I have a lot of experience with the medical system. Not just my transition, or my physical problems, but also my experience billing for insurance, running a clinic, etc. I have seen all sorts of ridiculousness.
Right now in my life there are a lot of doctors beyond just the transition. We are still working on the mass on my thyroid, and also the infamous espohagus/stomach issues and my vomiting. Right now we will talk about the esophagus/stomach issues and an example of why capitalistic medical system is bullshit.
I went into Kaiser on January 14th for a test that would trace radioactive material through my esophagus and into my stomach. I got a gastric emptying test, basically a test that detects how quickly my stomach breaks down and passes food through.
The end result was clear (meaning that isn’t the problem). However, the problem I had was the costs. They utilized a plain white bread fried egg white sandwich. No toppings, completely plain except it was coated in a specific radioactive substance that they tracked.
No big deal, the staff were incredibly nice and it tasted like a horribly bland egg sandwich. That is until I got the bill for it. I won’t even cover the cost of the procedure itself, just the cost of the material in the egg sandwich.
I am fortunate, I have medical insurance (an HMO) and they basically “charge” themselves for it. The total bill was about $1,853 or so for the procedure, they wrote off $590.16 to magically pay themselves (and also they still make a profit on that $1,200+ test.
The kicker was the $507.52 charge for the egg sandwich. Yes it is a radiopharmaceutical agent, but there is just something ridiculous about the cost. It appears they probably used Tc-99m Sulfur Colloid which the outdated information I had was $36 per dose. Let me be very generous and say the price increased 2.5 times or more and is $100 per dose.
That means for my sandwhich that should have probably cost $100 + less than $1 for the bread and eggs was a total of $101. Yet they charged me more than five times that much at $507 (and the odds are they got it closer to $50 and it is ten times as much).
This is why the capitalist system is bad for the individual. The government already payed the majority of the R&D (that is a whole other aspect), and yet they are still charging a minimum of 5-10 TIMES more then the cost for an agent that they don’t have to incur any danger with.
It is ridiculous, and I admit my yelling here won’t change anything, but it does make me feel a little better.