Sunday, March 30, 2008

Escalation of medical bills

Someone asked the question, "Why was the original estimate of $50,000 allowed to escalate to a bill of $150,000?

This is the real, commercial world. This is how some private sector doctors can make millions of dollars in income.

I have high respect for many doctors who earn a modest income and practice medicine in the best interest of their patients.


Anonymous said...

A patient may developed complication (more than one disease) or atttack by superbug during hospitalization.

Patient need more than one specialist ($300 per visit per doctor), more expensive medical equipment and more expensive drug. More days to stay in private hospital (Land Price: S$2k/psf) and finally more $$$ charged.

Such patient if transfered to restructure hospital, he/she is treated as "VIP" until a mean test is done and downgraded to subsidised patient (B2 & C).

One piece of medical equipment can easily cost S$1m and above. It can be used less than 7 years in a restructure hospital. How many piece of medical equipments are needed if complication?

Please get ready S$1m CASH ON HAND before admission to a private hospital !

Good Luck.

Unknown said...

Beware of potential complications :

A 'simple' colonoscopy may end up with perforation and laparatomy and ICU.
A 'simple' heart stent may end up with a stroke and ICU.

That's is when the bill goes up.

Anonymous said...

Mr Tan said "This is the real commercial world". In 2005, I did my figure and was shocked with the high construction cost of KK Hospital at S$300k per bed (NOT per room). It is about one unit of 4A (HDB Flat) resales price !

Anonymous said...

That's why after some years of practice, you can notice some doctors move out of subsidised/restructed hospitals and clinics to private practice.

There was a report that even a member of parliament almost fainted when he received the private hospital bill for his daughter's treatment. The concept of ROI is on the minds of many management even the hospital and clinic management.

Private hospitals and clinics are run like business corporations, and some are also listed publicly.

Anonymous said...

now that the SMA guidelines on fees have been withdrawn, docs can charge whatever they feel like. heard of a recent simple op case in Mt E costing $50K!

it is best to live healthy, eat healthy and have a trusted family doc, who are specialists in breadth of medicine (affordable) and hopefully avoid medical/surgical specialists care (very expensive, esp private ones) if one can help it.

Anonymous said...

One way to control costs is to also do your own research. Yes, you aren't a doctor, but you should be an informed consumer.

Or, you could be like me to save costs. I wanted an epidural for labour, but went too fast to get one and saved myself $900. But I don't recommend that. ;-)


Anonymous said...

Insurance agent need to survive, doctors need to make enough inorder to pay his own premiums.

If doctor don't make good money, how do you expect to live longer when sick?

The next time your car "langa" into the back of an old sports car, call Porsche, the driver is likely to be a doctor.

Can you not pay for his fees? He needs to survive.

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