January 1, 2022
This year marks the 13th year of AffordabIeHerniaSurgery.com. Although the past two years have been a challenge due to the pandemic, our web traffic and surgical volume have continued to increase nevertheless. Even as the economy has largely recovered from the Covid crash of 2020, more Americans than ever have high deductible health insurance. In some states, 70% of people have “insurance” that doesn’t completely pay for hernia surgery. In addition, many hospitals suspended elective surgeries because their capacity has diminished due to Covid patients and staffing issues..
Our same-day consultation and surgery option continues to be very popular, especially for those patients within a four hour drive of our hernia center. This allows many patients to come for the day, get evaluated and treated, and be home for dinner!
We are currently testing ALL unvaccinated patients for Covid, and have had no patients or staff contract the virus in our office or facility. In addition, our medical staff have all received their vaccines.
The fundamental flaws in our health care system remain, and have been exposed by the recent health care crisis. Lower income Americans are more likely to get Covid, are more likely to have jobs that offer only high deductible health insurance, and are less able to handle the medical bills that come with getting sick.
In addition, many patients still need hernia surgery in order to work. A particularly cruel bind is where someone needs their hernia repaired in order to pass a work physical (or get a commercial drivers license). So in order to get a job with health insurance, they need to pay out of pocket to get surgery that they can’t afford since they’re not working. I see this situation all the time.
While increasing numbers of Americans have high deductible health insurance, the price of surgery continues to rise, so the affordability gap has widened even for patients who have health insurance! We continue to see folks from all over the USA, and continue to hear the same stories of barriers to medical care.
When we started our program, most of our patients were uninsured. Now, almost half of our patients actually have health insurance, but can’t afford the high deductible cost that hernia surgery can involve. It’s actually cheaper for them to travel to Maryland and pay $2,400 for our full package of surgical care, rather than use the lousy insurance that comes with their job.
But the big problem in our country is that the actual cost of healthcare is so high in the USA. Although most people blame the insurance companies, the real problem is that the vendors (doctors, hospitals, big Pharma) charge so much for their services. Friends, there is no other country in the world where citizens can’t afford health care. The obvious solution would be to give all Americans a Medicare card. I’ve never been able to figure out why we give people “socialized medical care” (Medicare) when they turn 65, but somehow feel it’s un-American to take care of people before they reach that age.
Hopefully in our lifetimes Americans will get smart and end the expensive rip-off that is medical care in the United States. But until that happens, Affordableherniasurgery.com will make it possible for everyone to access high quality hernia treatment, so that those who need care can get it. So if you have a hernia, and are looking for an expert surgical team, give us a call.
On behalf of our amazing team at AffordabIeHerniaSurgery.com, I wish all of my friends and patients a Happy and Healthy 2022!
Alan B. Kravitz, MD