Healthcare Corruption Enough to Make a Mafia Boss Blush
“You woke up this morning
All the love has gone,
Your Papa never told you
About right and wrong.”
from “Woke Up This Morning” –
musical introduction to The Sopranos
There was a brief interlude midway through the HBO series The Sopranos in which Tony and the gang got into the healthcare “bid’ness”.
Perhaps inspired by his “t’erapist”, Tony took over an MRI center as payment for one of his “loans”. Him and Pauly and the boys – they was now into medical scanning…
Or was it scamming?
As a former MRI maven, I took great interest in this little subplot – having met a few players in the industry not far removed from the Soprano-sphere (there was literally a week or so when I feared starting my car after saying “no thanks” to a business proposition from one such “lender”).
I’ve often wondered why this medical subplot – so rich with potential on so many fronts – came to such an abrupt end after only a few episodes. Had they struck a nerve and created some behind-the-scenes backlash?
It just wasn’t like Tony to walk away from such a lucrative…”opp-a-tunity”.
“You Gotta’ Problem With ‘Dat?”
The fictional Tony Soprano was nobody’s role model.
And it seems he’s not that far removed from America’s medical culture after all.
The Introduction to Our Healthcare Sucks (available free HERE) describes our healthcare industry’s ignoble distinction as the most corrupt in America.
All ten of the top ten fraud settlements with the federal government in 2010 were with healthcare companies;
That means the healthcare industry accounted for FOUR TIMES the number of fraud settlements as all other industries combined.
Move over, Tony Soprano – you lightweight!
“How YOU Doin’?!”
If you’re like most Americans, you’re not doin’ so well.
The average American’s income declined by 7% over the past decade – while their out-of-pocket healthcare costs balooned by 150% – 2 1/2 times what it was only ten years earlier.
And it’s likely to TRIPLE from here as aging senior boomers drive up medical spending and our growing glut of medical specialists invent new “opportunities” to scam them of their savings.
Too harsh, you say?
Well, try this on for size…
The surgical society concluded several years ago that arthroscopic surgery of arthritic knees is of no benefit, yet over a million of these bogus surgeries are performed every year in America. And that’s just for starters.
The vast majority of spinal fusion surgeries are useless – as high as 90% in some parts of the country.
A substantial plurality of stent implants are likewise performed to fatten the incomes of doctors rather than to serve their patients’ true interests.
Even many open heart surgeries are “sold” to patients as emergencies when they’re not.
And the risks with these procedures are only increasing.
Those with the staph infection called “MRSA” (mer-sa) – now common in not just hospitals, but outside them as well – are at seven times the risk of death and other adverse outcomes from surgical procedures. Yet patients are seldom screened for this dramatic increase in risk.
And that’s on top of premature deaths from medical mistakes numbering in the thousands every week in America.
Still think it’s too harsh?
Don’t you think it’s time we got wise to all this medical misbehavior – BEFORE it bankrupts the entire country?
Almost two out of three family bankruptcies in America are due to medical bills these families simply can’t pay. And three out of four of them already HAD health insurance – so don’t go expecting healthcare reform to solve this crisis.
In fact, don’t expect ANYONE else to solve this crisis for you.
Just as no one else will protect you if you’re mugged in an alley, no one else can protect you from those who exploit your lack of knowledge about your true medical needs.
I call it “predatory medicine” in Our Healthcare Sucks.
And it’s becoming prevalent enough in American medicine to make even Tony Soprano blush.
As he might say about now…”You gotta’ take care of your OWN…It’s FAMILY!”
So “How YOU doin’?”
Are you taking care of YOUR family?
This article is provided for informational and educational purposes only.
It does not constitute medical advice and should not be relied upon as such.