Posts Tagged - ‘surgery’

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Make Sure Your Health Insurance Covers Surgery

Wednesday, June 2nd, 2010

Image: schnaars under CC 3.0

As strange as it sounds, health insurance companies won’t automatically cover every surgery you undergo, even if it’s involuntary. That’s why you should do your research prior to entering the operating room.

For example, experimental treatments such as spinal fusion may not be covered. Purely cosmetic plastic surgery is usually not covered, even if a medical problem or accident caused the disfigurement.

In most cases, doctors and hospitals should know whether or not a procedure is covered, and if it needs pre-authorization under your health insurance plan. Just in case, it’s important to confirm that by checking with your insurer.

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Patients Stay In Hotels For Cheaper Health Care

Monday, May 10th, 2010

Image: kevindooley under CC 3.0)

Hospitalization tends to be very expensive. The cost is passed onto you through your health insurance premiums.

A new program in Boston is experimenting with different tactics. People with in-patient procedures and surgeries that are not critical are staying in nearby hotel or motel rooms, as opposed to limited hospital beds. Even though the pilot program involves a Hilton hotel instead of the local Super 8, it still saves 15-20% over recuperation in a hospital.

It’s probably cheaper–which is appealing to health insurance plans such as Blue Cross Blue Shield, who will often cover the combined cost–but is it safe? A nurse stays in the room next to the patient at all times.

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Uninsured? Don’t Get Surgery In A Home Office

Monday, May 3rd, 2010

Image: banjo_d under CC 3.0

Really, nobody–regardless of health insurance status–should undergo surgery inside a person’s home, but the uninsured may go to desperate measures.

A case in California makes this sad point: a man died after receiving a botched $3,000 gallbladder surgery. Although such actions are technically illegal, many doctors and nurses use local anesthesia to get around the laws. Don’t forget that quite a few of these providers aren’t even real physicians!

In most cases, patients should use a hospital when having major procedures. If there is cardiac arrest or another complication, they will be better equipped to deal with it. An individual health insurance policy will usually have a network of approved hospitals and reputable surgical centers, where you can get procedures done at a discount.

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Free Surgery For The Uninsured

Monday, March 8th, 2010

Image: SurgeryOnSunday.org

People who lack medical health insurance and are in need of surgery are in a major bind. Hospitals are less willing to offer charity care, due to their own budget struggles. In Kentucky, where one-third of working-age adults are uninsured, some doctors are working to change that.

Dr. Andrew Moore has launched an innovative program called SOS (Surgery on Sunday). Once a month, doctors, nurses, anesthesiologists, and others donate their time and skills to provide free outpatient surgeries to the needy. There is a waiting list, but the order is based on the urgency of patients’ needs.

Most of the people they treat earn too much to qualify for government-provided health insurance like Medicaid, but are unable to afford individual health insurance on the open market. Some have pre-existing conditions–largely exacerbated by lack of care and treatment–that would make a health insurance plan even more costly.

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