Comments on: Working the system: Beware of doctors with private rooms http://blog.japantimes.co.jp/yen-for-living/working-the-system-beware-of-doctors-with-private-rooms/ How to make, save and spend money in Japan. Wed, 18 Feb 2015 03:29:48 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.3 By: Martin http://blog.japantimes.co.jp/yen-for-living/working-the-system-beware-of-doctors-with-private-rooms/comment-page-1/#comment-130270 Fri, 28 Dec 2012 01:59:15 +0000 http://blog.japantimes.co.jp/yen-for-living/?p=4253#comment-130270 Quote: “(In Japan) there is very little danger of, say, a patient having to mortgage his house to pay for care, even for a so-called catastrophic illness, which is something that occasionally happens in the United States.”

Occasionally? Medical costs are the number one cause of personal bankruptcy in the US.

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By: annie http://blog.japantimes.co.jp/yen-for-living/working-the-system-beware-of-doctors-with-private-rooms/comment-page-1/#comment-129319 Tue, 18 Dec 2012 06:10:55 +0000 http://blog.japantimes.co.jp/yen-for-living/?p=4253#comment-129319 I’ve experienced this too. When looking into a kidney transplant a few years ago, Tokyo Joshi Dai told us that intensive care counted as a private room. It would be necessary immediately post-transplant when my husband was on very high doses of immuno-suppressants, and then they said a further period in a private room was recommended. I think they suggested something like 10 days, but it was 1999, so I’m not sure. I think the room rate was something like Y10,000 a night. So although the operation in itself would be 100% covered by health insurance (kidney failure counts as the highest level of disability), the hospital would charge for use of ICU and then a private room. Having always thought of private rooms as a perk, not a necessary part of treatment, I found the charges, specially for ICU, hard to swallow. However, not being medical experts, deciding between coughing up for the isolation or whether there was a huge risk of infection in a regular ward was really stressful.
In the end, my husband got his transplant at a university hospital in Kawasaki, where ICU was indeed free, and from there, both he and the donor moved into a regular 6-bed ward, at no charge. Neither the donor nor recipient had any infection, so it seems that actually the room charge was just a side earner for the original hospital.

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