Health Care Spending
By Arnold Kling
Yes, yes, hindsight is 20/20. But the fact that the patient started to improve clinically within about 4 days of her inpatient hospital course (and with that, essentially showed us that she had mono, not lymphoma) makes me wonder if it was all necessary. A cursory PubMed search didn’t turn up much on, say, delaying a possible cancer workup by a week or 5 days (by which time someone with a non-cancer might expect to start to improve). I can’t say whether the extra week does much for survival or quality of life. If a week really dose make a difference, then maybe the $80,000 is worth it—after all, cancer can be fatal if not caught early.
The author of this post is a self-described “health policy activist,” who favors single-payer. However, this anecdote would have fit perfectly with the thesis of my book.
Did the patient who ran up this $80,000 bill have too little health insurance?