Out-of-Pockets: What They Really Mean | Robert Nelson, MD | LinkedIn

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Some things are so familiar or so close to “us” that we don’t see them for what they really are.  Take the case of the famous vision impaired artist depicted above, Claude Rhinoir.  His tendency to misinterpret his surroundings is a result of his inability to correctly identify something that he lives with everyday.

Such it is with our healthcare landscape, being littered for decades with misplaced oddities such that we don’t even notice them anymore, let alone question their purpose.

And here is the lesson that Claude’s repeated misinterpretation should teach us: Please understand that the concept of “out-of-pocket” expenditures in healthcare is an anomaly caused by our bizarre third-party payment system in healthcare; we call this the billing cycle and it is unique to healthcare financing. Yes they are real, just like Claude’s horn, but completely unnecessary in the picture.  And these out-of-pocket costs are grossly inflated, being based on inflated billed charges to begin with; nor would they even exits in most cases if not for the intrusion of third-party payers into the arena of routine healthcare.

Read the entire article at Out-of-Pockets: What They Really Mean | Robert Nelson, MD | LinkedIn.