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Old 03-05-2012, 06:53 PM   #1
Ought Six
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Arrow Why an MRI costs $1,080 in America and $280 in France

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/...tml?tid=pm_pop
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Old 03-05-2012, 08:13 PM   #2
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Well, I'm not a radiologist, but I can tell you one reason: the MRI machines are newer and better. Our radiologists tended to upgrade at least every 3 to 4 years. I can think of a couple studies done on MR machines here that I very much doubt are being done anyplace else.

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This is a good deal for residents of other countries, as our high spending makes medical innovations more profitable. “We end up with the benefits of your investment,” Sackville says. “You’re subsidizing the rest of the world by doing the front-end research.”
Which Americans get to take advantage of before anyone else. YMMV as to whether it's worth it, but having seen medicine in the UK, I also very much doubt any significant progress would occur if it didn't happen here (not so much with medications—pharma markets are more open than device markets in Europe, and the FDA slows down research a lot here).

But therapies like proton beam therapy—which has turned prostate cancer from a surgical disease with sky-high incidence of erectile dysfunction and incontinence into a nuisance—happen here first and most. I believe there is one PBT center in Europe, one in Japan, one in Korea. There are nine in the US.
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Old 03-05-2012, 08:57 PM   #3
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I suppose it is off topic but I met a guy a few weeks ago that is making a fortune by buying, refurbishing and selling used medical equipment.

I understand dharma's point but do we really always need the latest and greatest?
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Old 03-05-2012, 10:23 PM   #4
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Jason has a friend who has a business selling cut rate imaging and other medical/dental services. There's a glut on these services around here. "Cheap MRI" websites will sell an MRI that would normally cost $1500-2000 for $150 cash. It's better to sell at any price than let the expensive machines idle for a few hours every day. Win/Win all around. The imaging centers boost their bottom line while the uninsured get a more reasonable price point. But they couldn't do it unless the bulk of their patients had insurance willing to pay the higher prices.
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Old 03-05-2012, 10:46 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by dyrt View Post
I understand dharma's point but do we really always need the latest and greatest?
I personally—which is to say, as a patient—had one of those special, advanced MRI studies a couple years ago that made a huge difference in the way my health was managed. I have also been the recipient of some particularly advanced medical care that I couldn't have received anywhere else in the world—or anywhere at all, ten years ago. I have some impressive scars, but I'm alive and relatively unmaimed.

One of my relatives by marriage lives in Canada with similar medical issues. He's waiting to die.

So, for my money (literally—I've spent a lot!), damn straight we do.
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Old 03-05-2012, 10:50 PM   #6
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This article misses the MAIN point. Liability insurance of the doctors, hospitals and drug companies. A person close to me that owns a clinic down south pays over $300,000 a year in liability insurance and she has never had a claim against her. I've heard of one doctor that has had a couple lawsuits paying over $2,000,000 a yr for liability insurance.

Who do you think actually pays those premiums? Juries award a 7 figure settlement against a doctor filed because they had a hangnail or something serious like that.
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Old 03-05-2012, 11:38 PM   #7
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Arrow

There is a whole list of reasons why medical care costs as much as it does here. Along with the ones already mentioned, there is doctors having to hire people just to do Medicare and insurance claim paperwork. There is the fact that selling medical insurance across state lines is illegal. There is all the byzantine and bureaucrat federal and state regs, licensing, certifications and whatnot. There is the cost of higher education, which we pay for in the end as part of the cost of the services the educated provide to us. I think most of it relates to government interference in one way or another.
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* I have the right to live, thus I have the right to defend my life from attackers who would take it from me.
* I have the right to my private property, thus I have the right to defend my property from thieves who would take it from me.
* I have the right to self-determination, thus I have the right to defend my liberty from tyrants who would take it from me.
* The only usable tools for these tasks are guns, and thus I have the right to shoot anyone who would take my guns from me.
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