13 November 2015

My customer comment to a for-profit diagnostic lab (Quest)

OK, I admit to being a curmudgeon, but I really do believe that making profits on health care, which should be considered a human right, is immoral and unacceptable, and is an inherent conflict of interest. So, true to my curmudgeonly nature, I incorporated the following comment into my response to a patient survey for Quest Diagnostics:

​I do not appreciate, being asked to provide a credit card and told a totally incorrect probable patient responsibility amount, and I invariably refuse this request, although it is asked in such a way that many unsuspecting clients may not realize that they are under no legal obligation to comply. My insurance is supposed to pay for diagnostic tests in full but there is usually some amount you people claim I owe you, which indicates that you are charging more than a reasonable and customary amount (not to mention that the practice of charging uninsured patients far more is tantamount to profiteering but is apparently legal, due to a failure of regulation on Federal and State levels). Further, the estimated amount is never correct or even close (the amount they state is usually many hundreds of percent of the actual residual charge). Moreover, I do not and will not give out a credit card to be billed an unknown amount at any time and you should not be asking patients to do this.

It is my firm belief that all health care should be provided on a non-profit basis and therefore companies like Quest are, in my opinion, profiteering rackets which should, by rights, be illegal. In the future, we will eventually reach a consensus that health care is a right, not a privilege, and that profiteering on health care is deeply immoral and unacceptable in a civilized society. At that time, we will look back on operations such as yours the way we look back today on child labor sweatshops of the early 20th century: vestiges of an age of barbarism when activity which is clearly criminal in nature was tolerated. ​

1 comment:

  1. Ironically, Quest Diagnostics operates sweatshops under the guise of laboratories. Although children aren't employed, many employees are immigrants seeking a better life like those working in early 20th Century factories. All medical technologists earn a baccalaureate degree at minimum, so education doesn't enable one to escape the oppressive working conditions--- it's a job requirement. Hiring is based on need, and as the largest US diagnostics company, Quest is always hiring.


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