Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Dr. Stephen Blythe’s book “Uninsured in America” is published!

Patients without insurance pay up to ten times the insurance rate for health care, asserts Dr. Blythe in this new book. His local hospital charges $332 for an EKG for which insurance companies pay $30. A CT scan can cost an uninsured patient $3,000 at the hospital – but if they know where to go, they can get the same scan for $450. Some specialists charge $420 for a new-patient consultation, whereas Medicare pays no more than $180 for the same visit. Doctor’s visits, lab tests, prescription medications, and x-rays all cost the uninsured far more than insurance pays for the same services.

In this informal book Dr. Blythe shares examples from his practice of how uninsured patients are ripped off by our health care system – often without even knowing it. He shares the advice he offers his patients about how to get lower-cost services and how to negotiate fair prices. He shares tips on finding the rate that Medicare pays for medical services. His theory is that since few insurance companies pay more than 20% above this, physicians, hospitals, and other providers should be more than happy to accept Medicare plus 20% in cash or by credit card. After all, for the cash patient they don’t have to pay anyone to do billing and collections, there are no billing disputes later on, and they don’t have to wait months for payment.

Dr. Blythe was the Democratic candidate for congress in his district in 2008. “I proposed an “Uninsured Americans Protection Act” which would guarantee that no patient in the ER or hospital could be charged more than 20% above Medicare for the same services, and that all providers would need to make available to the public their cash charges for services and the Medicare fee accepted for the same service” says Blythe. “This would at least put the uninsured on a level playing field and help prevent medical bankruptcies”.

Although his book will also be valuable to those with high deductible plans, Dr. Blythe says he is hopeful that his book will not be needed by anyone in a future when all Americans have health coverage.

Uninsured in America is available at Outskirts Press website, and can also be purchased through Barnes and Noble or Amazon.com.

To contact the author, send an e-mail through the website http://www.uninsuredinamerica.org/
ISBN: 978-1-4327-4379-6

No comments: