Archive for June, 2009

A personal note on healthcare costs

June 30, 2009

A little over a year ago, I felt very mild chest pains.  At the time, the issue is whether I should have it checked out or not.  I was advised to go to MGH Emergency.   Eighteen hours later and after $7,000 of medical expenses incurred (paid by my insurance), I was released.  They had found nothing wrong.  However, they told me that their “heart stress test” had not been sufficiently rigorous and advised me to have another at another large cost.  I did take a second test, and nothing wrong was found.

I was pleased that I received such good and thorough attention, but it suggested to me that our health care system is out of control.  It was a close call as to whether I was going to have it checked out.  This would have led to a cost of $0.   Having it checked out cost more than $7,000.  Shouldn’t there have been something in between, something that involved one or two tests only, followed by monitoring of the situation?  I know that if I had been required to pay for 10% of the costs, I would not have requested this first class treatment.

I don’t know what the solution is.  But it appears to me that healthcare costs are out of control, and they are only going to get worse.