Corruption in Health Care

In November of 2018 Forum Health Providers attended the ILADS symposium in Chicago and participated in the presentation given by Jenna Luche-Thayer, MS, on the corruption that has become epidemic in our healthcare system.  What an eye-opening session!  Insurance companies are now the wealthiest companies on earth, and corruption practices have become globalized – not just in the US.  Large corporations are manipulating health care to help keep insurance payouts low and to limit entire countries from financial liability for insurance and disability/social support payments.  Corruption has literally become normalized – it is the rule rather than the exception.  The result is that millions of people are suffering worldwide because of it.

For example, in most scenarios if a person is sick more than 6 months, their condition is determined to be “psychosomatic.”  This means they are referred to a psychiatrist for anti-depressants or anti-anxiety meds as it must be “all in their head.”  The term now being used is, “medically unexplained symptoms,” or MUS.  Once a diagnosis of MUS has been recorded on the individual’s records, any future symptoms may be grouped under that as well and that patient may be denied any further insurance reimbursement.  

There are proactive groups who are working hard worldwide to counteract these practices.  Trying to get the United Nations and the World Health Organization involved may be helpful.  It is their opinion that these practices boil down to human right abuse.  In the US, new ICD 10 codes (codes used by insurance companies to determine reimbursement) have been introduced into legislative bodies to help diagnose and recognize long-term complications of several disease conditions, such as Lyme disease.  Conditions such as Lyme Carditis, Arthritis due to Lyme, and Congenital Lyme Borreliosis may be reimbursed soon – and there are many more as well.

Even though there are many factors in health care that work against ethical principles of patient care, there are many advocacy groups that are currently trying to solve those issues in favor of world health.  The more education that patients receive the faster these issues can be resolved.