No Place Like Home

A summary of what's in the major U.S. newspapers.
Oct. 13 2005 7:17 AM

No Place Like Home

(Continued from Page 1)

The NYT offers up the latest installment of its ongoing series on the experience of being a medical patient. Today's piece, on the frustrating unintelligibility of most insurance paperwork, consists largely of bureaucratic horror stories that will be familiar to most readers. One expert, however, offers up a useful analogy to today's medical billing system:

"Suppose you walk into a restaurant," he said, "and you don't get a menu, you don't get any choice of what food you'll eat, they don't tell you what it is when they're serving it to you, they don't tell you what it's going to cost. … Although you [eventually] get the bill, you still can't figure out what you really owe."

Michael Brus, a former Slate assistant editor, is a psychiatrist in private practice in New York City. He is on the clinical faculty of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.