WWL>Topics>>4-9-14 1:10pm Angela: on the cost of medical care

4-9-14 1:10pm Angela: on the cost of medical care

Apr 9, 2014|

Angela talks about the Affordable Care Act and the cost of medical care with Jane Cooper, CEO of national healthcare advocacy company Patient Care.

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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)

What a spectacular day I'm sure that you rode your bike to work today because that's what it's all about. I actually did see an awful lot of people on bikes today and they couldn't have asked for more glorious weather. And it's gonna hold its gonna hold during the entire French Quarter fast so hopefully major planned. Again we're going to be out there on Friday from one to four if you're in the area of Jackson square combines say hello. But it should be just tremendous tremendous response. I think we have a very interesting day today we're gonna start with something. Every single American wants to know more about the managed health care. Our second hour is going to be listening to two different groups talk about projects. That are being proposed in the area. And our third -- doctor -- bomb who's gonna talk about. What he always talks about which is a good thing SE next. So if you have any thoughts on sex third hours' time to call but if you arm. In anyway concerned about health care or have questions about health care we've got the lady here who can answer some questions. We've spent the last week or so hearing and reading about the number of people. Who signed up for insurance through the Affordable Care Act or Obama care. Whether it is enough to sustain the program we're gonna find out at some point. But the bigger issue according to our guest is whether you are newly insured or previously insured. At this point you're really on your own when it comes to health care. Jane Cooper is CEO of patient care company that started right here in New Orleans but had to move after Katrina. And now has returned to new world it's so we welcome you home and write off of that we're gonna ask you what do you mean were on our own. Angela it's a pleasure to be here and went on we say your on your -- it it really. Reference is the fact that most people that are now looking at the Affordable Care Act and a policy through that program. Have not had insurance for awhile. Or have had individual policies. Says they have not been insured through their employer and when you're insured through your company. Then you kind of have a safety net of of three sources. And information. To help you understand how to navigate through the system but when you are an individual policyholder and you buy your insurance as an individual. It's really you in the insurance company and with all due respect to our insurance company. Companies in this in this nation they aren't always there to help people at their time with me. Very succinctly put her so. I wanted to stop Obama here was sort of born out of trying to slow the ever growing increase the price an increase in health care. And to help the 17% of Americans who did not have health care and yet I understand that in the hole and these figures change all the time. That whether it's 678 million people who have signed up it. It's only affecting maybe 15% or 2% of that 17%. So there's still a great number of people out there who. Have not signed up who have not had -- need the insurance. Right to the numbers definitely are changing and -- are also reflective of the political party that's putting them hooked. But. One thing that. A lot of people don't understand is that Obama care really wasn't passed to control cost in fact it's really doing the opposite. It's hoping to increase cost. The access to care at the uninsured were the driving force behind that lobbying past but you are right. When it's all said and Don and this first enrollment period has -- completed. It's clear that a lot of people that don't have insurance. Didn't have insurance before still don't have insurance. And yet even in today's paper there was not an editorial talking about and I think this isn't another whole discussion -- as America as a country. Is health care a right. Or is it a privilege and this man is arguing. On a certain level. It is a right because we are compassionate -- patent. Nation but more importantly it's always existed but even before. Obama care or whatever. People who were ill went to an emergency room and as inefficient as that was and it's not cost effectiveness wise. They got help. You're absolutely right and I think one of the things that gets lost in the debate about Obama care and about health care in general. Is that there are really two components to office. There's the insurance which is the financing which is paying a premium. And having coverage for certain conditions. And treatments and then there's actually the health care. When you go to the doctor or we -- go to the hospital. Or when you go get a prescription failed. And on having insurance doesn't necessarily guarantee that you'll have healthcare. Because at the end of the day we selective doctors that are willing to see US patient so calm Obama care is really. Insurance reform it's really Health Care Reform. You know I've never heard like that but that's a very interesting statement. Even though you may have insurance you may not get healthcare right what are you scene to make a statement. Well one of the things that the individuals who have signed up for Obama care or individuals who have had coverage as individuals for a long time. Always have to look at is then network that doctors and hospitals that have contracted. With the insurance company to be available to down. As policyholders. In order to get the best benefits and on in New Orleans it's been interesting I've -- in health care in New Orleans since the mid eighties. You know Katrina was a very disruptive force for us here in Marlins because. All of a sudden hospitals that we were used to going to weren't open anymore and the doctors that we are used to going to -- -- anymore. But in most parts of the country. People have had access to every doctor in every hospital through their insurance company network. Well under Obama care a lot of those policies. Don't have a lot of doctors or hospitals signed up. Now that means you can still go and see them but you may have to pay a lot more out of your pocket in order to do that so it goes back to that cost issue. Bomb that newly insured people may not understand. That your policy cover certain things at certain providers not everything. At every -- after. Having had a history pad of working in health care exit from the eighties. Sort of where do we get off track where all of a sudden these. Explosive prices and limitations on who you could see it used to being an you know guy used to being Angela. But he used to be get sick you've found your doctor you went to the -- right -- bill by the doctor if you went to the hospital hopefully have insurance but. All of a sudden it's the PPO which HMO it's confusing. Ironically. One of the reasons that cost got to be as high as they are -- continue to rise is the insurance policies that were so old. In the seventies and eighties. And I am at that time HMOs were a growing type of insurance and they covered everything every procedure that you needed. Pretty much at 100%. So you -- -- as the patients. People that actually went and got health -- didn't have to pay anything out of -- pocket. So we got. Really sheltered from the real cost of health care because quote somebody else was paying the bell. Now days. All of the plans under the Obama care program as well as most employer plans have higher deductibles so people have to pay thousand dollars sometimes 2000 dollars sometimes even more. Before. The insurance plan pays anything. And so now. As consumers all of a sudden. I do on -- -- costs but but the cost problem that we are facing as a country and as individuals is due in large part. To our lack of any. Payment for many years for services I always talk about shoes because I love to buy shoes. I go down the street to sacks and pick any shoe off the Iraq without having to pay the price. I know which shoes I would panic but because I have to pay for those shoes I'm gonna look for something that I can a four. And so part of what's changing in health care is that patience and our members. On that use our services through my company are starting to say while if my doctor says I need surgery with -- second cost. You know this is where we're gonna take a quick break -- -- very very interesting conversation ahead. I want everyone to stay with this and if you have any thoughts or any questions. For Jane Cooper give us a call 2601870. Will be right back on Angela under the W well. Jane -- our special guest today she is the CEO of patient care. Again a company that started here than after Katrina had to leave but is back home we're gonna talk to her about her company but I really -- pick her brain because. This is a woman who has spent decades in health care is living the changes that were all going through and it's sort of helping us. -- through it it's just such a complicated. But vitally important issue in all of our lives. Let us talk about something you said a little bit earlier. And again we don't know we talk about Obama can we really try to keep the politics out of it it's really this is a massive change. Affecting many people's lives you're saying -- ultimately it wasn't it isn't going to help save. Cost it's creating more it's gonna cost us more as a country is going to cost us more -- already costing us more okay in what ways. And there -- a couple of components of health care cost one is the premium. That in insured person pays for their coverage. So you Mikey your coverage through your employer turf through Freeport Matt Moran you might get your coverage as an individual purchaser humane -- get your coverage through obamacare you pay a premium. To the insurance company. To cover for your coverage that's one cost and other costs is when you go and actually use health -- so I go to the doctor I get a prescription filled. I go have a MRI a mammogram. That's cost when you have services. So you have to look at both of those premium cost for most. Employers and foremost. Cover people have gone up every year usually single digits. But insurance companies now have to increase their cost because of a lot of fees that are part of the obamacare program. As well as just the general cost of care. For -- an individual user. My deductible has gone up many people used to have a 200 dollar deductible now they have the 2000 dollar deductible. And the deductible is why you are responsible for as an insured person. Until the insurance companies starts paying. Some of the conflicts. To go back to our original comment that you made -- we're in charge of ourselves. I think I'm still fighting it really him because I you know it's I don't wanna fly the plane I just want somebody to take right. I don't wanna know what's under the hood of the car I just want to work fan and I think probably represent a lot of people who. Just. Level with mean tell me what I need to do and I'll do it but I don't want to be a PH -- -- We have a lot of responsibilities now and and so where to restart. While that -- you're absolutely right and the thing about health care that's even -- different than driving up our. Is that with health care and -- talked today. On on the radio a -- this and it's a very theoretical discussion. But if I get hit by a a dump truck on my way home tonight. Then it becomes a very personal issue and I don't mean to joke about it but when people are ill or someone in your family gets injured or is -- Your anxiety level. Is tremendous and sell all of the theoretical. Intellectual discussion. Now becomes how to -- help my family -- I helped. My loved one. And said the rules. If you even understood how the program works all the sudden becomes secondary to trying to sits at six. On which makes it more emotional which makes it less lodge a call. So the system is very fragmented from wanting Angela. You've got a doctor you got hospital they may or may not work for the same entity that you've got the insurance company that you've got other different providers. And and nobody is really connected in a way that the patient can walk in the -- war and understand how to walk through the maze and get the help they need. So. Let's say someone is new to the world insurance. And now they have an insurance card right and they're paying your premiums. And they become right and they go to their doctor. They're going to make sure they have the card right and then they say OK you have a fee at the office. And that may or may not be a surprise. Well it may be surprised some people I think one on one thing that we recommend to our members and that I would recommend to the listeners is that. Have a doctor before you get in -- So if you are newly insured and you have not had insurance for awhile. Find a primary care physician find a family doctor or internal medicine doctor. That you can go seed before you get sick and establish a relationship with them because that's very important. To having good health and to managing your health care costs. But once you have a doctor and you go and and you see them yes the cost to the office visit could be a big surprise. So when your shopping for a new doctor. It would be a great thing to ask that office what you charge for my first visit. What do you charge if it's complicated visit and get an idea of what that cost it is. Now that may or may not be discounted by insurance company if that doctor is in your insurance company network it should be. But those are you know some of those figures aren't familiar to a lot of people. And you talk about whether it's cocaine or otherwise there are very few co pays anymore. -- right so that deductible that we talked about that's going to apply to your office that that as well. Okay. You just confused me. I'm sorry on and on but you know we have a lot to -- that we do have a caller I'd like to get to her quickly. Yes. -- -- -- Angela. Logan and you know -- right and it comes to go to a doctor and them this relationship than most England communities do that. The problem where that is in a lot of times there not on the insurance plan so it. Really needs to do it established relationship between the doctor and the purpose of health care -- not called insurance care it's called health care the provision of his service to care for you are bill that's that's what -- goes to a -- before. The reason why insurance rates are going. And we don't that is because we have to -- Settlement they all need to be taken. Most of the money Q -- -- Whether it's for the premium or Europe. Europe deductibles. Does not go to -- actual -- aid goes to all promote cousins and that one to probably reflected on the person. And take advantage of you're. -- -- -- -- Yeah -- You know. And you need to read. In it just for a -- if you actually be able -- interact -- We need to put the insurance companies and their place and tell them in not nothing more and some body that is going to go and -- for. That the dealing with the doctor and the fun but they're not supposed to make the growth topped seen profits. At the expense of the patient and that deduction off this service that we need to make sure that insurance companies. Get back on track to where would they really supposed to be and that's just how the financial issue and regards. Studio and then what happened to people. Pay paying I'd adopt a front. I do we have any statistics of how many people actually that don't have insurance. Really don't shirk their responsibility. Of everybody I personally pay my doctor bills -- pay my dentist to what he'd charge me. I pay and not -- insurance but because. Because I can't afford the deductible I can't afford the out of pocket. I have to pay I am not paid three important society that I pay what about the people that actually the -- people that don't have insurance. Don't pay that doctors. A lot of our -- a lot of people apparently -- decent good people that you have statistics on that show the institute. -- -- All right thank you very much any thoughts. Well. -- made a lot of the points that we talked about today. And I think the the days of patients haven't paid their doctor when they go for the visit -- are coming back to us because of the fact that that deductible is in place instead of co pay. On insurance companies provide a useful function through the financing vehicle for how this money all flows. But I think it's a reasonable point too. Understand what kind of profits insurance companies make them and look for ways to encourage competition among insurance companies so that they have to compete for our business. You know if we just have the government is the only Payer then we all would be. Forced into the same systems so we want competition in the country I think with between insurance companies. OK I want everyone to stay with -- and again I hope you've got some thoughts or questions for Jane Cooper we're gonna go to the newsroom but we're gonna come back American continue to talk about. Health care today the reality now let's go to Chris Miller in the newsroom. Well we're talking about the new health care or health care world with Jane Cooper who has not been in the business of very long time. And that now is the CEO of patient care and she sort of giving -- since major insights into. What is happening today what we need to do as consumers. And patients. To learn about this new day. We have a caller Benny from home how you do inventing. Here's what am I going to -- good. Our idea. I'm a camp appreciate -- accounts to our. And I want an -- did -- because -- have complications. And how it repayments on my hero Perry. And I've gotten out of the -- of you know during. How Jordan 15100 dollar -- my wife worked at it. Now before all this stuff thought. If you pointed out that it into an annual wife what you'd you know it would be. Good pretty good pretty well. You know spam emails and now. I'll I'd get beyond doubt -- -- come -- about now. You can read our report but the reality in it and not. Get beaten up and. They didn't do they examine -- they didn't run an X ray they didn't give you -- shot. Dating Jimmy and it's got they gave me some kind of paint peel. And and Iran. -- -- comment when he when he figure the -- is -- with your heart. Changing. Let me ask our guests Jane Cooper. Would he have the right just build back to the hospital and say I'm looking at this 15100 dollar bill. This is what she did. We need to talk about the. You certainly do have that right -- Iowa and and you IBC have already looked at the bill because you know what it is. One of the things. We all have to get used to now in this new world health care. Is asking questions about what the costs are and looking at what the bills are now if you're in pain and you're going to the emergency room. -- you don't have a lot of choices. But as you know common most people have learned the hard way emergency rooms are very expensive places to get health care. Sometimes we have to go to the emergency room because it's an emergency. You can certainly sit down with someone at the hospital and asked them to explain that bill to you. Do you have insurance that will help pay for some of those charges. Yet not quite worked that part right. Right and and and cut that down and out not that we talked on I didn't have time to damage in these mobile came out in the it happened that I didn't have that out in the -- period to write write write the point in the equipment to make the these people -- could be making all this money and right now I'm not -- Mubarak making money. At all when you do it when you take advantage that he -- it would at -- at it'll gym to get what we do it in gold and there's a problem. -- that is -- let me ask you did they handed the bill when you walked out the door or did you receive in the mail later. I received an enemy of the retreat in the big what what op bill cannot be appealed immediately told me old -- X amount about. So hijacker and I didn't happen. So what did you do I did total my have to pay you wanna go back on the Internet zone -- in the I mean but the point of China making it. Our main man on there one -- and it was round and he came he moral support to beat kicked and kick the ball it's been good. -- it -- happened Jeremy -- up quote baby deal. -- -- -- to know. -- I hear exactly what you're saying -- you know I feel badly for my god. Did you go to the emergency room. So for three hours but did how long did take them to see. It took on the Whitney actually seen me. -- -- -- -- -- OK but they saw you fairly quickly and if you're in pain hopefully that's with humor as is instinct of oversight there's a reason for an emergency. And if you're in pain that's when -- an emergency room. But they they should CU quickly. Where -- problem and everybody is seen on terror like consider where activists are now. I mean -- our corporate front -- back pain. They need to hit it that much on all its money they -- -- do like they do. And it would political consultant -- -- Back to win equal time deductible. Are all somewhat weak business people complain it is to make it take too long. Complain you complain. Banning Harry I appreciate I wish we had answers for you but I. I -- I looked so good at all BDY. Yeah you know Butte we go again and in -- and in -- too late. -- -- not to get like a normal part. Which you don't you don't you you don't worry about when in the course of an annual when you annual BR. And he's become -- Nadal and you -- It back we have been kind I'm going rate and so -- Nobody beat him in the bill. You know there's also and I believe in the power of complaining. Properly and even if it's eleven the editor. Shine light on situations like that -- don't make people accountable. And that was wrong in the Liu an explanation. -- I'm sorry you went through and I appreciate this call but really I'm what I heard from Jane Cooper ones. You have every right to say let's talk about that -- Yeah whether your wife works at the hospital or not but -- any any right. Okay thank you Benny always call Wendy Ken and I hope I hope we get better. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- I hope he won't be Big Apple coo -- not an appropriate for -- agenda -- the sequel on the fans what are we talking about. I think she understands right now I think that you are voice not alone. Thank you thank you very much -- Over gonna take another break we're gonna come back with Jane Cooper right after this. Jane Cooper is our -- she is the CEO of patient care. Again a company started here and now returning here after the storm. And and her company is really patient advocacy. And she says transparency. Primarily you're telling me with. Companies whether it's done -- well or whomever. Companies hire you and then you for a fee help guide their individual employees that there medical Mays right. Right individuals can do that too but it's a little more costly ride if an individual wants to be -- a member of patient -- and have their own advocate. I at our website is available com and you can go on and look at that. And and consider joining our web site is patient care at number four letter argued dot com patient care for you to dot com. One of the things that her company does but I think is -- incredible interest to all of us. Is that in fact -- in our new responsibility. We need to know what people charge. So if you are told you need -- operation. And it isn't an immediate thing like today. Then you have every right to say how much is that going to cost. Right you do and you should. So what's interesting. For calm for those of you that are listening. Is too to note that in New Orleans or in home -- or in Covington or in Baton Rouge for the same procedure. Through your insurance company. It will cost very different amounts depending on which provider you choose so if you're here in New Orleans. And your doctor says we need to do camp ski we need to do an MRI. Imaging procedure. That can be scheduled in advance. If you that auctioning a paid one amount if you go to -- different amount and if you go to diagnostic imaging in -- you'll -- different. All within your plan and all within your deductibles so knowing what things are going to clog issue. Is really important in becoming a good health care consumer and using your dollars wisely and give -- this is the time consuming tedious thing. And that's really prepared. -- Right exactly so where do you start. One of the things that you need to know if you're going to ask what something costs is what the cold is that's going to be used to bill. There is a five -- -- it's called EC PT code. -- Peter Tom CPT code. And that is how procedures are -- says if your doctor says. Angela or Jane you need to get an MRI need asked them what codes can be used to Billick so that you can understand and investigate what com. Provider will be the most cost effective for you because I am I don't wanna spend a thousand dollars I don't have to span. And an MRI when the results are going to be equally good. Regardless of -- But there is the this is against tradition my doctors telling me this and we go to hospitals everything I think Kara. You're saying the dynamic is changed absolutely that's a theory that points and that's part of taking no responsibility for our own health care. Set -- -- doctor may work act. East Jefferson and say let's do that ride east Jefferson by. The MRI can be done it any facility those results can be sent to the doctor. And he'll have the information that he needs to help diagnose whatever your conditions. If enough people did. -- competition would be greater and prices would go down absolutely right -- to solve the problem of health care in the United States. And that ultimately think is set for there they would all have to advertise more. Radial would be healthier life -- -- -- fabulous fun but this is. Again we are living I keeps living history we really this is a moment in time. That fifty years from now that look that good bad or ugly and think this is what happened but part of it is. Right. Right and and everything else we buy in our lives. I'm appliances. Cars clothing. Restaurant meals we know what they cost before we spend money with health care that has never been in the case and now those times are changing. Very quickly let's go to do with grip and -- in Gretna. Hi Angela thank you for the academic officer. I just want to say I mean if I I agree but a lot of what you had to say but I've been treated these experiences. And just finding -- TP -- you can get screwed exploration sending. A note that you can't get had been true. That a couple of instances with -- hospital name names because they. They picture that we're really wonderful and so I'm not going to say the name of the hospital. Like for example I went in I had to Bosnia -- insurance. It was one of policies you know it is a catastrophe policy that they used to quote. Free wellness care so I went like an account it is as I'm gonna do a couple of -- And I said well you know I don't my insurance didn't cover and -- he had his doctors call it kinda how much it was going to cost at this hospital. And him because I don't really believe like -- hospital and -- severe side. I went to go get the test I walked in the door and it said that will be terrific twelve dollars which is the price that they could get in the in the end when the bills sold in the months later my free. Whatever it was like 212 dollars. Came to 999. Dollars. And I started. Screaming. I think part of that was particularly patience paid. -- my -- which they hadn't told me about I got that taken off between may not being you know attacked them at that he told me I called them. Anyway so what I went through the hole made that step and you wouldn't believe India I went to the displaced for example. This thing that they transactional. Ultrasound. They didn't even happen. Occupied. Sign on the -- Read people behind -- and go home on they had to change that policy because I screamed about ethnic and that was great to -- -- that tell you that if you need to be patient and you are -- Now that the and I didn't it's going to attack at this point -- what I -- go right Rhonda. I'm so sorry they're cut me off by watching call back another time thank you will be right back. Wanna thank Jane Cooper again it is not patient care numeral for you.