Friday, September 23, 2011

2010 Essay Contest Recap

In anticipation of our 2011 Costs of Care Essay Contest, we thought we would share some of our favorite entries from 2010. With the help of former United States presidential candidate Gov. Michael Dukakis, ABC News Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Tim Johnson, former United States Health and Human Services Secretary Michael Leavitt, New Yorker staff writer and surgeon Dr. Atul Gawande, and Harvard Medical School Dean Dr. Jeffrey Flier, we culled two winning submissions from over 100 entries.

Tarcia Edmunds-Jehu, a nurse midwife from Boston, MA, beautifully captured how the current health system leaves some patients struggling desperately to pay bills - and providers feeling terrible that their well-meaning care is to blame.

Brad Wright, a graduate student from Durham, NC, articulately described his experience as a savvy patient who did everything possible to avoid expensive and unnecessary care, but got saddled with a large bill anyway.

All of the finalist submissions have since been published, including the stories of hardworking, responsible Americans falling through the cracks, getting a $11,000 bill for indigestion, a $10,000 bill for pre-approved surgery, a $1000 bill for birth control.

Ultimately, the stories came from nurses, patients, and doctors from more than thirty states - Alaska to Texas, New York to California, North Dakota to Florida. The contest was covered in the national media, including NPR and ABC TV. And a great conversation about routine opportunities to save money in the healthcare system with better decisions was started.

Stayed tuned for information about our 2011 essay contest launching soon!


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  2. My wife had to see a vocal cord specialist, an ENT physician. After examining her vocal cord, MD prescribed meds for LERD and then ordered a lot of testt, which when I asked my own Internist, he wa baffled and could not make out some of the test why these were prescribed. The cost $1500.00. Then on repeat vist she was aksed for a cat scan and then two more MRIs were done for the same for making a diagnosis. Then she was recommended to have voice therapy and advised to have an injection in one of the vocal cords.
    The procedure was done in short procedure surgery at a local hospital. Total stay there not exceeding 2 hours, cost more than $27,000.00. The voice has improved some but not much. Total cost of visits, tests, voice therapy and injection more than $50,000.00. No wonder the price of medicine is going so high.

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