The Problems with Hospitals and the US Medical System

I am drafting this blog while in a hospital feeling frustrated and angry. I am attending to my mom who needs a back surgery. And as part of the condition she needs to do pre-testing admission. While I understand the precautions that needs to be taken but the test and procedures that my mom has to go through are not necessary.

Before I deep dive into the test she has to go through, I want to point out that hospital is a terrible place to be in. Not because it houses sick people but the amount of time wasted in a hospital is unnecessary. This visit alone took us over 2 hours to complete. I remember I brought my son to the emergency room at a pediatrician hospital for food poisoning. A simple visit took us over 6 hours. I recall seeing a boy entering the emergency room before us due to injury sustain playing sport. 6 hours later, the boy was still on a stretcher in the hallway of the emergency room.

Fast forwarding to this visit with my mom. We were brought in a waiting room with just 3 patients. We have to wait for an hour before we were even brought in to get the test done, and it was also due to my mom complained to one of the nurses.

Once we brought in to one of the test room, we were asked a lot of questions of her visit. Everything is recorded in the computer. My mom’s condition and diagnosis are clearly written on the computer and they were recent too. She was admitted to the hospital last year and had every test done. She went to the hospital and saw two specialists and had several tests done, including multiple blood tests. For this visit, she had to do another blood work and EKG tests.

The most ridiculous part of the entire visit was we need to go through everything again with the resident nurse. Not only she was useless, she asked us the same questions again and again when everything is clearly written in my mom’s medical record. To make herself useful, the nurse recorded her notes on the computer for no apparent reason. This meeting alone wasted us half an hour with no benefits.

Hospital is abusing the medical system by having patients going through unnecessarily tests and charge all these costs to the insurance companies. For example, when my mom was hospitalized last year the bill came up to 70 thousand dollars charged to medicare. She was also hospitalized once about 10 years ago because she passed out unexpectedly. The hospital bill came out to almost 100 thousand dollars paid by Uncle Sam. When my eldest son was born 20 years ago, we received a bill for 12 thousand dollars paid by my company’s health insurance. The bill was 16 thousand dollars when my second son was born. The final bill of 26 thousand dollars when my daughter was born 14 years ago.

A lot of hospitals today are for profit and are owned by large corporations. It is well known that US medical system is perhaps the worst in the world because it is being abused by these corporations. At the end we consumers have to foot the bill. There are discussions for years to reign in these medical costs but as far as I know nothing has been done.

This is my of venting my anger. I believe most of us have to deal with hospitals one way or another and I’m sure some of us have trouble with hospital billing. Feel free to vent your anger if you believe my points above are accurate.

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