Tinnitus

Felonious Crud

Centenary Club
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13,379
But if you retired out of a company scheme here and went to purchase your own privately they would screen for pre-existing conditions and either refuse to cover some conditions or ramp up the premium to achieve the same result - no thank you we don't want to cover you.
Yup, 'bout right. When I left my company scheme I was quoted £8k to continue on a private plan on account of a history of cancer, despite being all clear, blah blah blah. Bollox, I thought, (well, singular, actually, see above) I'll self insure. Paying for a consultation really isn't that expensive. Less than a tyre, as noted.
 
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762
Yup, 'bout right. When I left my company scheme I was quoted £8k to continue on a private plan on account of a history of cancer, despite being all clear, blah blah blah. Bollox, I thought, (well, singular, actually, see above) I'll self insure. Paying for a consultation really isn't that expensive. Less than a tyre, as noted.
And fixed costs treatment prices make self-funding cost effective with quick access, choice of hospitals and choice of clinicians.

Remember that with the exception of certain locations such as Harley St, the majority of specialists are also consultants in the NHS. This supports my findings and experience that there are a lot of talented clinicians in the NHS - dragged down by admin and bureaucracy - from which they are unshackled in the private setting.
 

CatmanV2

Member
Messages
31,403
Not quite. In the NHS there is s prescribed method for coding and costing procedures per FCE (finished consultant episode) that is
<snip>
Sorry, to be clear I was only commenting that healthcare is expensive (i.e. that it costs a lot) in the UK as well, I was not seeking to make any judgements on the relative merits or indeed the detail on any of the processes with which I am not familiar.

I will observe that in the UK we often think healthcare is cheap, which appears to be driven by the fact it's an invisible cost to our wallets.

Certainly not arguing with any of your other points.

C
 

jw38

Member
Messages
117
Not quite. In the NHS there is s prescribed method for coding and costing procedures per FCE (finished consultant episode) that is presented to CCGs to negotiate costs of treatments they will fund. The Clinical Commissioning Group has the guns to negotiate rates on behalf of its GP practices for services procured.

On the flip side, the NHS Trust has knowledge at marginal pricing which it uses to negotiate and sub contract work to the private sector. They don't pay those sort of fees we pay for out-of-pocket private treatments. Same for private insurer companies - they dont pay our out-of-pocket fees for procedures. In fact the biggest user of private beds is the NHS! It uses it (reluctantly) as a means of clearing waiting lists or getting them down.

The Ambulance Service in the NHS is regionally funded from taxpayer monies. Unlike the US where it is entirely privately run and usually associated with a private hospital (or as they call them, Medical Centers).

So no, it is not like the UK at all. In the US, uppermost is "who's gonna pay?" And that is not the case in the NHS directly for patients. The similarity with the US is a Trust asks if the CCG will fund treatment which is where we see post code access to some newer and more expensive treatments.

Also, anyone unable to meet payment if they fall ill in the US without insurance can face the possibility of Marshalls to take you back to stand trial and force the sale of assets back in UK to oay for treatment received. I know of one instance where this happened where the patient suffered s heart attack without insurance and required a 3-vessel coronary by-pass graft and one week in ICU.

The NHS does not pursue anything like as vigorously for costs to non-EU nationals who visit and fall ill.

There is a lot going for the NHS but it is admin-staff heavy and bureaucratic and trying to balance their books of income and costs is always gonna be there with the current model.

Europe has some innovative models where costs are shared between Government and Insurance scheme that is mandatory for all For those unable to pay insurance, the cost is paid by Government at a negotiated (reduced rate). Others involve a co-pay where a fee is paid for each consultation and a fee towards the drug costs. But no Govt in the UK would venture into this minefield for the NHS - it is needed but any Govt that introduces fees will likely never come into power again as it violates Nye Bevans vision of being free at the point of need. That vision was wholly right in 1948 when it was created. Throwing more money into it will never catch up with the rise in demand. The money disappears into a black hole with no incremental outputs in service.
While I don't understand how the NHS in the UK operates, I do know that not all ambulance services in the US are privately run. In fact, almost every fire department in the US provides ambulance services for medical care if needed. I live in a rural community, about 35 miles north of the closest city, San Antonio. Our town has a well-staffed fire department and they provide ambulance services. The closest fire station is only 3 miles from my home.

"Costs are shared between Government and Insurance"...which translates to "costs are shared between the taxpayers and insurance". In the US, for those who are unable to pay, costs are passed-on to those of us who do have the ability to pay. My health care coverage would cover me if I traveled to the UK and needed medical care. Why doesn't the NHS do the same for UK citizens who travel to the US?

The US legal system does not have the authority to force a UK citizen to return to the US to face a trial for unpaid medical bills nor can the US legal system force the sale of assets to pay for unpaid medical care bills. If a UK citizen doesn't pay for medical care received in the US, a debt collector will be engaged and will attempt to collect the debt, but a UK citizen cannot be forced to return to the US. US law enforcement has no jurisdiction outside of the US and unpaid medical bills are a civil action, not a criminal action. If payment is not made, the debt will eventually be written off and, most likely, the UK citizen will not be allowed entrance to the US again.
 

namaste

Member
Messages
200
39 yrs old, 60-70 db hearing loss at its worst. I have a cacophony of tinnitus, multiple noises that flare up now and again that can be hard to stay sane with. Also have hyperacusis, which is a sensitivity to loud sounds that most people wouldn't be bothered by. Hearing aids help a bit by challenging the tinnitus frequencies where there's loss. There do seem to be some promising treatments on the horizon though, you can read more on the tinnitus talk forum. Lots of money being thrown at tinnitus research now.

Look after your ears people, having a normal hearing system is very underated.
 
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762
While I don't understand how the NHS in the UK operates, I do know that not all ambulance services in the US are privately run. In fact, almost every fire department in the US provides ambulance services for medical care if needed. I live in a rural community, about 35 miles north of the closest city, San Antonio. Our town has a well-staffed fire department and they provide ambulance services. The closest fire station is only 3 miles from my home.

"Costs are shared between Government and Insurance"...which translates to "costs are shared between the taxpayers and insurance". In the US, for those who are unable to pay, costs are passed-on to those of us who do have the ability to pay. My health care coverage would cover me if I traveled to the UK and needed medical care. Why doesn't the NHS do the same for UK citizens who travel to the US?

The US legal system does not have the authority to force a UK citizen to return to the US to face a trial for unpaid medical bills nor can the US legal system force the sale of assets to pay for unpaid medical care bills. If a UK citizen doesn't pay for medical care received in the US, a debt collector will be engaged and will attempt to collect the debt, but a UK citizen cannot be forced to return to the US. US law enforcement has no jurisdiction outside of the US and unpaid medical bills are a civil action, not a criminal action. If payment is not made, the debt will eventually be written off and, most likely, the UK citizen will not be allowed entrance to the US again.
You are spot-on with Fire Brigade summoning an ambulance. In fact in road traffic incidents, my daughter tells me the police usually call-out the fire service. But the ambulance takes the patient to a private center and presumably invoices the car insurance company for its charges. The medical cover picks up the treatment costs.

In the example of the family with a heart attack, they were hounded for payment and threats. They had to pay the bill in full by downsizing the property - otherwise they could never enter the US (and presumably its territories such as Puerto Rico). The US has a lot of vociferous leverage that the UK just lacks. That family had members in the US they wanted to visit and those members could not afford to visit them in the UK.

US Medical Insurance has a great positive - it covers them abroad as well as at home.

The NHS cannot fund healthcare costs in the UK let alone abroad! So I dont see that happening in my lifetime. Hence we have to buy stand-alone travel insurance which covers the essential medical costs if we fall ill abroad. But usually, the insurer will focus on repatriation back to UK to avoid paying treatment costs abroad. It is dealt with on a case-by-case basis where triage might initially be stabilise the patient and air-lift them (private charter if required) back to UK and pass costs to the NHS.

The travel insurance is not health indurance such as provided by private insurers in the UK. It cannot be used for medical tourism abroad for treatments and is for medical emergencies. The medical team has to phone the UK company where thry will be talking to a doctor who will agree and authorise an appropriate leve of treatment with agreed on-going reviews.
 
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Messages
762
39 yrs old, 60-70 db hearing loss at its worst. I have a cacophony of tinnitus, multiple noises that flare up now and again that can be hard to stay sane with. Also have hyperacusis, which is a sensitivity to loud sounds that most people wouldn't be bothered by. Hearing aids help a bit by challenging the tinnitus frequencies where there's loss. There do seem to be some promising treatments on the horizon though, you can read more on the tinnitus talk forum. Lots of money being thrown at tinnitus research now.

Look after your ears people, having a normal hearing system is very underated.
Anyone who finds they have to turn the telly up and family complain its too loud. Or anyone who struggles to hear/discern a conversation with other people talking (in pubs, restaurants etc) should talk to their GP for a free NHS referral hearing test. Without the GP referral there may be a charge at the likes of SpecSavers. The GP will get a report of the tests snd discuss the implications.

But do remember that we all suffer some age-related sensory hearing loss. The test will identify how much loss and if hearing aids will help. The test will also look for 'conductive' deafness and the report will be sent to the GP. Its how much the sensory loss impacts on daily activities and the cost of the solution that the focus will be on. The NHS does pay for good modern aids. But the choice is wide and costs vary.
 

iainw

Member
Messages
2,965
I have to agree. We spend several hundred and even thousand plus for an annual service on our car (with those advisories at the service), yet we seem to be oblivious to the concept of paying privately for health-related matters. The NHS will pass us pillar-to-post on elective work (non-emergency) but the private sector is open and offers many treatments on fixed price basis - at a time of choosing (usually very quickly), with the clinician of our choice (unlike the NHS where you don't know who will perform the procedure other than someone in Mr X's team) and few realise that for many procedures, you don't even need a GP referral! A 40 minute initial consultation is around £250 - plus costs of any tests/X-rays etc - which if you had with your GP, you can ask your GP to print off and take to the consultation. I know of people with knackered hips and knees, restricted mobility, in agony spend £35k - £50k on kitchen and bathroom refit. But won't spend £12k on getting themselves sorted. I find this weird - my personal opinion only.

The NHS is over-burdened - demand exceeds supply.

Private sector is not as expensive as people tend to think to sort their issues out quickly and with good clinicians. And I agree with the remark about searching on Google - far better to seek the opinion of an expert - be it in the NHS or the Private setting.

In this specific case, Tinnitus is often associated with nerve deterioration and there is often a contribution from high noise exposure over the years. Quite how nerve damage can be reversed is key to establish. Other organic causes need to be ruled out - it is easy to become scared with utterance of "acoustic neuroma" but only an expert is able to differentiate between similar signs and symptoms - not Google.
Nail. On. Head. Conflict of interest statement- I am a Professor of Surgery Working in the Private and NHS sectors. I also find it baffling how some people quibble about having to pay a relatively small amount to have serious issues sorted within days- yet they will pay 100s-1000s on holidays, phone bills, takeaways, alcohol , sky tv etc etc.

I do however empathise with individuals suffering with symptoms and not knowing what is available... GPS aren’t exactly accessible and it’s unclear what options there are and how much they cost.
Anyone who would like informal and confidential advice I am happy to give it. It’s pretty much the same Pan- Specialty.
 

rockits

Member
Messages
6,718
Just catching up on the thread as have been busy beavering away.

Sorry to see in a way that it has been so active with so many sufferers of tinnitus but also other related and unrelated ailments. Let's get it all on the table nice and open the we can deal with it all. Oh....we all did

I have found an ENT specialist and have an appt Monday morning at Hatfield One. Let's see what he says to kick off with.

I hang on to the hope as others have mentioned about a noise cancelling style option. Certainly seems possible and plausible for some depending on the individuals symptoms.
 

MarkMas

Member
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2,725
I find this a bit difficult to comprehend since I presume there is no actual physical sound wave to actually cancel out? Unless the brain can detect the phase of the tinnitus sound wave and the external noise cancellation wave and sum them?

Obviously something is working but just not sure what or how!
Eb
I had always assumed that noise-cancelling headphones were actually creating cancelling vibrations that meant that the pressure wave hitting the eardrum was neutralised at those frequencies.

BUT now I am thinking that the tinnitus-releaving noise cancellation must be playing a sound that fools the brain, not the eardrum, into cancelling the undesirable sounds out - doing this, as it were, electronically, rather than physically.

AND now I am wondering if that is, in fact, how normal noise-cancelling headphones work, too.
 

Ebenezer

Member
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2,054
So it seems it's just physics for real noise cancellation. Must be some psycho-accoustic cleverness / trickery happening in the brain if it works for tinnitus
Eb
 

mjheathcote

Centenary Club
Messages
6,880
Noise cancelling is okay if consistent.
Was laying in bed this morning, in silence, and the tinnitus in my left ear is like a low level TV out of tune noise, but it is varied on and off, a bit like morse code, for a split moment it disappears. Can't see how noise cancelling can work in such cases and the tinnitus becomes the noise cancelling noise in the gaps!
 

zagatoes30

Centenary Club
Messages
13,401
Just caught up on this thread, fortunately I don't suffer from this although, "apparently" do have high blood pressure which I take medication for. This and my age has proved an issue getting health cover over here in Ireland even with a company scheme - pre-conditions aren't covered for 12 mths or 2 years if you are over 58, no idea why 58 but that just happens to be my age when applying.

Don't take the NHS for granted, even though I brought my medical records with me the local Quack wanted to run all the normal BP tests, including a 24hr monitor - no problem but that will be €75 please?
 

Vampyrebat

Member
Messages
1,692
Just caught up on this thread, fortunately I don't suffer from this although, "apparently" do have high blood pressure which I take medication for. This and my age has proved an issue getting health cover over here in Ireland even with a company scheme - pre-conditions aren't covered for 12 mths or 2 years if you are over 58, no idea why 58 but that just happens to be my age when applying.

Don't take the NHS for granted, even though I brought my medical records with me the local Quack wanted to run all the normal BP tests, including a 24hr monitor - no problem but that will be €75 please?
Our son was born 3 months prem. at 1b 6oz. He stayed in the Women's hospital (Liverpool) for 3 months with 24/7 professional care, whilst there also underwent a double Hernia operation. How much would that cost in some other countries?? We are so thankful to have had the NHS.............I do blame them for making him a 'Scoucer' though!!:wink:
 

Scaf

Member
Messages
1,404
When I had my operation for acoustic neuroma (the cause of my tinnitus) I has private health giving me immediate access to the best (well according to my research at the time) consultants, but as for the operation it had to be done in an NHS hospital as the private hospitals don’t have the facilities. The surgeon was able to make a charge (act privately) which he donated to his department and I was in a side room - I guess I jumped some queues along the way though. Still owe Mr Anthony Strong a debt gratitude.