Unknown Unknowns #21 - Human Connection
2 min read

Unknown Unknowns #21 - Human Connection

I went to two weddings over the last two weekends.  Over the past 18 months, 99% of the people I've seen have been my wife and my family.  It's been good, I haven't felt lonely.  But the last two weekends showed me how much I actually craved human contact.  Everyone was in a good mood, conversations never felt stilted, everyone had the same goal: to connect.  

This Week:

I expanded more on my experience hiking up Mauna Kea.  I realized it's a tendency I have, to do things the hard way.

Something Interesting: Hospitals and Insurers Didn’t Want You to See These Prices. Here’s Why.

This is something that I've had a problem with for years.  In the US, you get medical care and then you get a bill months later.  You have no idea how much you owe until you get this bill.  The bill is only roughly itemized, making it hard to dispute.  

I went through this about six or seven years ago.  I went to have an annual physical at an urgent care facility (I went to an urgent care facility because I was tired of making an appointment and then waiting half an hour to see the doctor.  I didn't have to wait, but...).  While I was there, I asked the doctor if it would be worth seeing a specialist about a spot on my hand.  He said he could write me a referral if I wanted, and I said no.  Months later, I got a bill for hundreds of dollars, even though the annual physical was covered under my healthcare plan.  Furious, I called up my insurance provider and demanded an explanation.  They told me that since I had asked a question, it was no longer an annual physical but a consultation.  While an annual physical is fully covered by insurance,  a consultation is not.  "So the annual physical is only covered as long as I'm healthy and don't ask any questions?"  They wouldn't answer my question.  It took months for them to finally withdraw the charge.  

Healthcare is the only industry where you cannot get full pricing before you decide to purchase a good or service.  It's actually illegal not to provide the price.  Imagine going to a gas station, pumping ten gallons, and then finding out it's $5 a gallon and you owe 50 bucks.  You wouldn't even know if the guy across the street was cheaper!

The patient doesn't know how much anything costs, they pay an insurance company they have little choice in, the insurance company has little incentive to make sure the patient gets the proper care.  No wonder healthcare costs have exploded over the last fifty years.


Questions, suggestions, complaints?  Email me me at [email protected].  Feedback welcome.

If you enjoyed this newsletter, please share it with a friend or two.  And feel free to send anything you find interesting to me!

Have a great week,

Chris

Forwarded this message? Sign up to receive more here.