Monday, November 30, 2009

Medical Insurance World Gone Mad

I was catching up on some reading and ran across a very interesting article in the AARP magazine.  A woman has ALS and uses an iPod Touch that has an app (Proloquo2go) that can interpret her slurred speech.  Medicare will pay thousands of dollars for a device that will interpret her speech, but will not pay a couple of hundred for the iPod Touch which is compact and works just as well for the purpose.

Reason?  Medicare says it cannot cover the cost of iPods and other handheld devices because they are designed for the public and not for a specific medical purpose.  What an amazingly stupid reason!

Is Medicare afraid that along with using the iPod Touch for her infirmity, she might just use it to read a book, take notes, listen to music and keep track of her medication?  Heavens, she just might download a free app or two and play a game to while away the time. The medically approved (more expensive) device does only one thing.

Is Medicare afraid to save some money?

Here’s the URL for the full article -

Then, in this morning’s paper, I read an interesting letter to the editor.  It seems a woman went to her podiatrist to have a tiny spur on one of her toes removed.  Doctor said it would take 5 minutes.  BUT, first she had to

  • see a heart doctor and get an EKG
  • get a very detailed blood test
  • get a chest x-ray

3 separate doctors – thousands of dollars, paid by insurance – just for a 5-minute procedure?  How many of those kinds of procedures are done daily?  To the tune of what kind of money?

She decided to live with the spur.

I guess all those things have to be done that way – it’s called “covering your butt”.  Let’s see – I think we have the lawyers to thank for that …  Nothing funny, here.

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