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Comment Re:I'd choose billing. (Score 2) 311

The problem of billing is multi-factorial.

1 - The hospital has to spread out the cost of the device, upkeep, and personnel over all patients that use the device.
2 - The hospital negotiates a payment with insurance companies. This has to be lower or the same as for uninsured patients. If the hospital low-balls what they charge uninsured patients, all insurance companies will get the lower rate.
3 - The hospital negotiates with the insurance companies every year or so. If they don't come up with an agreement, the hospital becomes "out of network" and a higher percentage of the bill goes to the patient.

This leads to hospitals charging 3-5x for uninsured patients what they charge to insurance companies. As a patient, you can call up the hospital billing and see if the charge can be lowered or waived. They are surprisingly negotiable at times.

Comment Re:... no one is paying for that (Score 1) 296

And when Windows 7 is no longer getting security updates? What then?

Might as well slowly start looking into other options.

I was a MS Windows fan since win386 days. I chose Ubuntu in 2005. When Ubuntu messed up their desktop UI, I switched to Linux Mint (and OS X on a Apple laptop).

Maybe staying with one desktop OS for your entire life limits you a bit?

P.S. So much easier to be on non-Microsoft OSs now than it was a decade ago. So many things are either web-based or cross-platform. I haven't used wine or virtualbox in well over a year.

Comment Re:High Risk + Low Success = High Cost (Score 1) 245

Sorry to hear about your experience regarding your mom.

That's the problem with oncologists. They peddle in hope, rather than reality.

It's a double-edged sword, really. If they say there's nothing to do and it's best to just keep her comfortable, some patients and families will think they're giving up. On the other hand, if they go all-in and keep doing round after round of therapies, some families will feel they are milking the situation.

Better to ask the patient's primary care physician their opinion. If they are board certified in Internal Medicine, they should have a general idea of cure rates for most standard cancers. They're also a disinterested third party.

Comment Re:11 rear enders (Score 1) 549

Yes, but sometimes you get fooled.

I rear-ended someone once. The velocity was slow enough that it was barely a scratch on either of our bumpers, but it still shakes me years later when I think about it.

I was driving in an ice storm down a slight grade and saw the car ahead of me and hit the brakes. I then promptly slid for several car lengths before hitting him. (I was smart to just slam the breaks and let the car's anti-lock breaking system figure out what to do. You start second-thinking the ABS and pump the breaks and you end up sliding a lot more.)

Comment Higher priorities (Score 1) 191

Apple should have higher priorities than force touch.

For instance, make a power-on button that works for more than a couple years.

Last three iPhones my wife and I bought had the power switch become less responsive (requiring heavy pressure to register) after about three years.

Or, of course, just expect everyone to throw away their phones in 2 years. That seems to be what everyone does, anyway.

Comment Re:Is there one lawyer who isn't a lying fuck? (Score 1) 75

My experience is a bit better. Most of the lawyers I've dealt with were aggressively defending my rights.

That being said, those were all fairly high-priced lawyers who have had decades of experience before I chose them. In addition, they were all highly recommended before I ever contacted them.

I guess it's just another example of 'you get what you pay for'.

Comment These are live donors... (Score 1) 130

A lot of the posters are missing the point here.

These are live donors who have joined a group of other live donors who made a promise to give a kidney now (while they are alive) in return for a kidney to be donated to a loved one in the near future (as the case may be). With the advent of national databases they were able to find a sequence of matches (involving 9 donors) so that they were able to get a kidney donated to their loved ones.

This is more a networking or graph design problem than a organ donation issue. I expect more of these sort of things in the future with other live donations (ie: liver, pancreas, bone marrow).

(I had a friend give a kidney to his twin brother. Wasn't a big deal. They just had to run a load of tests to make sure the healthy twin wasn't otherwise at risk for renal failure.)

"Just think, with VLSI we can have 100 ENIACS on a chip!" -- Alan Perlis