John Stossel has written a poignant and moving opinion piece via Fox News, revealing that he has lung cancer. The report, titled “Stossel: I have lung cancer. The medical care I’ve received is excellent but the customer service stinks,” details John’s cancer journey. Stossel opened his article with the shocking news of his cancer diagnosis but reports that since the cancerous growth was discovered early, John should be able to beat his lung cancer.
Stossel wrote his article detailing his cancer experience from the hospital.
“Seems I have lung cancer.”
The Stossel Twitter account @JohnStossel retweeted a link to the article. Perhaps best known for his days on the newsmagazine TV show 20/20, Stossel has been a reporter for more than 40 years. John has a Fox Business Network show titled Stossel, which airs on Friday nights at 9 p.m. ET.
John seems to have taken a page from his popular “Give Me a Break” segment from the days of old to complain about the medical history forms he had to complete several times.
“My doctors tell me my growth was caught early and I’ll be fine. Soon I will barely notice that a fifth of my lung is gone. I believe them. After all, I’m at New York-Presbyterian Hospital. U.S. News & World Report ranked it No. 1 in New York. I get excellent medical care here. But as a consumer reporter, I have to say, the hospital’s customer service stinks. Doctors keep me waiting for hours, and no one bothers to call or email to say, ‘I’m running late.’ Few doctors give out their email address. Patients can’t communicate using modern technology.”
Stossel went on to do what Stossel does best when he received the news about his lung cancer diagnosis: John used it as an opportunity to explain the frustrations that can be encountered when it comes to experiencing a hospital visit or stay.
“I get X-rays, EKG tests, echocardiograms, blood tests. Are all needed? I doubt it. But no one discusses that with me or mentions the cost. Why would they? The patient rarely pays directly. Government or insurance companies pay. I fill out long medical history forms by hand and, in the next office, do it again. Same wording: name, address, insurance, etc.”
With Stossel making his beliefs more well known, one almost expects to find Obamacare somewhere within John’s article. Instead, Stossel writes that it should not surprise him that some hospitals have bad customer service. John does call most hospitals socialist bureaucracies, ones that took forever to simply place barcodes on medicines and track products like supermarkets did decades prior.
Stossel tackled HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act), which was imposed by the government. John commented that hospitals don’t necessarily cater to consumers but to Big Brother and confusing paperwork filled with legal rhetoric.
Stossel added that such a lack of customer service wouldn’t work well with a business. John reported having great nurses who knew when “old machines” were just beeping and didn’t actually signal emergencies. Other hospital workers were deemed indifferent by John, because hospitals don’t represent a business with paying customers.
Stossel, a Libertarian, wrote that a capitalist type of market where customers bought their own meds and hospital services, instead of insurance companies or the government footing the bill, would mean that hospitals would compete for customers and offer much better services.
“Sometimes the VA’s suicide hotline goes to voicemail.”
Stossel closed his article with the notion that until patients begin really paying out of pocket, hospitals won’t necessarily experience an improvement in customer service.
[Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP Images]