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A tonic for medical costs: review your bill, line by line

2013-08-15

Today I’m going to do something I don’t think is really quite right.  I’m going to recommend an article in the New York Times Online and even provide a link to it (if I can) without really telling you anything about it except that it’s worth reading.  This will allow you to get around the NYT’s fifteen dollar a month subscription fee.  If you only read twenty articles or less a month, you can access NYT for free.  So, if you don’t care to read NYT on a regular basis, you can just read the article(s) I recommend…

This, somehow, doesn’t seem quite right.  I’m circumventing NYT’s copyright interest in their articles.  I can only get away with it (and have for many years in other circumstances) because hardly anyone reads what I write (or programs I produce, in past instances.)  In fact, I “stole” the AMA’s procedure code list and used it in a code lookup program I wrote that sold about a hundred copies.  The AMA never came after me because they never found out about it.

Oh, the advantages of being obscure.

At any rate, the article is about medical costs and the efforts of a company with only two hundred employees to reduce them.  They were so upset at a 75 percent rate increase (later reduced to 68%) demanded by their medical insurance company that they refused to renew.  First they tried self-insuring, and then they hit on a better solution:  a company that reads their bills line by line and challenges them line by line.  They’ve saved so much money that they’ve been able to add coverage for dental and other ancillary programs without raising rates.

The article is at:  http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/08/13/the-cure-for-the-1000-toothbrush/ …if the link doesn’t work, get creative with it.  You can always use the search function that nytimes includes on every page and look for the $1000 toothbrush.  I will, of course, try it out after I publish it…  OK, so the link doesn’t work.  but if you… never mind.  you know what to do, and if you don’t, you’re computer illiterate and not worth talking to.  Just because you can’t write C++ or FORTRAN.

Well, now it works.  I think.  In fact, I’m pretty sure.  No thanks to the post editor’s “Add Link” function.   Just used Ctrl-C to mark the text on my browser purporting to be the address of the web site I’m looking at.  Then used Ctrl-V to deposit said text in the blog editor without notifying it that it was supposed to be a link.  Two things happened: first, a usable link was created in the document.  Second, the text of the link had the word “http://” added at the beginning; this word was not visible in the copied text before it was added to the document.

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