Letters to the Editor

Letter: Medicare must look closer at what it pays

Will a structural change for Medicare fix its myriad problems? I can't say.

A full-scale investigation into hospital billing practices is warranted and overdue.

Hospitals across the country have been engaged in billing fraud for decades.

Years ago when my mother suffered a stroke, two "hospitalists" visited her daily, each billing Medicare about $175 per visit. This went on for two weeks. My mother was in a coma.

Recently, on Hilton Head Island in the hospital for heart surgery, two doctors entered my room. I asked, "Who are you? You're not my doctors." One of them said, "We're hospitalists."

He proceeded to place his stethoscope on the outside of my robe, held my wrist for a moment, then turned and left with his companion. I question just what medical procedure he performed given that the stethoscope's ear pieces were hanging about his neck. Subsequently Medicare was billed more than $600 for each of these hospitalists for two day's visitation. As I was unable to sleep, I wondered when the second visit had occurred.

Doctors are padding their paychecks on the backs of the taxpayers. If the motivation is to recover the costs associated with becoming doctors, then those costs must be reduced or supplemented.

To hospitals everywhere: "Stop it!"

Don Fortney

Sun City Hilton Head

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