FULL STORY: If you're scared of doctors or hospitals . . . or the dreaded Obamacare . . . this is probably going to make it worse. Cracked.com did a list of five things about healthcare that you probably don't want to know.
1. Reading diagnostic tests is subjective. Anybody can see a broken bone on an X-ray. But lots of other scans are MUCH harder to read. One study found that doctors disagree with each other about half the time when they're reading the same angiogram.
The problem is getting worse, because hospitals are using outside companies to read their tests FOR them. And the companies often hire unqualified people to save money . . . and meanwhile the real doctors get no practice for when they NEED to read a test.
2. Hospital staffs are bad at hygiene. About 1.7 million people every year get an infection from a hospital stay. So if you're going in for a procedure, you have a five to ten percent chance of catching something while you're there.
Some studies estimate that up to 40% of hospital workers don't wash their hands enough at work. Even though they're treating contagious patients in the next room over . . . not to mention eating meals and handling other bodily functions right down the hall.
3. Older doctors' knowledge is usually out of date. Most doctors don't bother to keep up with new discoveries once they get out of school. So doctors at the end of their careers might be treating you based on research that's already fifty years old.
Also, 20% of doctors today are over the age of 65, and the percentage is increasing.
4. Hospital shift changes are dangerous to patients. Doctors get tired at the end of a shift, like anyone else. But before they go home, they have to brief the next shift on all their current patients. And if they rush through the list, important things get overlooked.
It's worse because the surgeons dealing with life-and-death situations sometimes work up to 36 HOURS STRAIGHT. One study found that 25% of all shift changes result in a mistake being made in someone's care.
5. Hospitals overcharge on purpose, and don't stop until you make an appeal. They KNOW insurance companies will try to get them to settle for less. So they ask for more to begin with . . . just like people who file frivolous lawsuits.
On a given day, they might charge ten different prices for the same procedure. Or they might make up a special fee just for you. If you pay it, good for them. If you protest, they might work with you . . . or they might just send it to collections.