There’s been a lot of “research” and “studies” on Surprise Medical Bills (SMB).
What are “Surprise Medical Bills?”:
“‘Surprise medical bill’ is a term commonly used to describe charges arising when an insured individual inadvertently receives care from an out-of-network provider.
“This situation could arise in an emergency when the patient has no ability to select the emergency room, treating physicians, or ambulance providers.
“Surprise medical bills might also arise when a patient receives planned care from an in-network provider (often, a hospital or ambulatory care facility), but other treating providers brought in to participate in the patient’s care are not in the same network.
There have been a LOT of “research” and “studies” on SMB. Almost all of which share the same traits.
They are all anti-patient, anti-doctor, anti-health care provider…and pro-insurance company.
And they are nearly all mass-funded – by the exact same couple: Laura and John Arnold.
“In January 2019, we launched a new strategy for Arnold Ventures focusing on achieving policy change in our core areas of Criminal Justice, Health, Education and Public Finance using Research, Evidence and Advocacy as our tools.
“To do this, we support organizations that are aligned with our objective of maximizing opportunity and minimizing injustice.
“This support is awarded through three funding entities: Laura and John Arnold Foundation (LJAF), Laura and John Arnold Donor Advised Fund (DAF), and Action Now Initiative (ANI).”
And get this: The Arnolds were even looking to pay to plant a mole:
Bipartisan Policy Center: $181,576 for 2018 – 2019 – “To support the placement of a higher education research fellow with the United States Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.”
We do not know if the Bipartisan Policy Center was successful in planting their mole.
Now, let’s peruse but some of the very many recipients of the Arnolds’ SMB “research” “study” largesse.
Behold the Arnolds-“Research”-Media revolving door…so small it fits in a phone booth.
The Arnolds are in the process of giving Brookings’ lead “study” “researcher” $1,321,496 for years 2018-2020 – “To evaluate the prevalence, drivers, and policy implications of surprise medical billing.”
Polling is, of course, research. Polling reports – are studies. And as we all know – poll questions can be skewed any way the pollster wishes to skew them.
The Arnolds are in the process of giving Families USA $1,400,000 for years 2019-2021 –
“To provide Grantee with general operating support.”
This poll was conducted by…Kaiser Health News (KNH). As in Kaiser Permanente and Kaiser Foundation Health Plan – the health insurance monsters.
The Arnolds gave the Kaiser Family Foundation $1,060,500 between 2016-2018 – “To support Kaiser Health News in providing independent reporting on pharmaceutical drug development and pricing.”
Some “researchers” – take multiple “study” bites at the apple. Hey – that Arnold cash is quite tasty.
So tasty – lead “researcher” Zack Cooper of Yale has himself twice bitten.
$706,889 for 2018-2020 – “To produce a series of policy briefs that identify issues that raise healthcare spending.”
$119,735 for 2018-2019 – “To assess the frequency that patients experience out-of-network billing when using in-network hospitals.”
Here’s Cooper – from 2019:
“Zack Cooper, Hao Nguyen, Nathan Shekita, and Fiona Scott Morton.”
Here’s Cooper – from 2016:
“Zack Cooper, Ph.D., and Fiona Scott Morton, Ph.D.”
The two authors of the latter – are two of the authors of the former.
And this duplicity – leads to ridiculous fake news stories like this:
“Two recent nationwide studies, published in Health Affairs and The New England Journal of Medicine, both found that 20 percent of emergency department visits and resulting admissions at in-network facilities involved an out-of-network physician.”
Those two studies – ARE THESE TWO STUDIES. The fake news story is citing the same researchers producing the same fake research – TWICE. As if they are actually two different things – when quite obviously they are not.
The Fake Media dutifully, routinely reports these fake studies – as if they aren’t fake.
“A moral test for physicians?” What the heck is that clown talking about?
Doctors are providing services. Services that require a LOT of training – that takes a LOT of time and costs a LOT of money.
Physician Patricia Smith isn’t replacing your light bulb. She’s replacing your heart or your lung.
On top of everything else Doctor Smith has to do to, you know, save your life – this clown thinks it is also her responsibility to know in which health insurance networks she exists and which she doesn’t?
Here’s a thought:
It’s the insurance companies’ networks. They’re the ones who devised, designed and compiled them.
It is in their financial interest – to make their networks as tiny as they can get away with.
The less health care providers on their lists – the less health care providers they’ll have to pay.
So perhaps they should take the lion share of the responsibility for health care providers who fall outside their self-drawn network boundaries.
Rather than blaming it on Dr. Smith – as she is busy making sure you don’t die on her operating table.
The Arnolds’ network of well-paid “researchers” pumping out their “studies” in defense of the insurance industry’s self-created networks notwithstanding.