I dropped my jaw as I read this article in the Sunday New York Times, front page. On the one hand, it is above outrageous. On the other hand, this is not news. It is normal life in American health care. I did wonder if the $116,862 that Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield paid to Dr. Mu had an extra digit added by accident. But I know that the New York Times would have corrected such an error. Even at $11,000 the amount would have been excessive.
There is so much to relish in terms of excesses in this article. Excesses in fees, excesses in treatment (note Dr. Deyo’s comments on the high rate of spinal surgery in the US compared to elsewhere), and excesses in bizarre and improper behavior by an insurance company (who paid this sort of bill and uses its “high costs” as a justification for future rate increases).
If this article does not suggest that the current system is more than broken, what is?