Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Let's Talk Pay!

If you missed page B1 of   today, check out my tips on how to talk to peers and boss about pay!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

The Career Derailers

Wonder what will derail your career?  Think about these:

H - Halving the truth; even the little white lies will catch up with you - did you really return that email?
U - Unpreparedness causes a loss of confidence from everyone who is counting on you
B - Bad language - no matter how rough everyone else speaks someone is expecting better of you
R - Rolling in late or leaving early...those few minutes either way can create the wrong impression
I -  Insensitivity to others will lose you friends and your job - there are expectations for how you work, act, dress and talk. If you are out of touch on these -watch out!
S - Self-promotion that goes too far helps you out the door

And of course, too much "Hubris"!  (learn from Ron Johnson and JC Penney)

Monday, April 1, 2013

Healthcare Costs - A Little Transparency Could Go A Long Way

I had to have an MRI on my left knee for unidentified pain.  I was written a prescription for a partial MRI.  Because my doctor was at Stanford, of course the MRI was written to be done in the Stanford Radiology Department. I didn't think anything of it really. I came back a week later and the MRI went great.  What they found were Baker's cysts, which I later got successfully drained.  There was no pain until last week.  Last week I got the bill for the MRI!  $3000.00 for the partial MRI on my knee.  Now I didn't know at the time if this was expensive or not until Patti compared a full MRI that she had done at Mills-Peninsula.  For her full body MRI, it was $1300.  Now, that seemed like a big difference.

I did send a note to my doctor at Stanford who appreciated my speaking up as a patient (who according to him carries more clout when it comes to pricing decisions than what the doctors think).

What would have have worked though, saved me money, saved the insurance company, and contributed positively to the overall health care cost dilemma we face, would have been a little transparency.

Imagine that at the bottom of the prescription - actually for any prescription we were to get- would be the price of the procedure, or pills, etc. Since the healthcare provider already knows what insurance plan we are on (as they go to great effort to ensure we are all insured), it would be a no-brainer to actually quote the gross cost of the procedure/prescription and what the net, out of pocket cost that we will experience.

This can't be that hard so why doesn't it happen already?

Could it be that we aren't supposed to know that much information, because if I saw the difference between $3000 and $1300 (or less because my MRI was a partial procedure) that I might have left Stanford and gone to Mills?


I suspect this level of transparency will be hard to garner without regulations and rules to make it so.

I am not advocating greater government intervention, but any form of influence that would force greater transparency into healthcare costs should not be fought.Without external forces we know from our own experiences to date that the system isn't set up for consumerism. 

I support full transparency here.  What would it take to just be able to see what we are going to be charged before we purchase? 

Until this happens, let's each have the courage to ask the question before we act.  It's a simple set of questions; "How much will this cost me?", "Are there other lower cost alternatives that are just as effective?"
If we don't ask, we won't be told.