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2019-09-16 07:00 by Karl Denninger
in Health Reform , 206 references Ignore this thread
How Is This Not Racketeering?
[Comments enabled]

C'mon folks, cut the crap.

Their money problems began when the University of Virginia Health System pursued the couple with a lawsuit and a lien on their home to recoup $164,000 in charges for Waldron’s emergency surgery in 2017.

The family has lots of company: Over six years ending in June 2018, the health system and its doctors sued former patients more than 36,000 times for over $106 million, seizing wages and bank accounts, putting liens on property and homes and forcing families into bankruptcy, a Kaiser Health News analysis has found.

The problem isn't that hospitals don't have a right to be paid for their work.

It's that they think they have a right to be paid 2, 3, 5 or even 10x as much if you don't have their "preferred" insurance plan and, in some cases, they affirmatively allow people not covered under such "insurance" to treat you when you're unable to choose to consent or not.

How is this sort of crap legal?  Refusing to give you a price up front and then charging you some multiple of the next guy over with the exact same problem simply because you didn't feed their favored monster first?

And let's not forget -- this is a taxpayer funded and state-supported institution -- not a "for-profit" company.

So it's the government itself that is screwing you after effectively extorting you to spend money on so-called "insurance."

There's no point in ever asking politely for a government or other agency -- private or not -- to quit hosing you.  Tyrants, no matter their form, only respond to a demand backed up with an effective "or else."

Well?

There are answers -- like here, for instance.

But until that sort of change is demanded, with an or else that is of at least equal threat to that posed by those who are engaged in this nonsense it is not going to go away.

I can only conclude that the American public likes the buttsexing that UVA and others impose on it.

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Tdurden
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36,000 lawsuits and did even one of the bar parasites retained by the defendants ever try to raise the anti trust argument?

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Flappingeagle
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I wonder if in the discovery phase if you could make the hospital show all of the different prices it has with the different insurance companies and any cash prices they may have.

Flap

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Tickerguy
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@Flappingeagle & @TDurden -- Of course they COULD but don't. Why not? Good question, and by the way, 99% of these people never show up and get a default judgement. If you DO fight it a good part of the time magically it gets repriced to at or near Medicare's charge.

And then you're "encouraged" to take it, of course, which closes the case and now there's no standing, so.... no record nor any case law.

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Flappingeagle
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Quote:
The $164,000 billed to Waldron for intestinal surgery was more than twice what a commercial insurer would have paid for her care, according to benefits firm WellRithms, which analyzed bills for Kaiser Health News using cost reports UVA files with the government. Charges on her bill included $2,000 for a $20 feeding tube.


I want to honestly admit that I did not carefully read the referenced article until after I made my first post.

That quote speaks for itself. The hospital is stealing from people and using the courts as dupes to help them do so. I have to wonder if a sharp lawyer could not take the info and ask the court to reduce the amount due by the amount that the hospital attempted to steal from the patient. In this case, that would wipe out the debt.

Flap

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Here are my predictions for everyone to see:
S&P 500 at 320, DOW at 2200, Gold $300/oz, and Corn $2/bu.
No sign that housing, equities, or farmland are in a bubble- Yellen 11/14/13
Trying to leave the Rat Race to the rats...
Rollformer
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You would think a lawyer could smell a class action out of this.
Tickerguy
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@Rollformer -- You'd think that attorneys actually worked for their clients.

You'd be wrong.

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Bodhi
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Attorneys work for themselves to run up the billable hours. Justice is not even a fleeting thought in their scheming minds.
Rollformer
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We're talking that some enterprising attorneys could end up with 30 or 40% of 15% of the economy...Or maybe they don't want to meet an untimely demise.
Rollformer
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And, if I recall correctly, this is a University that got caught with $2.3 billion dollars in available funds that the board and the legislature were unaware of. A slush fund, if you will.

Now, I guess we know where it came from.
Dmj625
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@Rollformer - I was recently thinking the same thing - that if Congress won't fix this mess, a Tobacco-style class-action lawsuit might.

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Peterm99
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Rollformer wrote..
. . . some enterprising attorneys could end up with 30 or 40% of 15% of the economy...Or maybe they don't want to meet an untimely demise.
I think this would be a major part of the best explanation of why nothing happens.

IF an attorney could succeed in such a case, it would be a huuuuuge payday. Of course, prosecutors at the fed or state levels have no such possibility of payoff to look forward to, and, since the med establishment is a cash cow for politicians everywhere, that is why few/no criminal prosecutions occur.

Even though an "untimely demise" might be a stretch (although given the money involved, it's certainly something that can't be entirely discounted), I'm sure that private attorneys realize that due to the influence that the med establishment has over the political/legal system and due to their extremely deep pockets that enable the med establishment to thwart and/or drag out the litigation for an extremely long time, the likelihood of a successful outcome to such a suit is low enough that it just isn't worth expending their own resources to pursue such a case on a contingency basis. However, any potential plaintiff with deep enough pockets of their own to hire an attorney on a fee plus % of the win basis probably wouldn't bat an eye at the size of an outrageously inflated medical bill and would not bother with such a suit.

Such is the nature of the US "justice" system. For all practical purposes, there is no way to obtain justice within the system unless one has lots of money to begin with.

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Jfms99
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The fraud is rampant all over.

My brother works for a hospital in security, last February he had his annual physical which is supposed to be covered by his insurance policy. Well a few days ago he get a bill for $1600 for his Lab work and his part to pay was over $734.

I told him his physical should have been covered and in any event his lab work should not even be close to $1600, more like $200 at the most. I told him to contest it and talk to the hospital HR on what his insurance covers.

I have a annual physical and have never been charged for having one as it's covered in my policy. I am going to have to check to see what was billed out so I can tell my brother. Now that bill he got is extortion.
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Alosix
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I've had a bit of a busy health year. Even when covered decently figuring out in and out of network beforehand has been a pain/impossibility. Last month I had surgery. Hospital stay and doc pre-approved through insurance. Only to find the daily lab work there to be out of network.

Out of network means no 'negotiated' price from what I can tell and since I haven't quite hit that deductible (which is significantly higher than the other one) its all out of pocket.


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Tickerguy
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@Alosix -
Quote:
Last month I had surgery. Hospital stay and doc pre-approved through insurance. Only to find the daily lab work there to be out of network.

Out of network means no 'negotiated' price from what I can tell and since I haven't quite hit that deductible (which is significantly higher than the other one) its all out of pocket.

But the hospital knew at the time and didn't tell you in advance.

How is that not racketeering and, by the way, why is it that nobody out of all the millions of people butt****ed exactly like this every year has decided to say "**** that ****" and spend their life in a fashion where they're pretty-much guaranteed to get a score greater than zero, with good odds of it being MUCH greater?

Why should anyone give a flying **** for anyone else when those who are DIRECTLY screwed in the ass like this take it lying down?

The only difference between******and sex is consent.

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Winding it down.

Curious1
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I would love for someone to tell me how much this institution has avoided in taxes over the past decade. For that matter can you tell us how much all nonprofit healthcare institutions have avoided in property in income taxes for the past decade? It amazes me that the government gives these guys nonprofit status. Over the past 10 to 20 years a massive amount of economic activity has moved from the taxable private sector into these nonprofit healthcare institutions. some states gripe about their pension obligation but they let these institutions off Scott free from taxation. I thought the tax exempt status was only for providing medical care for unmet needs. I was incorrect. The problem here is there are many private institutions that could provide the same service and they exist in the taxable world. For instance my clinic both in Oregon and now in Colorado. But the nonprofits get these tax breaks plus if it is hospital based they to get to charge Medicare three times what we as a private practice get to charge. It is no wonder that the vast majority of physicians are migrating into the hospital networks. This has the double hit of higher price healthcare And moving a lot of economic activity and assets from the taxable to the non-taxable sector. And trust me these institutions do not need the tax breaks. There was an article on zero hedge that you were two years ago that mentioned the amount of lost tax revenue by the government and it was in the tens of billions or hundreds of billions of dollars. No one talks about the lost tax revenue when they talk about the cost of healthcare. But much of what UVA and other nonprofits are doing used to be done in the taxable sector. Add up the cost of that lost tax revenue that you and I get to make up and it makes the current healthcare situation even more outrageous.
Bodhi
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Jfms99 wrote..
I told him his physical should have been covered and in any event his lab work should not even be close to $1600


I pay $200 cash for a full male panel of blood tests every year through Life Extension. The tests are done at a local LabCorp facility. I'd venture to guess that the same blood tests ordered by a doctor would be at least twice as much and my co-pay would be at least the same $200.
Flappingeagle
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Quote:
Only to find the daily lab work there to be out of network.


I don't know how to describe that one. That takes some balls? Those are some greedy ****ers?

The hospital is covered but the hospital's lab isn't. Wow.

Flap

----------
Here are my predictions for everyone to see:
S&P 500 at 320, DOW at 2200, Gold $300/oz, and Corn $2/bu.
No sign that housing, equities, or farmland are in a bubble- Yellen 11/14/13
Trying to leave the Rat Race to the rats...
Tickerguy
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Incept: 2007-06-26
A True American Patriot!
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@Flappingeagle -- and nobody has gone hunting for the hospital administrator.... think about that.

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Winding it down.
Eleua
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Question: How does a medical bill end up as a lien on the home? Isn't a lien something that has to be agreed to in advance? For home improvements, a contractor would have to pre-lien the title to ensure payment.

Can any debt collector lien a home? WTFO?

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-George Washington
Tickerguy
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@Eleua -- Yes they can, and do -- for any debt.

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Crossthread
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I remember "bill" I wasn't "supposed" too see, In excess of 350,000.00 north of that.. for a 3 day stay,, @ UNC-Chapel Hill..

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Cognitive Co-Dependency is when a normal rational person, internalizes irrational illogical presentations, and somehow reconciles them to fit their scripted indoctrination of logical analysis.
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