When Sean Recchi, a 42-year-old from Lancaster, Ohio, was told last March that he had non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, his wife Stephanie knew she had to get him to MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. Stephanie’s father had been treated there 10 years earlier, and she and her family credited the doctors and nurses at MD Anderson with extending his life by at least eight years.
Because Stephanie and her husband had recently started their own small technology business, they were unable to buy comprehensive health insurance. For $469 a month, or about 20% of their income, they had been able to get only a policy that covered just $2,000 per day of any hospital costs. “We don’t take that kind of discount insurance,” said the woman at MD Anderson when Stephanie called to make an appointment for Sean.
omprehensive health insurance. For $469 a month, or about 20% of their income, they had been able to get only a policy that covered just $2,000 per day of any hospital costs. “We don’t take that kind of discount insurance,” said the woman at MD Anderson when Stephanie called to make an appointment for Sean.
The hospital’s hard-nosed approach pays off. Although it is officially a nonprofit unit of the University of Texas, MD Anderson has revenue that exceeds the cost of the world-class care it provides by so much that its operating profit for the fiscal year 2010, the most recent annual report it filed with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, was $531 million. That’s a profit margin of 26% on revenue of $2.05 billion, an astounding result for such a service-intensive enterprise.1
This is why I love living in Canada where healthcare is a social responsibility and those who are too sick to worry about bills are able to heal without a ludicrous invoice lying in wait post-recuperation.
Despite singing the virtues of OHIP (and other provincial health insurance plans), many medications aren’t covered and can add up to exorbitant amounts even without the added cost of hospital visits, lab tests or imaging.
Just the other day I had a patient tell me that he pays close to $600 per month for his long list of meds. Considering this, I should think that the cost of a naturopathic visit and some supplements is pretty reasonable. Especially when you’re reaping long term health benefits and avoiding the adverse effects and added costs of prescription medication.