Is compensation policy for health care fair?


In 2007 my family needed the service of a plumber. The charge for 90 minutes was $367. In 2008 my husband visited our doctor’s office. The charge for 50 minutes was $148. Two follow-up telephone calls were at no charge.

In 2009 we called on an electrician to install three ceiling fans purchased previously. The charge for 60 minutes was $228.

All three professionals have the usual overhead: education and training, license, rent, tools of the trade, peripheral staff, insurance, postage, etc. In the doctor’s case at least two additional professionals were involved: a nurse to check his vital signs and another to draw blood. It is wonderful to have people of expertise available and I am thankful to have income sufficient to pay their bills.

Unfortunately, Medicare approved only $83.75 of the doctor’s bill. Health Care Reform will reduce that amount in the future. Feeling this was inadequate compensation for services provided, I asked if I could write a check for $64.25 to make up the difference and was told it was not permitted. Is this just?


Pat Hoffman


Support The Catholic Messenger’s mission to inform, educate and inspire the faithful of the Diocese of Davenport – and beyond! Subscribe to the print and/or e-edition, or make a one-time donation, today!

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Posted on