecks-2018

        It looks like the government could hire 90 SES folks for just Cordani’s compensation and have money left over.

        But all of this is just about insurance. The high cost of our healthcare is a lot more than just insurance.

        Like

      2. RE: “It looks like the government could hire 90 SES folks for just Cordani’s compensation and have money left over.”

        You are confusing a lot of things. For one, the comparison needs to be based on “the full organizational cost,” not just annual base pay. Thus, private CEO compensation paid out of company profits wouldn’t be a factor, but security services to protect federal executives would. And so on. The comparison needs a lot more detail than you give it.

        RE: “The high cost of our healthcare is a lot more than just insurance.”

        No doubt.

        Like

  3. True, taxes will go up. But an increase on payroll taxes to even 10-12% from the present 3% is way cheaper than healthcare premiums today, especially for a family of four. Plus the insured are no longer at the whim of employers.

    Free healthcare is a bogus argument. Affordable is really the goal.

    I think going straight to MFA is not realistic. But a public option could be a stepping stone and if done correctly, could tone down the fears of MFA over time. Sort of like letting different states try different approaches to eventual universal healthcare.

    I don’t try to convince anyone, just lay out the debate.

    “Sob story” sounds a bit cold to me. We are the only advanced nation where medical bills are the biggest cause of bankruptcies.

    But that might be just me.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. RE: “But an increase on payroll taxes to even 10-12% from the present 3% is way cheaper than healthcare premiums today”

      It’s not cheaper for the uninsured.

      M4A won’t change the cost of medical services, only who pays and the price they are charged. Unless its universal and mandatory — show stoppers for many — it won’t be competitive with private insurance.

      Like

      1. “It’s not cheaper for the uninsured.”

        Until you factor in the costs of no healthcare services or, as the article points out, that the providers can strip you of all you have to pay huge retail prices.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. RE: “Tell that to the woman who lost her home to pay UVA for emergency surgery and is filing bankruptcy.”

          That woman received healthcare services. Is there some reason she shouldn’t pay for them?

          Like

          1. You are being obstreperous. Read the article. She was charged more than double what insurers would have paid, including $2000 for a $20.00 tube. She said she could pay the lesser amount, but no dice from the collectors.

            Bottom line, it was a travesty.

            Like

          2. RE: “She said she could pay the lesser amount, but no dice from the collectors.”

            In that case, bankruptcy is probably her best option. I don’t see an issue.

            Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s