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  #1  
Old 07-29-2009, 11:10 PM
Hilarity N. Suze Hilarity N. Suze is offline
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Here's what's wrong with health care: MRI for tennis elbow

Seriously.

I took my kid in for his pre-baseball physical. During the examination he mentioned that his elbow hurt. The doctor poked it, and then wrote up a referral for him to go to a sports medicine clinic.

Now so far, that sounded fine. I figured they would tell him to work on his form when throwing and hitting and maybe offer some other pointers other than what I know, which is to ice the elbow down after playing and maybe take an Advil.

But...no. The sports medicine people wrote up a referral for him to have an MRI.

Now at this point I pulled the plug. I care about my kid but--holy shit. An MRI is for sick people, not 13-year-olds with tennis elbow! I feel kind of stupid about following the referral to sports medicine in the first place.

After I said no way to the MRI, the imaging place called me. To make sure I understood what I was giving up. I asked them what an elbow MRI cost. $1465, of which my insurance would pay 85%. Or, if I wanted to self-pay, $460. (So in other words, they are taking advantage of third-party payors by upping the cost.)They thought (of course they did) he should go ahead with it, just to make sure he hadn't already damaged his cartilage.

Okay, I'm an old fart, but in my day doctors could figure out whether there was cartilage damage without an MRI. Even as recently as five years ago a physical therapist figured out how to fix my damaged rotator cuff without an MRI. Her attitude was, "We'll try this, if it doesn't work, then maybe you'll need an MRI to see if we need to go in there." That was back when I had no insurance. I supposed if I'd had insurance I would have gone to a doctor who said, "MRI first, then treatment." Which just seems backwards.

I guess I am a mean and heartless person but my take is that if baseball continues to make his elbow hurt, despite ice and ibuprofen, he should give up baseball.
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  #2  
Old 07-29-2009, 11:30 PM
congodwarf congodwarf is offline
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K, I just had surgery for tennis elbow and no one had to do an MRI first.
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  #3  
Old 07-29-2009, 11:59 PM
Hilarity N. Suze Hilarity N. Suze is offline
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I knew it. All they wanted to do was extract $$$. From the insurance co. and from me.
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  #4  
Old 07-30-2009, 12:42 AM
Gatopescado Gatopescado is offline
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Reminds me of the punchline of a good joke....

"And if you stopped jerkin' off so much, you wouldn't have 'Tennis Elbow'!"
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  #5  
Old 07-30-2009, 02:02 AM
congodwarf congodwarf is offline
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Originally Posted by Gatopescado View Post
"And if you stopped jerkin' off so much, you wouldn't have 'Tennis Elbow'!"
LOL. My sister has calcified tendinitis in her shoulder and people at work keep telling her to stop jerking off her boyfriend and it would go away.
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  #6  
Old 07-30-2009, 03:06 AM
Lynn Bodoni Lynn Bodoni is offline
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After I said no way to the MRI, the imaging place called me. To make sure I understood what I was giving up. I asked them what an elbow MRI cost. $1465, of which my insurance would pay 85%. Or, if I wanted to self-pay, $460. (So in other words, they are taking advantage of third-party payors by upping the cost.)They thought (of course they did) he should go ahead with it, just to make sure he hadn't already damaged his cartilage.
Partly this is defensive medicine, but I think that most of it is sheer greed. A lot of people WILL get this done if it's suggested, and especially if it's pushed.

And yes, they are definitely taking advantage of the insurance companies.
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  #7  
Old 07-30-2009, 05:22 AM
Ferret Herder Ferret Herder is offline
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Originally Posted by Lynn Bodoni View Post
And yes, they are definitely taking advantage of the insurance companies.
Insurance companies know this is going on. They regularly negotiate rates with hospitals and will not uncommonly refuse to cover a particular hospital or group if they can't come to an equitable agreement. One year I had to change insurance away from a major group that most people would recognize because they couldn't reach an agreement with the hospital I work at, until about a year later.

A lot of places (where I work included) will cut fees for self-pay people out of humanitarian reasons/due to their non-profit status, and may end up cutting fees further or writing off other bills.
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  #8  
Old 07-30-2009, 07:10 AM
lieu lieu is offline
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Originally Posted by congodwarf View Post
I just had surgery for tennis elbow and no one had to do an MRI first.
Steroid injection for me.
"Where does it hurt?"
"Here."
"You're done. Next!"

Quick, effective, and cheap. Granted, there obviously are different levels of injury and perhaps kids should not be given a steroid but the point being thank goodness there are doctors out there that don't try and game the system.
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  #9  
Old 07-30-2009, 08:00 AM
Zsofia Zsofia is offline
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I went in to an orthopedic clinic with a sprained ankle and suspected tendon damage. The doctor had me get an MRI because I run and he wanted to make sure my marathon training wasn't delayed. It turned out to everybody's suprise to be a stress fracture. <shrug>
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  #10  
Old 07-30-2009, 09:54 AM
Crawlspace Crawlspace is online now
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Did your son's doctor actually say, "I think it's tennis elbow, let's do an MRI," or are you presuming it's a simple case of tennis elbow and therefore the MRI is unnecessary? Did you ask him why he wanted to do the MRI? Is there any possibility of a ligament tear?

Indeed, part of the problem in health care is over use of diagnostic tests. Another part is ignoring small problems that then turn into big problems.
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  #11  
Old 07-30-2009, 09:59 AM
AuntiePam AuntiePam is offline
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Originally Posted by Ferret Herder View Post
A lot of places (where I work included) will cut fees for self-pay people out of humanitarian reasons/due to their non-profit status, and may end up cutting fees further or writing off other bills.
Yep. I don't have insurance. My clinic gives me a 30% discount for same-day payment. When I had my gall bladder out, the hospital bill was discounted 20%. The clinic offered the discount as soon as they learned I had no coverage, but I had to ask the hospital.

But still, $11K for a simple same-day cholecystectomy? The elastic leggings were $85. I looked for an Armani logo.
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  #12  
Old 07-30-2009, 10:23 AM
running coach running coach is online now
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Soft tissues don't show up well on x-rays. Diagnosing soft tissue injuries are more easily done by MRI. You are dealing with a 13 year old and his growth rate. The Dr. may want to make sure it's only tennis elbow and not worse damage.

My example of some waste.
After my accident, I had a wheelchair. My insurance was renting it for $95 per month for a planned term of 18 months. The chair retails for $325.
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  #13  
Old 07-30-2009, 01:15 PM
congodwarf congodwarf is offline
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Originally Posted by lieu View Post
Steroid injection for me.
"Where does it hurt?"
"Here."
"You're done. Next!"

Quick, effective, and cheap. Granted, there obviously are different levels of injury and perhaps kids should not be given a steroid but the point being thank goodness there are doctors out there that don't try and game the system.
For me it was cortisone, cortisone, you need surgery, cortisone, cortisone, you really should have surgery we can't give you any more cortisone, surgery.
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  #14  
Old 07-30-2009, 01:41 PM
Procrustus Procrustus is offline
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Originally Posted by Crawlspace View Post
Did your son's doctor actually say, "I think it's tennis elbow, let's do an MRI," or are you presuming it's a simple case of tennis elbow and therefore the MRI is unnecessary? Did you ask him why he wanted to do the MRI? Is there any possibility of a ligament tear?

Indeed, part of the problem in health care is over use of diagnostic tests. Another part is ignoring small problems that then turn into big problems.
An MRI costs the imaging company very little to run. The machine, however, costs very much, whether you use it or not. If MORE people would get MRI's, the per patient fee could be much lower. So, perhaps one problem with health care is the under use of diagnostic tests.
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  #15  
Old 07-30-2009, 01:54 PM
filling_pages filling_pages is offline
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Doctors (and my parents) have been telling my kid sister for years that her knees hurt because she's 6 feet tall and active. She got an MRI the other day, turns out she's needed surgery all along, and now there's some pretty extensive damage.
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  #16  
Old 07-30-2009, 01:55 PM
Marley23 Marley23 is offline
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Originally Posted by Procrustus View Post
So, perhaps one problem with health care is the under use of diagnostic tests.
Only with exceedingly warped logic does this make sense: you'd have more people taking unnecessary MRIs, and thus wasting money, while the smaller number of people who need the MRIs would save money. And the "very little" it costs to perform the test would go up.
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  #17  
Old 07-30-2009, 02:02 PM
Procrustus Procrustus is offline
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Originally Posted by Marley23 View Post
Only with exceedingly warped logic does this make sense: you'd have more people taking unnecessary MRIs, and thus wasting money, while the smaller number of people who need the MRIs would save money. And the "very little" it costs to perform the test would go up.
I'm not sure it's "exceedingly warped." maybe a little warped. Here's the point. The machines probably cost millions. Say 100 people per month get an MRI, and they each pay $1000. say the cost to run the MRI for 20 minutes is $20 dollars (plus the technician. The technician is there all day anyway, the $20 is insignificant. If 400 people per month used the machine you could cut the cost to $250 per patient and pay off the cost of the investment just as fast.

I don't advocate "unnecessary" MRI's, but let's use them for any indication (assuming we're willing to cut the fee)
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  #18  
Old 07-30-2009, 02:30 PM
Crawlspace Crawlspace is online now
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Originally Posted by Procrustus View Post
I'm not sure it's "exceedingly warped." maybe a little warped. Here's the point. The machines probably cost millions. Say 100 people per month get an MRI, and they each pay $1000. say the cost to run the MRI for 20 minutes is $20 dollars (plus the technician. The technician is there all day anyway, the $20 is insignificant. If 400 people per month used the machine you could cut the cost to $250 per patient and pay off the cost of the investment just as fast.

I don't advocate "unnecessary" MRI's, but let's use them for any indication (assuming we're willing to cut the fee)
There are three problems here: first, you're leaving out the cost of maintenance which is on the order of $1million a year (something about needing special liquids to cool the magnets, a cost I assume that goes up with usage). Second, you're assuming that capacity could just be quadrupled when there is a definite upper limit to the amount an MRI can be used (if for no other reason than they take 30-90 minutes to perform). Third, it leaves out the fee paid to the radiologist, which can be considerable.

Last edited by Crawlspace; 07-30-2009 at 02:31 PM..
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  #19  
Old 07-30-2009, 02:34 PM
Procrustus Procrustus is offline
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put the radiologist on salary. Your other points seem valid.
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  #20  
Old 07-30-2009, 02:39 PM
Marley23 Marley23 is offline
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Originally Posted by Procrustus View Post
I'm not sure it's "exceedingly warped." maybe a little warped. Here's the point. The machines probably cost millions. Say 100 people per month get an MRI, and they each pay $1000. say the cost to run the MRI for 20 minutes is $20 dollars (plus the technician. The technician is there all day anyway, the $20 is insignificant. If 400 people per month used the machine you could cut the cost to $250 per patient and pay off the cost of the investment just as fast.

I don't advocate "unnecessary" MRI's, but let's use them for any indication (assuming we're willing to cut the fee)
Paying off the cost of the investment in the MRI machine is not my primary concern. I'm more concerned with maximizing the correct use of the MRI and minimizing unnecessary scans, which waste the patient's time and the patient and insurer and clinic's money.
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  #21  
Old 07-30-2009, 02:53 PM
Procrustus Procrustus is offline
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I understand, but if these machines are used less, someone is going to have to pay a heck of a lot more per scan.
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  #22  
Old 07-30-2009, 03:04 PM
Raygun99 Raygun99 is offline
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Originally Posted by Procrustus View Post
An MRI costs the imaging company very little to run. The machine, however, costs very much, whether you use it or not. If MORE people would get MRI's, the per patient fee could be much lower. So, perhaps one problem with health care is the under use of diagnostic tests.
This isn't quite the Broken Windows theory of economics as applied to health care, but it's quite close.
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  #23  
Old 07-30-2009, 03:18 PM
Dewey Finn Dewey Finn is offline
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A related problem is that MRI machines may be too widespread. If there are five hospitals in town, do each of them need an MRI machine, or can some of them share? (And then there are the MRI machines in radiology clinics not associated with an individual hospital, or even in a medical clinic.) So the doctors at each of those hospitals is encouraged to prescribe enough MRI scans to amortize the cost.

Instead, there needs to be some sort of coordination and perhaps a governing body that decides whether such an expensive machine should be purchased. I know that the State of New York created a commission to decide which hospitals should be made redundant.
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  #24  
Old 07-30-2009, 03:21 PM
athelas athelas is offline
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Originally Posted by Hilarity N. Suze View Post
I asked them what an elbow MRI cost. $1465, of which my insurance would pay 85%. Or, if I wanted to self-pay, $460. (So in other words, they are taking advantage of third-party payors by upping the cost.)
That is the problem - third-party payors mean that the consumer has no reason to try to contain costs. Needless to say no serious politician has proposed changing this, though McCain at least tried to remove subsidies for third-party payors.
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  #25  
Old 07-30-2009, 03:27 PM
TJVM TJVM is offline
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Originally Posted by Procrustus View Post
I'm not sure it's "exceedingly warped." maybe a little warped. Here's the point. The machines probably cost millions. Say 100 people per month get an MRI, and they each pay $1000. say the cost to run the MRI for 20 minutes is $20 dollars (plus the technician. The technician is there all day anyway, the $20 is insignificant. If 400 people per month used the machine you could cut the cost to $250 per patient and pay off the cost of the investment just as fast.
If the problem is that MRI machines are being underused, the best solution is to have fewer MRI machines, not to perform more scans just so your numbers match up to your financial model. In the short run you may be stuck with what you have, but in the long run, providers should only buy another MRI machine if they need to do enough (legitimate) scans to make it worthwhile.

I do understand your point, and I think it's a factor in overcare/overbilling. Once a provider has paid the large up-front cost for the machine, they have an incentive to use it as much as possible, first to pay for it, and then, once it's paid for, to make a profit on it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by filling_pages
Doctors (and my parents) have been telling my kid sister for years that her knees hurt because she's 6 feet tall and active. She got an MRI the other day, turns out she's needed surgery all along, and now there's some pretty extensive damage.
I think the OP and this story, together, highlight the problem. If the insurance company pays for whatever services providers want to perform, costs get inflated by unnecessary care. If the insurance company says no, you get horror stories about how Little Timmy is suffering because the big bad insurance company won't pay for his surgery. It's hard to come up with a system that pays for what's needed, but not more, in light of everyone's economic incentives.
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  #26  
Old 07-30-2009, 03:35 PM
MsWhatsit MsWhatsit is offline
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You know, a friend of mine has been dealing with tennis elbow for several months now, and has found that it really limits her mobility with that elbow. It seems to have caused her a lot of pain and has kept her from doing some things that she wants to do. I'm not saying the OP's kid necessarily needed an MRI, but canceling all further treatment because she's irked that they suggested an MRI seems a bit drastic.
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  #27  
Old 07-30-2009, 04:02 PM
Hilarity N. Suze Hilarity N. Suze is offline
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Originally Posted by Zsofia View Post
I went in to an orthopedic clinic with a sprained ankle and suspected tendon damage. The doctor had me get an MRI because I run and he wanted to make sure my marathon training wasn't delayed. It turned out to everybody's suprise to be a stress fracture. <shrug>
Sheesh, they did an MRI before they did an x-ray?
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  #28  
Old 07-30-2009, 04:04 PM
Hilarity N. Suze Hilarity N. Suze is offline
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You know, a friend of mine has been dealing with tennis elbow for several months now, and has found that it really limits her mobility with that elbow. It seems to have caused her a lot of pain and has kept her from doing some things that she wants to do. I'm not saying the OP's kid necessarily needed an MRI, but canceling all further treatment because she's irked that they suggested an MRI seems a bit drastic.
I'm not canceling all further treatment. Baseball season is now over, he's still playing tennis/taking lessons, but less frequently, and the pain is gone. If it comes back, we'll revisit the situation.
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  #29  
Old 07-30-2009, 04:08 PM
MsWhatsit MsWhatsit is offline
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Ah, I gotcha. Makes sense.
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  #30  
Old 07-30-2009, 04:27 PM
scr4 scr4 is offline
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Originally Posted by Hilarity N. Suze View Post
Sheesh, they did an MRI before they did an x-ray?
Why would they do an X-ray for suspected tendon damage?
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  #31  
Old 07-30-2009, 05:12 PM
Astroboy14 Astroboy14 is offline
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Originally Posted by lieu View Post
Steroid injection for me.
"Where does it hurt?"
"Here."
"You're done. Next!"

Quick, effective, and cheap. Granted, there obviously are different levels of injury and perhaps kids should not be given a steroid but the point being thank goodness there are doctors out there that don't try and game the system.
Here's another thing wrong with our system in the US.

When I went to the doctor for tennis elbow, he gave me a cortisone shot... pain gone!

It came back 6 months later. Back to the doctor... cortisone shot. Pain gone.

It came back 6 months later. Back to the doctor... cortisone shot. Pain gone.

Moved to South Korea.

Tennis elbow came back, so I went to the doctor and asked for a cortisone shot. He said, "What for? Do this!" and demonstrated a couple of stretches to do. A week later the pain was gone and didn't come back for about a decade (couple of months ago)... so I did the stretches he showed me again and the pain is gone.

We're too hung up on immediate gratification here, IMO.

Last edited by Astroboy14; 07-30-2009 at 05:13 PM.. Reason: Not speel so gud
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  #32  
Old 07-30-2009, 08:28 PM
Hilarity N. Suze Hilarity N. Suze is offline
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Why would they do an X-ray for suspected tendon damage?
Every time I've had a suspected sprained ankle they've done an x-ray. Every time one of my kids has had a suspected sprained ankle they've done an x-ray. They did an x-ray on the kid with tennis elbow!
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  #33  
Old 07-30-2009, 10:44 PM
Zsofia Zsofia is offline
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Why would they do an X-ray for suspected tendon damage?
They did an x-ray. The stress fracture didn't show on it - I've since read that that's relatively common.

ETA - specifically, they did an x-ray to rule out a stress fracture, amusingly enough. The doctor was surprised as hell, because I didn't fall or have any kind of twisting injury. The physical therapist said it made total sense after he saw how completely fucked up I am from the waist down, biomechanically speaking.

Last edited by Zsofia; 07-30-2009 at 10:45 PM..
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  #34  
Old 07-31-2009, 07:02 AM
MsRobyn MsRobyn is offline
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Originally Posted by Procrustus View Post
put the radiologist on salary. Your other points seem valid.
Radiologists generally aren't hospital employees; they're in private practice and under contract to the hospital.
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  #35  
Old 07-31-2009, 09:55 AM
Swallowed My Cellphone Swallowed My Cellphone is offline
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Geez, when I was a kid, I screw up a kick playing soccer during gym class. The pain in my knee was so severe, if my eyes had been closed and you'd asked me what happened I would have said "I think my leg got torn off at the knee."

Ice and rest is all I got from the MD.

Ditto the tennis elbow from screwing up my strokes learning to play squash when I was 12. Rest, then when it healed up and didn't hurt anymore, someone showed me how to swing my racket properly.

I can't imagine anyone sending me for an MRI back then. It was always "Rest it, and then we'll see."
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  #36  
Old 07-31-2009, 10:00 AM
Zsofia Zsofia is offline
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Originally Posted by Swallowed My Cellphone View Post
Geez, when I was a kid, I screw up a kick playing soccer during gym class. The pain in my knee was so severe, if my eyes had been closed and you'd asked me what happened I would have said "I think my leg got torn off at the knee."

Ice and rest is all I got from the MD.

Ditto the tennis elbow from screwing up my strokes learning to play squash when I was 12. Rest, then when it healed up and didn't hurt anymore, someone showed me how to swing my racket properly.

I can't imagine anyone sending me for an MRI back then. It was always "Rest it, and then we'll see."
Well, generally people end up at the orthopedic clinic because they've been resting it, icing it, compressing it, and elevating it, and it's been two weeks and it still hurts.
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  #37  
Old 07-31-2009, 08:47 PM
Green Bean Green Bean is offline
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There are three problems here: first, you're leaving out the cost of maintenance which is on the order of $1million a year (something about needing special liquids to cool the magnets, a cost I assume that goes up with usage).
They're cooled with liquid helium--very expensive to obtain, transport, and handle.
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  #38  
Old 07-31-2009, 09:04 PM
Ferret Herder Ferret Herder is offline
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Originally Posted by Zsofia View Post
They did an x-ray. The stress fracture didn't show on it - I've since read that that's relatively common.

ETA - specifically, they did an x-ray to rule out a stress fracture, amusingly enough. The doctor was surprised as hell, because I didn't fall or have any kind of twisting injury. The physical therapist said it made total sense after he saw how completely fucked up I am from the waist down, biomechanically speaking.
X-rays can be "wrong" even when they do show a break. In the ER and at the first visit to the orthopedist, my wrist break showed as straight across, immediately before the "knob" at the end of the radius. My orthopedist said normal OTC pain meds (Aleve) should take care of any pain.

Three weeks later, I come in for follow-up x-rays. Cast gets cut off, x-rays done, doctor looks at x-rays then walks into the room: "That's still bothering you." That statement was made without getting any report from me - and yes, it throbbed like hell at the end of each day. I was using that hand to write and type, as allowed by him. He showed me the new X-ray - the break actually went up the bone and came out the end of it, such that the broken ends of the bone had been rubbed against by my wrist bones that whole time. It healed properly. But two sets of x-rays didn't show the actual configuration until it was well into the process of healing.
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  #39  
Old 02-26-2011, 02:12 AM
Hilarity N. Suze Hilarity N. Suze is offline
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I am reopening this zombie thread to report that I just got the bill for the x-ray that they did right before they recommended the MRI.

That's right. I JUST got the bill. Today. The only bill I've seen for the x-ray. The x-ray performed on 7-21-09.

I and my insurance company paid the charges for the office visit, whatever they were, at the time, I think it was a $25 copay. Since I never got any other bills, I assumed the x-ray was part of the office visit, as I've had doctors who do it that way.

But no. They're just...very very slow. I guess their billing department is overwhelmed. Understaffed, or something.

It took me fifteen minutes to figure out what it was for. I honestly thought at first it was a case of somebody stealing my identity. Then my brain finally processed the date.

Last edited by Hilarity N. Suze; 02-26-2011 at 02:13 AM..
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  #40  
Old 02-26-2011, 03:49 AM
Markxxx Markxxx is offline
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Originally Posted by Lynn Bodoni View Post
Partly this is defensive medicine, but I think that most of it is sheer greed. A lot of people WILL get this done if it's suggested, and especially if it's pushed.

And yes, they are definitely taking advantage of the insurance companies.
I agree with this. Too many people will turn around and sue, if something bad did show up. We'd have a thread on how awful the doctor was for not wanting an MRI.
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  #41  
Old 02-26-2011, 04:40 AM
bengangmo bengangmo is offline
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Yep. I don't have insurance. My clinic gives me a 30% discount for same-day payment. When I had my gall bladder out, the hospital bill was discounted 20%. The clinic offered the discount as soon as they learned I had no coverage, but I had to ask the hospital.

But still, $11K for a simple same-day cholecystectomy? The elastic leggings were $85. I looked for an Armani logo.
heh...if I am remembering correctly, my wifes C-section and ante natal care came to about $11k TOTAL
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  #42  
Old 02-26-2011, 05:13 AM
aruvqan aruvqan is offline
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heh...if I am remembering correctly, my wifes C-section and ante natal care came to about $11k TOTAL
Last August I had a da Vinci hysterectomy and the entire kick - operation, anesthetist, path lab for the tumor, assorted meds and an overnight stay was $10k, and Yale-New Haven is not a cheap hospital. I had already hit my catastrophic cap for the year so it didn't actually cost me anything.
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  #43  
Old 02-27-2011, 05:38 AM
BigT BigT is offline
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I've always been told that they gouge the insurance companies because, in other places, the insurance company stiffs them. In fact, every place I've ever been, the non-insured rate has been higher, not lower, to the point where I've negotiated with some doctors to get the lower rates. And to the point where many doctors I know won't accept stuff like medicaid.
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  #44  
Old 02-28-2011, 09:33 AM
MsRobyn MsRobyn is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hilarity N. Suze View Post
Every time I've had a suspected sprained ankle they've done an x-ray. Every time one of my kids has had a suspected sprained ankle they've done an x-ray. They did an x-ray on the kid with tennis elbow!
When they do an X-ray for a sprained ankle, they're not looking to assess the soft-tissue damage because they can't see that on an x-ray. They're looking for a fracture. If there is no fracture, they treat you for a sprain. If the pain doesn't go away after about a week of rest and Advil, they go looking for more severe damage, which is best seen on an MRI. The right tools for the job, and all that.
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Old 02-28-2011, 11:02 AM
RealityChuck RealityChuck is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hilarity N. Suze View Post
I knew it. All they wanted to do was extract $$$. From the insurance co. and from me.
Did the doctor have a financial interest in the MRI imaging place? It's common enough.

A simple fix would be to make it illegal for a doctor to refer you to to a facility in which he has a financial interest. At the very least, he would have to reveal that to you.
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  #46  
Old 02-28-2011, 12:26 PM
gonzomax gonzomax is offline
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Our medical system pays doctors for procedures ,not results. The more stuff they do, the more money they make. Lots of doctors own or invest in the imaging and testing companies they use. It is a terrible way to run a medical system.
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  #47  
Old 02-28-2011, 01:24 PM
Philster Philster is offline
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MRIs are like candy where I work. If I see one more MRI referral/note for time missed from work... well... I will need an MRI for when my brain starts imploding.
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  #48  
Old 02-28-2011, 06:37 PM
clairobscur clairobscur is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Procrustus View Post
An MRI costs the imaging company very little to run. The machine, however, costs very much, whether you use it or not. If MORE people would get MRI's, the per patient fee could be much lower. So, perhaps one problem with health care is the under use of diagnostic tests.

Or perhaps a too large number of those instruments. At least, I've seen it mentioned as one of the many causes of the high level of medical expenses in the USA (hospitals recouping the costs of pricey medical apparatus by recommending their use when it isn't necessary).
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  #49  
Old 02-28-2011, 07:59 PM
Rumor_Watkins Rumor_Watkins is offline
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Frankly, I was surprised it took 6 posts to blame the lawyers here
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  #50  
Old 02-28-2011, 08:08 PM
Eva Luna Eva Luna is offline
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Location: Chicago-ish, IL
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Funny, my doctor diagnosed tennis elbow via a 5-minute conversation and a physical exam of my arm; no tools or machinery involved at all. Eyes, ears, and anti-inflammatories - all very handy things.
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