Mr. Crankypants is seriously impressed by the brazenness of the health care industry. Dan, Mr. C.’s stupid alter ego, went into the hospital back in August. A few days ago, Dan got a statement from the San Mateo Medical Center. The hospital charged Dan’s insurance company more than $10,000 for a 24 hour stay. The insurance company, Blue Cross Blue Shield, decided that they would reimburse all but $546 of that amount. Dan now owes the San Mateo Medical Center $546.
So where does the $546 come from? Of course they didn’t tell Dan what that money paid for. The statement Dan received does not tell what that $10,000 went towards, nor does it tell what the insurance company refused to reimburse the hospital for.
Mr. Crankypants has got it all figured out. The hospital and the insurance company have figured out how much they can nick people for before they start to get complaints. You stay in the hospital for a day, they figure they can nick you for about half a grand. Oh, sure, if Dan were to ask them what that $546 went to pay for, they would
make something up provide documentation listing all the charges, and they’d show that the insurance company refused to reimburse a few dollars here, a few dollars there — nothing that you could really complain about. And besides, Dan was in the hospital, right? He can’t deny that he got the treatment, right? (Of course he can’t deny he got the treatment, they kept him drugged up most of the time so he has very little idea what they did to him.) So Dan, being essentially stupid and good-natured, will pay up.
Mr. Crankypants, being essentially evil and mean-spirited, is in awe at the techniques of the hospitals and insurances companies. This takes greed to a whole new level. Yes, Mr. Crankypants is in awe.