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MD247 Discusses Pharmacy Discounts On $18.00 Aspirin
“It’s the Wild, Wild West when it comes to prices of anything in the U.S. healthcare system, whether for a doctor visit or for hospital charges,” said Jonathan S. Skinner, a health economist at Dartmouth.
The older readers of the MD247 telemedicine blog will inevitably remember a time when a visit to the doctor, a visit to the hospital or a visit to any type of medical professional was NOT a major investment of both time and money. The era of aspirin being invoiced at a retail price, or slightly above a reasonable retail price, left us as the calendar flipped into the 1980s; 1990s and eventually a new Century. The American public is now treated to a medical system in which it is very possible for what had once been a traditional hospital admission to be modified into an “observation stay,” the result of which is hospitals jacking up the prices of drugs legally. It is not out of question to see a hospital bill of $18.00 for a baby aspirin and, when a patient is not admitted to a hospital, Medicare is not responsible for paying the bill.
A recent article completed in conjunction with USA Today and Kaiser Health News supports this new VERY LEGAL frontier in medical charges. The supporting case in the USA Today article is the story of Diane Zachor; a resident of Northeast Minnesota, who went to St. Luke’s Hospital with chest pains and walked out eighteen (18) hours later with a clean bill of health and what turned out to be a $442.00 pharmacy bill that Medicare did not want to cover. Their reason was simple, Zachor was not “admitted” to the hospital and Medicare is only responsible for drug charges that arise when a patient is admitted.
Excessive charges for pharmaceuticals are a reality of our new medical system, but there are consumer assistance groups for the elderly.
For the rest of the potential patients out there looking for an option to avoid huge pharmacy bills, MD247 would like to offer our pharmacy discount program which is a component of the MD247 telemedicine “Talk to a Doctor” program. The pharmacy discount program does not typically apply to hospital stays, but MD247 is reviewing possible changes to the program which could make the pharmacy discount a viable option for observation stays. Until such time as a “fix” is found, MD247 can help telemedicine program members avoid pharmacy inflation by providing the telemedicine program member a discount of up to 65% off retail price at participating pharmacies.
As Jonathan S. Skinner stated “It’s the Wild, Wild West when it comes to the prices of anything in the U.S. healthcare system.” You can equip yourself for the battle against high prices, and unjust pricing by harnessing the power of knowledge and utilizing programs like the MD247 telemedicine pharmacy discount program.
Posted by: Michelle Germann
Created on: Mon 21 May 2012 22:04
Last modified: Wed 17 October 2012 15:43