Patrick Timpone


Dr. David Belk

The True Cost of Healthcare

Dr. Belk sheds lights on the health insurance industry; medical billing and the true cost of healthcare in this timely interview.

Dr. Belk states on his website:

When I began my medical career more than a decade ago, people were already very concerned about the skyrocketing cost of healthcare. However, as much as everyone knew medical costs were high, no one in my profession seemed to know why. None of my colleagues could answer even simple questions about what, specifically, was costing so much. This seemed to be a real problem: how could we begin to control these costs, if even the people in the field didn’t know what they were?

Why didn’t we know? To start with, unlike any other business in America, almost all of the financial transactions in healthcare are hidden from the providers as well as the patients. We order tests, procedures and medications to manage our patients, but very few doctors, or other healthcare providers, have any idea how much any of those things cost. Patients only rarely pay directly for these services and payment for any service varies substantially from different payers. Hospitals have separate billing departments that are far removed from anyone ordering or performing tests or procedures. No one directly involved with patient care has any notion of the charge or reimbursement for their service. Even most private doctor’s offices contract billing companies, who just send them a check each month from the total amount collected, leaving them no notion of the actual charge or reimbursement for an individual service they provided.

If you have ever wondered what those MRIs and CAT scans really cost, not to mention the cost of your office visits to your doctor and those prescriptions, tune in to this show to get the answers.

Dr. Belk also has an excellent video on the subject on YouTube


Dr. David Belk


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dr david belk and the true cost of health care, october 22, 2013

'Dr. David Belk – The True Cost of Healthcare: A Look Into the Bizarre World of Health Insurance, Over the Top Bills and Prescription Costs – October 22, 2013' have 3 comments

  1. October 23, 2013 @ 1:34 pm Sononymous

    Wow! How scandalously corrupt can you get, it’s like a freaking competition between the different sectors of business to have the least ethics and accountability. Ah life in the twenty first century lol


  2. October 28, 2013 @ 7:43 pm CentralTexasListener

    I did some homework regarding Affordable insurance today. I had a prescription to fill that had 2 medications that were “Brand Name Necessary” that I handed in person to my local pharmacist. Last year I paid $617 and my insurance paid $617 for these 2 prescriptions, totaling $1234.

    So … I asked my local pharmacist who works for the pharmacy that has filled my prescriptions over the last year to give me what my RETAIL cost would be for the Brand Name and for generic. I just wanted to know the truth. The Brand Name total retail cost, if I paid cash, for the year came to $1988. The Generic total retail cost for the year of the same drugs would be $1164.

    My local pharmacy had a sign that said they could help me with Medicare Part D calculations. So I asked for some help. And my pharmacist and I did the calculations necessary with the exact same drugs. Here’s what I learned:

    If I bought a Medicare Part D policy that ranged from $13 a month to $72 a month, my total annual cost for the BRAND name drugs came to $8225 to $8664. That included yearly premiums of $151 to $856. The middle of the road policy was $575 a year with no Annual Deductible (watch for that fine print) which made the drug costs to be $7650, since the total annual cost came to $8225. So when I did the calculations, BRAND name drugs under the Part D Medicare plan came to $5662 over the RETAIL cost.

    If I bought a Medicare Part D policy using the generic version of the same drugs, those policies ranged from $103 per month to $106 per month. The monthly copay of the generic drugs ranged from $4 to $15. The total annual cost ranged from $1285 to $1441. Using the $106 monthly premium ($1272 per year) plus the $6 copay per each medication (2), I would pay $144 for the drugs. My yearly cost for generic on this plan would be $1272 + $144 for a total of $1416. So again, doing the calculations, GENERIC drugs under the Part D Medicare plan came to $252 over RETAIL.

    I’m in the process of learning what “affordable” means under this new insurance paradigm. I would caution everyone that is having to deal with this to look at the fine print. When it comes to drugs, know that there is a “donut hole”. Study what that means. The GAP is in the $2840 to $4850 range where some things aren’t paid for. That could add another $2010 to your costs so pay attention to that. You need to study the details and don’t just go by the monthly premium. These companies are slick.

    I’m sure there is more enlightenment when it comes to doctors, deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums when it comes to medical premiums but I’m still trying to figure it all out. When I ask myself where the money is going, I’m pretty sure profits of the insurance companies are going to sky rocket but then, I’m not that smart to really know. I just know that “affordable” ain’t true. By the way, I used the word “ain’t” because the insurance companies think we are so stupid. Please prove them wrong! Write (I mean flood) your Congressmen with emails! Do your own test case.


    • October 29, 2013 @ 9:18 am skg

      WOW….thank you for that. You certainly did your homework!!!!


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