Why not attack the $600 billion health care cost driver?

Discussion in 'Healthcare/Insurance/Govt Healthcare' started by healthmyths, Oct 1, 2011.

  1. healthmyths
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    healthmyths Gold Member Supporting Member

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    Many of you are so ignorant of the real villains in the health care costs or you are either afraid!

    You naively attack the health insurance companies that are simply the payers of the health care bills presented to them!

    If any of you took the time to honestly look at health insurance companies "PUBLIC" financial documents you'd see the average health insurance company pays out 80% of premiums in claims.

    AND $600 billion according to the people [health care providers!!!]
    that MAKE those payment claims to the insurance company is done purely out of fear of lawsuits!

    Who pays that?
    Insurance companies/Medicare and the general public.

    All because 90% of the doctors admit they practice "defensive medicine" so they won't be sued!

    Nine out of 10 physicians reported practicing defensive medicine.
    Doctors Estimate Defensive Medicine Costs Americans $650-850 Billion Annually
    Doctors Practice Medicine in Fear, New Study Finds

    Why is is so hard to face this Number ONE cost driver..FEAR of Lawsuits create "Defensive Medical practices"!

    There is a solution if any of you have any interest in learning rather then constantly blaming the wrong parties!
     
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  2. Dragon
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    Dragon Senior Member

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    First, your figures appear to be wildly inflated:

    Malpractice liability costs U.S. $55.6 billion: study | Reuters

    Try $55 billion.

    Total health care costs in the U.S. in 2008 was roughly $2.3 trillion, or $2,300 billion. That means the cost of malpractice liability in increased health care costs constitute no more than 2.3% of the total health care cost in this country.

    Moreover, not all of that can be saved through health-care reform. A patient injured or killed by medical malpractice must have some form of redress; it is simply not acceptable to tell a patient who has been crippled or brain-damaged for life to lump it. So in terms of realistic tort reform, the savable cost is bound to be much less than 2.3%.
     
  3. healthmyths
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    healthmyths Gold Member Supporting Member

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    It is NOT the malpractice insurance idiot!

    It is the FACT the doctors themselves SAY they order duplicate tests, MRIs, specialist opinions at the rate of $1 for every $4 spent!
    Or the entire health industry is $2.5 trillion 25% of $2.5 trillion is ....
    $625 BILLION a year in DEFENSIVE MEDICINE
    Read closer or get your glasses FIXED!
     
  4. healthmyths
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    healthmyths Gold Member Supporting Member

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    How about some anecdotal illustrations to see if you understand what $600 billion IS!!

    "In a recent letter to the Wall Street Journal, a Texas doctor described how, since being
    unsuccessfully sued in 1995, he has "doubled and tripled the number of tests and consultations that I order."
    But the orthopedic hospital would not accept month-old test results,
    nor even an explicit waiver by me of any liability. The result was pure waste:
    more than $1,000 spent on wholly unnecessary tests.
    Philip K. Howard - Medical Tort Reform Could Save Billions



    Overall, 91 percent of doctors surveyed agreed with both statements.

    http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5js4_BkHmmxcniut6D1lhI_3GzHyAD9GKG3A82

    "Defensive medicine is when doctors order multiple tests, MRIs and other procedures, not because the patient needs them, but to protect against litigation based on allegations that something should have been done but wasn’t.
    Experts estimate as much as $300 billion in unnecessary costs is attributable to defensive medicine.
    Besides more time-consuming appointments, patients are left with fewer services and less access to quality care as doctors either narrow their practices or leave the profession entirely."
    http://www.sfexaminer.com/opinion/E...take-on-trial-lawyers-in-speech-57953202.html
     
  5. CrusaderFrank
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    CrusaderFrank Diamond Member

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    We need to adopt a loser pays medmal system
     
  6. healthmyths
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    healthmyths Gold Member Supporting Member

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    Why is it so hard to comprehend that the $600 billion a year spent by Medicare/private insurance and out of pocket is totally unnecessary?
    It's called "defensive medicine!
    90% of physicians admit they order duplicate tests,etc. out of fear of lawsuits!
    Do you and others understand that Obamacare NEVER addressed this big 800 lb gorilla!

    Don't be confused! It's not the malpractice insurance!
    It is the FEAR of lawsuits drive doctors to order duplicate tests!
    $600 billion a year!
     
  7. edthecynic
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    edthecynic Censored for Cynicism

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    So he was UNSUCCESSFULLY sued, which means what he was already doing was adequate to avoid a successful lawsuit, but the CON$ervative quack doctor saw an opportunity to pad his income by charging his patients for useless tests. The more tests he orders the more money HE makes. We need to get the greedy CON$ out of the medical profession to save $600 billion!
     
  8. Dragon
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    Dragon Senior Member

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    The figure I presented was for the total increase to the cost of healthcare from defensive medicine, not just malpractice insurance.

    I also note that you didn't answer the second part of what I said. Unless you're prepared to say that nobody can sue a health-care provider for malpractice, ever, defensive medicine WILL add to the cost of health care. Tort reform may reduce that amount somewhat but it can't eliminate it. And since the cost of defensive medicine is a trivial portion of the total cost of health care in this country, tort reform is only going to reduce those costs by a fraction of a trivial amount. As a cost-saving measure, it's really not worth doing (although it may be worth doing for other reasons).

    If you really want to go after reducing the cost of health care in this country, what we need is a single-payer system -- Medicare for all -- and aggressive use of bargaining power by the government to drive down the cost of pharmaceuticals and medical procedures. At the same time, on the other end, reduction of the cost of a medical education by one means or another will result in doctors who don't emerge from medical school and residency so burdened with debt that they are desperate to make as much money as possible.
     
  9. healthmyths
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    healthmyths Gold Member Supporting Member

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    you wrote" The figure I presented was for the total increase to the cost of healthcare from defensive medicine, not just malpractice insurance."


    Then maybe you should talk to the 1,231 physicians...(90%) Ninety percent of physicians surveyed said
    "doctors overtest and overtreat to protect themselves from malpractice lawsuits.
    "Defensive medicine is when doctors order multiple tests, MRIs and other procedures, not because the patient needs them, but to protect against litigation based on allegations that something should have been done but wasn’t. according to the survey published Monday in Archives of Internal Medicine.
    A) $600 billion defensive medicine
    Nine out of 10 physicians reported practicing defensive medicine.
    Doctors Estimate Defensive Medicine Costs Americans $650-850 Billion Annually
    Doctors Practice Medicine in Fear, New Study Finds
    As far as your
    "also note that you didn't answer the second part of what I said. Unless you're prepared to say that nobody can sue a health-care provider for malpractice, ever, defensive medicine "
    =======================
    Let a doctor answer for me ok???
    "In a recent letter to the Wall Street Journal, a Texas doctor described how, since being
    unsuccessfully sued in 1995, he has "doubled and tripled the number of tests and consultations that I order."
    But the orthopedic hospital would not accept month-old test results,
    nor even an explicit waiver by me of any liability. The result was pure waste:
    more than $1,000 spent on wholly unnecessary tests.
    Philip K. Howard - Medical Tort Reform Could Save Billions


    In 2005, Illinois was so litigious that OB-GYNs could save $75,000 to $100,000 per year on liability insurance by moving to the neighboring states of Wisconsin, Indiana or Missouri. Legislators in the Land of Lincoln took note and passed the Medical Malpractice Reform Act, which placed a cap of $500,000 on noneconomic damages in medical malpractice cases while not limiting compensation for the lost value of life or other physical harm.
    By the end of 2006, OB-GYN liability premiums in Illinois had fallen by 30 percent.
    EDITORIAL: Health care lawsuits - Washington Times

    NOTE did NOT limit compensation for lost value...!
     
  10. kiwiman127
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    kiwiman127 Comfortably Moderate Supporting Member

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    You sure like to call people "idiots", yet you consistently use very questionable data to back up your claims.
    In another thread, you mis-used Census Bureau data and I caught you red handed by using the actual Census Bureau Report which blew your misrepresentation the facts out of the water.
    Below is link to a Pro and Con sheet to whether Tort Reform would in fact substantially lower the cost of health care. On the Pro side, we find partisans coming up with some pretty scary numbers. On the Con side we find the CBO, a health care insurance company who measured the usage of defensive medicine and other non-partisan experts who also use facts.
    WellPoint said the following:

    "Despite the common belief that costs increase due to excess insurer profits, the aging of America and the high cost of medical malpractice, these factors have little if any impact on health care premiums...

    Medical malpractice is not a major driver of spending trends. Premiums for liability coverage and defensive medicine contribute to health spending at any moment in time but are not considered a recent significant factor in the overall growth of health care spending. Put another way, tort reform would lower health insurance premiums but medical malpractice is not currently driving the rate of increase."



    The CBO:

    "On the basis of newly available research, CBO has updated its analysis of the effects of tort reform to include not only direct savings from lower premiums for medical liability insurance but also indirect savings from reduced utilization of health care services. Many analysts surmise that the current medical liability system encourages providers to increase the volume or intensity of the health care services they provide to protect themselves against possible lawsuits...

    CBO now estimates, on the basis of an analysis incorporating the results of recent research, that [tort reform]... would reduce total national health care spending by about 0.5 percent (about $11 billion in 2009). That figure is the sum of the direct reduction in spending of 0.2 percent from lower medical liability premiums, as discussed earlier, and an additional indirect reduction of 0.3 percent from slightly less utilization of health care services."

    [Editors Note: The CBO estimates total health care spending at $2.6 trillion dollars. Since the CBO finds that $11 billion in savings would result from tort reform (medical malpractice reform), this means that tort reform would reduce health care spending by about 0.5%. We have placed this entry in the "con" column because 0.5% is not "a major contributor" to total health care costs.]


    Would medical malpractice reform (tort reform) significantly reduce the cost of health care? - Health Care Reform - ProCon.org

    And yet you call other people "idiots"?
    Your name Healthmyths says it all, you use myths to make your points.
     

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