Real World Graduation: Question 9

RealWorldGraduation_Question_9   <  PDF

Consider the following fictional scenario. Suppose a certain surgeon perfected a surgical procedure involving the treatment of a certain heart disease.  This procedure increased the survival rate for this particular disease from nearly zero to nearly 100%.  It is widely used throughout the medical industry to treat this particular disease and its complications.

A certain person had this type of heart disease. He had the procedure performed on an emergency basis after being brought in unconscious in an ambulance, and subsequently made a full recovery.  Reviewing the hospital bill, the patient noticed a $50 surcharge annotated “Originator’s surgical procedure usage fee”.  The insurance company informed the patient that his insurance policy does not cover this fee.  It turns out, upon further investigation, that this $50 is going to the surgeon who developed the original procedure as a type of royalty; i.e., a payment for the use of the procedure.  What is the best argument the patient can make to the insurance company and/or hospital for not paying the $50?

a) That he did not know about it before treatment, so he should not have to pay.

b) That it is likely another one of those arbitrary charges the hospitals always add, so it should be deducted off the bill as a routine matter.

c) That he cannot afford it.

d) That the procedure was not provably necessary in his case.

e) That the procedure is so common that people should not have to pay it.

(See the answer on p. 2 of the PDF.)


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