Friday, June 13, 2014

Health Care Costs Gone Wild
Yet again I am amazed by the unscrupulous hubris of the US medical industry. On May 12th I went into a local dermatologist's office in MD to have a wart removed.

The procedure was exceedingly simple and took no more than 20 minutes.  It involved the doctor using a disposable scalpel to remove a tiny layer of dead skin (next to impossible to imagine any risk to this procedure) followed by occasional and sporadic blasts of liquid nitrogen on the spot where the wart was located (once again a procedure which it is hard to imagine screwing up).

I walked out of the office shaking my head wondering why anybody with more than a high school diploma need be employed to care for such routine operations (let alone a MD). 

But here comes the punch line...

One month later I receive in the mail the bill for which the doctor actually charged the insurance company.  If you can believe it...

Five hundred dollars.

For a 20 minute procedure that could have been done by a well trained monkey!

This kind of anecdotal billing evidence supports the general and massive upward trend in per capita expenses on health care that have been observed over the last two decades.

Using WB(average of percent change) inflation numbers and WHO per capita expenses on health care in the US, the expenses per year rise in health care costs are 3% higher on average over the last decade than that of the inflation rate which means over a 20 year spectrum we can expect the same procedure to cost in real dollars 1.82 times more than it does today or in nominal dollars 2.93 times what it does today.

Well this is probably more of a rant than I think most readers are comfortable with.  I feel however it is an appropriate follow up to a previous post I put out a couple of years ago.