This Is our Village

Monday, February 13, 2012

Medical Cost Warning

Recently, I had shoulder surgery. My therapist recommended to my orthopedic surgeon for a portable electronic nerve stimulator to use at home for pain. After the paper work with the medical supply company and Medicare, they finally sent me the TENS 7000 nerve stimulator. I have to use it for 30 days as a trial. Afterwards, I have to make an appointment with my doctor to discuss the benefit of the TENS unit . Medicare pays 80% and my secondary will pick up the rest.

Today, I received a letter from the medical supply company and was appalled. This TENS unit will cost between $330.46 and $388.70. Two days ago, I went out on the Internet to another medical supply company and they were selling the same unit for $55 which was a 86% savings. I called and asked why they were charging so much for the same unit. I asked the medical representative to go on the Internet site to see what the other medical supply was charging. Would you believe he said that it is more expensive because of all the paperwork and the people involved that are salaried, etc. He said “ You won’t have any out of pocket expense, Medicare will cover it.” So, that makes it OK. Well, I told him I worked for an insurance company and know the game. This just means our premiums go up. Just like when you are in the hospital and they charge you $50 for a Tylenol. Our insurance companies are being charged way over the amount which I feel drives up the cost for us. Who is benefiting?

It is up to us to monitor these costs. Please question what is being charged and not let them get away with this. Today, I ordered the TENS 7000 unit that was $55. As soon as I receive it, I will send the other one back. This is a matter of principal. This should never be taken lightly.

1 comment:

  1. I just had a similar experience, Cathy. After a recent cardiac-cath procedure, my cardiologist arranged for a home health nurse to visit and check on me. This was okay for a visit or two, but the visiting nurse association wanted to keep coming, visit after visit, when there was no need and I was well able to drive. I explained that I was going to the same cardiologist's office for 7-week daily treatment, and that I was going to my primary physician as well. No matter-- they kept calling, wanting to visit me at home, and usually THAT DAY.

    This morning I talked to THREE of them. The first nurse said he would put a stop to the visits. Minutes later a second nurse called. She said it would require TWO more visits to stop the visits: one to check on me and another to come and do the Medicare paperwork stopping the visits! When I said "No way!" because this was getting so ludicrous, a third nurse came on the line and said she would put a stop in effect, backdating it to their last visit. ("Aha, second nurse, so it CAN be done....")

    I told this to my primary physician today, and he said it is a racket. The nurses who visit are nice enough themselves, but the company they work for is sure milking the system.


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