Is too much money being spent on dying patients? 60 Minutes on the CBS News recently aired a segment called “The Cost of Dying,” which was a breakdown of events that happen with patients in hospitals in the Intensive Care Units and the high costs associated with keeping them alive, said a new study.
75% of our nation’s deaths occur in hospitals, and it was estimated on the show that patient’s lives are prolonged in some cases for up to $10,000 per day and that in America the last two months of patient’s lives is costing Medicare $55 billion. According to a report, this might be unnecessary 30% of the time.
In one of the cases mentioned on the show, 25 additional doctors were called in as consultants on a dying 80 year old woman. Each doctor received $100 or more for five minutes of their time, said a representative, and added that Medical Insurance Companies make it difficult for these doctors to do much else.
Doctors are increasingly fearful of medical malpractice lawsuits for misdiagnosis so they are calling in as many other consultants as they can to share the blame if something should go wrong or is overlooked. Studies speculate that this problem isn’t going away anytime soon. Hospitals in Nassau and Suffolk are aware of this study.
Many doctors are simply doing what they can to stay afloat and as a result are billing Medicare for as much as possible, because they can. Experts call this a sad situation that isn’t getting any better.
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