Most ER providers in the U.S. work for staffing companies that have contracts with hospitals. Those staffing companies are losing revenue as hospitals postpone elective procedures and non-coronavirus patients avoid emergency rooms. Health insurers are processing claims more slowly as they adapt to a remote workforce.
[A memo from Alteon Health, a major hospital staffing company] announced that the company would be reducing hours for clinicians, cutting pay for administrative employees by 20%, and suspending 401(k) matches, bonuses and paid time off. Holtzclaw indicated that the measures were temporary but didn’t know how long they would last.
From The Boston Globe:
Emergency room doctors at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center have been told some of their accrued pay is being held back. More than 1,100 Atrius Health physicians and staffers are facing reduced paychecks or unpaid furloughs, while pay raises for medical staff at South Shore Health, set for April, are being delayed.
From Twitter, which is what lead me down this wormhole in the first place:
Good thing we paid billions in bailouts to airlines and other corporations. Granted, the coronavirus stimulus bill did provide $100 billion for hospitals and healthcare providers, but it seems that none of that is trickling down to the people on the front lines keeping us alive. Read the rest
A 3-year-old girl got a pair of doll shoes stuck in her nostrils, reports NPR. Her mother used tweezers to remove one shoe, but the second shoe was beyond reach of the tweezers, so the girl's parents took her to an urgent care center. The staff there were unable to extract the shoe because they lacked forceps of sufficient length. They told the parents to take the girl to the emergency room. A doctor at the hospital had long-reach forceps and removed the shoe. The hospital charged the parents $2,658.98.
Read the rest
Total bill: $2,658.98, consisting of a $1,732 hospital bill and a $926.98 physician bill.
Service provider: St. Rose Dominican, Siena Campus, in Henderson, Nev., part of the not-for-profit Dignity Health hospital system.
Medical procedure: Removal of a foreign body in the nose, using forceps.
What gives: The Bransons negotiated a reduction of the physician's bill by half by agreeing to pay within 20 days. But Dignity Health declined multiple requests for an interview or to explain how it arrived at the $1,732 total for the ER visit.
"Not every urgent situation is an emergency," the hospital said in an emailed statement. "It is important for patients to understand the terms of their health insurance before seeking treatment. For example, those with high-deductible plans may want to consider urgent care centers in nonemergency situations."
The hospital billed the Bransons $1,143 for the emergency room visit and an additional $589 for removing the shoe. The entire $1,732 hospital bill was applied against their deductible.
[larger size.] Chicago-based comic artist Laura Park (@llaurappark) was recently diagnosed with thyroid cancer. She underwent surgery in June, and illustrated the moment she opened the first big bill in July.
I know that feel, bro. I know that feel.
(via Emma Smith) Read the rest
[Video Link] "On July 5th, 2012, my 11-month-old son, Noah, was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor," writes Mike Masse in the introduction to this YouTube video, a beautiful performance of the Beatles' "Let it Be."
Details on the fundraiser here.
In America, little boys have to start lemonade stands when their fathers get cancer. In America, fathers have to do what Mike is doing here when their sons get cancer.
No parent should have to bare their grief to the world, no matter how beautifully, to beg for money to cover the life-saving medical treatment their baby needs. As you see the beauty, be mindful of the injustice in our health care system this represents.
Cancer is one tragedy. The way our country treats people with cancer, even when they're little babies, is another.
(HT: Joe Sabia)
On Cost and Cancer in America
When life hands you cancer, make cancer-ade: via lemonade stand ...
Poop Strong: Cancer patient whose costs exceeded insurance caps Read the rest