Thursday, March 28, 2013

     Continued from last post.

A New Cottage Industry: Medical-Billing Advocates

    A small grassroots-type industry has emerged as a result of shell-shocked patients reaching out for help to understand their medical bills. Referring to themselves as medical-billing advocates, they help you not only read and understand the content of your bills, but also negotiate with the hospital to reduce the charges. Brill quotes Katalin Goencz, a former appeals coordinator in a hospital billing department who now runs her own medical-billing advocacy business from her home in Stamford:

        “The hospitals all know the bills are fiction, or at least only a place to start the discussion, so you bargain with them.”

    The problem with that, of course, is: what about the people who don’t realize they CAN bargain with a major hospital? And should we really accept “bills of fiction” to begin with? Brill writes:

        “Goencz is part of a trade group called the Alliance of Claim Assistant Professionals, which has about 40 members across the country. Another group, Medical Billing Advocates of America, has about 50 members. Each advocate seems to handle 40 to 70 cases a year for the uninsured and those disputing insurance claims. That would be about 5,000 patients a year out of what must be tens of millions of Americans facing these issues – which may help explain why 60% of the personal bankruptcy filings each year are related to medical bills.”

    Even with the help of a medical-billing advocate (who of course charges a fee for the service), many uninsured patients still overpay. After all, getting a 50 percent discount on a test billed at $200, which should cost $15 is not necessarily a great bargain, although it’s certainly an improvement if we only take fictional numbers into account. The sad thing is, as mentioned earlier, the overcharges are SO grossly inflated that even if you get the bill cut in half, the hospital still makes out like a bandit!

50 Signs US Health Care System is Gigantic Scam About to Collapse

    A recent article lists 50 signs that the US health care system is a gigantic money making scam that is about to collapse.4 This list includes the following amazing statistics:

        This year the American people will spend approximately 2.8 trillion dollars on health care, and it is being projected that Americans will spend 4.5 trillion dollars on health care in 2019
        If the U.S. health care system was a country, it would be the 6th largest economy on the entire planet
        Approximately 60 percent of all personal bankruptcies in the United States are related to medical bills
        The U.S. health care industry has spent more than 5 billion dollars on lobbying our politicians in Washington D.C. since 1998
        The U.S. ambulance industry makes more money each year than the movie industry

    Another factor driving this broken health care system is direct-to-consumer drug advertising. According to FiercePharma,5 the pharmaceutical industry spent $2.7 billion on drug ads for TV, magazines, newspapers, radio and billboards over the past 10 years.

        “The world's largest drug company, Pfizer, tops the list, spending 23 percent of that $2.7 billion on some of its best-selling drugs. In fact, as the data show, it is generally a company's best-selling drugs that get the greatest spends, suggesting that DTC advertising remains very effective.”

Natural is Better, and Less is More

    The U.S. health care system has an awful lot of room for improvement. The United States has the highest infant mortality rate among high income countries, and ranks dead last in terms of life expectancy among 17 affluent nations. You could say wanton greed is killing this nation...

    If throwing money into the system isn’t the answer, then how can we improve the health of Americans? The answer is simpler than most care to admit. I don't think anyone in the medical community disagrees with the idea that changing your lifestyle can go a long way toward "fixing" a number of chronic conditions, such as diabetes. As identified by the NIH,6 five life-changing factors that can do this are:

        Following a healthy diet
        Maintaining an optimal body weight
        Engaging in regular physical activity
        Not smoking
        Keeping alcohol use to no more than one drink per day for women, and two drinks per day for men

    In a Waking Times article from last year,7 Dr. Dennis Antoine discusses the many lifestyle factors contributing to the rise in cancer incidence, and why we have to stop being so foolish as to think we “don’t know” why cancer has become so commonplace. As a group, chemicals play a major role: chemicals in your water, soil, air, in your clothes and in your home, in your household cleaning products and in the lotions and potions you spray and rub onto your skin, and in the vaccines injected into your body.

    He also mentions a few different alternative cancer treatments, such as that by Dr. Max Gerson, who in 1938 discovered he could put cancer patients into remission using vegetables. Alas, there’s ample evidence that the cancer industry is not at all interested in finding cures. Its only interest is finding profitable treatments. Dr. Antoine writes:

        “At this time in history, a bill was appropriated for 100 million dollars to anyone who could show promise and results in treating cancer. Dr Gerson in 1946 presented 5 terminal cases and 5 additional patients’ records showing his effective treatment and cure of all of these cases. Well, guess what? The Pepper-Neely bill was defeated by four senators who were medical doctors. Also of note, radio announcer Raymond Gram Swing who was in the room, was as astonished as any of the others and made a broadcast that night detailing these events and Gerson’s effective treatment. Two 2 weeks later, Swing was fired from his job.”


Thank You Dr. Mercola

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God Bless Everyone & God Bless The United States of America.
Larry Nelson

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