Saturday, March 20, 2010

Paper Clips and the Dentist

You would think that the only use for paper clips in the dentist's office would be to clip papers together. However, a Fall River, MA dentist, Michael Clair, was indicted on multiple counts of Medicaid fraud, including using paper clips for posts in root canals instead of the medical stainless steel he was supposed to use. He charged his regular rates, and thereby defrauded the government as the paper clips were not spec and much cheaper. This is not a good guy, as he was already was suspended from participating in Massachusetts' Medicaid plan as a provider, and was submitting billing for his work under others' names. You can read about it here.

But wait just a minute, because there is something else here, something I think has not received nearly enough attention during the Great Health Care Debate. Put aside for just a moment the "yuk" factor of paper clip bits. Put aside the fact that this Clair dude is slimy to the max, and now has been caught defrauding the government twice. Consider this: why do the regular posts cost so much? Seriously, what is the difference between the steel used in a high quality paper clip and the steel used in these posts. Yeah, the posts are sterile. But you can certainly make any metal object sterile, by throwing it in an autoclave. So why in the world do the special dental posts cost so much that the substitution of paper clips would make such a huge difference?

We really need to find out the true cost of items used in health care. Why $5 for an acetaminophen tablet in the hospital when you can get a bottle of 100 for $2.50 at Target? Where is the mark up? Is it necessary? Where and to whom is the money going? Can we find this out, before we load up the system with even more bureaucracy then it already has?

Just sayin'

2 comments:

Ann T. said...

Dear The Observer,
You Are So Right.
Ann T.

the observer said...

Ann T
Thanks for reading. It looks like the Senate cobbled together 2,000 page billus horriblus is going to pass tonight. We'll just have to see what happens.

The Observer