The Health (don't) Care Industry


Doy, for-profit health care will always put patients last.

1 Like

Although my experience turned out ok in the end, it did not start that way. My original ECG was denied as not being necessary by Cigna. It led to a TEE (basically an ECG of the heart but done through the esophagus) and found a moderate to severe regurgitation of the mitral heart valve. That’s 100% “you need surgery” people. No second opinion will differ. So… not necessary my a@#. It kept me alive.

To their credit there were no issues after that and my out-of-pocket was relatively small. But what is scary was the amount the hospital billed versus what insurance negotiated. Seriously, how do people without insurance survive (financially) large, unexpected surgeries?


They don’t. In the runup to passage of the ACA, people noted that the leading cause of personal bankruptcy is medial bills. Additionally, many of those bankrupts had insurance when they first fell ill, but lost their insurance because they couldn’t work, because they were ill. I have posted before, about a guy who worked at the pump seal company I once worked for. A few years after I left the company, that guy developed cancer. He had to keep dragging himself into the office, to within a few days of his death, because, if he quit working, he would lose his insurance, and be bankrupted by the medical bills.

Great system Shiny-land has: “your money or your life”.



TEE - transesophageal echo cardiogram - an ultrasound of your heart with moving pictures. By using color doppler (like during a tornado weather report) they could see the flow/pattern and thus diagnose your regurgitation. An ECG - electrocardiogram - is just a measure of electrical impulses, no pictures.

Glad things turned out for you.

1 Like

An ECG is an echo cardiogram - a sonogram through the rib cage of your heart. You’re thinking EKG.

Nope…ECG is an electrocardiogram. No idea why some folk write/say EKG…there you go. Same as oesophagus, foetus, anaesthesia …and aluminium, I guess.

EKG is the abbreviation from the German spelling of electrocardiogram (which is elektrokardiogramm in German).,the%20test%20was%20initially%20invented.

Apparently some German invented it.



Same reason LSD is LSD and not “LAD”. “Acid” auf Deutsch is “säure”

1 Like

Minor correction - your money AND your life.


You could always move to Canada. Lots of open space!!

Actually, I did know that about the origins of EKG, Ralph…I just didn’t know why the terminology was in use when it leads to confusion for a good many.

Oddly enough, I read and replied to this thread yesterday at the hospital just after dh had his “emergency” cardiac ultrasound (not via the oesophageal route)…the terminology I use rather than echocardiogram… along with a concurrent 3 lead ECG, and just before his appointment with the intervention cardiologist. I wish I had read it just 45 minutes prior and I would’ve taken snapshots (to include the doppler flow patterns that modern machines can show with an external probe) Would’ve been in black and white, though, and not the technicolour on the screen. This was an unexpected follow-up to a CT angiogram two weeks ago which we expected to be a routine check, but wasn’t.

I’ve written about dh’s bio-Bentall procedure and his bionic aortic valve and ascending aorta before, but this most recent visit was his 5 year follow-up and, all being well, transition to a less frequent follow-up from a 6 monthly check. Like the need for his surgery in the first place (an out of left field, sudden onset heart murmur caused by an undiagnosed, asymptomatic congenital heart defect…initially diagnosed by my daughter with her mobile ultrasound equipment) this recent issue was also a bit of a stunner. HALT…hypoattenuating leaflet thickening. One of the 3 leaflets of his bionic aortic valve was a little thickened on the angiogram and the ultrasound slowed it in real time with the flow disturbance…and very mild regurgitation…it caused. I had never heard of it until a dh’s angiogram and phone call from cardiologist. Apparently due to early clot formation. Caught very early with an optimistic prognosis of complete reversal with anticoagulation therapy.

I can’t imagine why a simple (i.e. non invasive) routine ultrasound would be denied in favour of a TEE but, thank gawd that, in dh’s instance, no one else imagined any pre approval would’ve been necessary. In the first instance (the about-to-dissect aortic aneurysm) any faffing around would’ve probably meant widowhood for me and, most recent, a repeat valve replacement for dh.

I’m learning far too much cardiology these days :thinking:


Yay! :grinning:. I’m glad you DD and subsequent testing were available!



Like we always say…the school fees were worth it.

1 Like

Google is your friend:

What is an ECG vs. EKG? Both terms mean the same thing: an electrocardiogram . EKG comes from the German word, which uses “k” instead of “c” in both parts of the word. However, it’s different from an echocardiogram, which is an ultrasound that creates images of your beating heart.


Yep. Didn’t need Google, mind, since I’ve had both the above many times now. Too much experience for my liking.

Ultrasounds are actually quite interesting to watch when you can grasp what you’re looking at. When we first moved to Colorado (and I hadn’t yet developed Afib and gained insight from first hand experience) I would accompany my daughter on her mobile rounds to act as her roadie and scribe. She was 7 months pregnant and couldn’t heft her mobile equipment out of the back of her truck so I stepped up to help.

As well as dictating what she was seeing, if a pet parent wanted to come into the room, she didn’t object, and would give them a mini tutorial. After a bit I got to be able to recognise what I was looking at. I actually noticed the bit of regurgitation on dh’s ultrasound yesterday so could give him a heads-up whilst we were waiting for the cardiologist to review the images and movies.

1 Like

Senate Committee on Finance today.

If interested, submit your statement for the record. Lots of interesting ideas for health care reform are being tossed around. One of them rhymes with Schmass-Schmeagal Act for Healthcare…

1 Like