The View From The Golden Dome

Views on the week's events plus some of mine.

Les Berman Weekly 10/5 Smart Guy, Hospital Bill !!! , Dangerous States, Chicken Nuggets… and much much more…

I like to think I’m a smart guy, or at least an intelligent guy. My daddy said I was ! mommy said I was; my aunt’s said I was; my kids never said I was but they never said I was stupid (so I am grateful for that). But there is one thing I don’t understand. Yes… just one thing… at least right now. Ask me again in 20 minutes.


I just got my bill from the hospital. I guess I would have had a heart attack if the bill had been presented so that the total, rather than the negotiated, charge, was on the front page. I guess that they do that so they can’t be accused of soliciting patients. I looked at my bill very carefully, as you are supposed to do, and decided that the hospital was fully entitled to every penny of the six figure plus bill. I had superb care and received superb treatment from the staff at Cedars Sinai Medical Center.


But this is the part I don’t understand. Every hospital, including Cedars-Sinai,  has negotiated rates with insurance companies and Medicare. Why do I receive a bill for the 100% amount, which does not get paid, rather than a bill for the negotiated rate? I don’t mind either way but I’m really curious. So if any of you are hospital administrators or CPA’s that work with hospitals, I’d appreciate an email and I’ll run it next week.

I guess if I was an oil baron from a foreign country and was coming here for treatment, I would be paying full tariff, but I’m neither an oil baron (darn it !) nor from a foreign country (well, recently anyway).

So, in other news, I saw a listing of the most dangerous states in the USA. Of course, I would have thought that my home state was up there on top: they’re at the bottom for education so I thought that California had to be at the top for something, besides taxation and Los Angeles Worst Roads in the Nation trophy. The article described the causes of crime – low levels of education, low income, etc. No surprises there! In order, the three states with the worst crime records, are (cue the drum roll)… Tennessee (bet that one surprised you!);  Nevada (easy pickings) and Alaska (I guess all the crazies come out with the spring thaw!).


Sometimes, you have to be slapped in the head with the obvious. Remember the TV commercial from years past where some character was trying to find which part of the chicken could actually be identified as the ‘nugget’ ! Of course, the nugget location could not be found…. until.. a report in the American Journal of Medicine published their findings.


I will admit that I have, in the past, had nuggets. I was hungry and the drive-thru was there. I will also admit, that I will never do that again. And I hope that you and your spouse will also take that pledge, because when you read this, you will never subject your kids (or yourselves) to this things again.


Suck it up... here it comes… The first nugget was about half muscle, with the rest a mix of fat, blood vessels and nerves. Close inspection revealed cells that line the skin and internal organs of the bird, the authors write in the American Journal of Medicine.

The second nugget was only 40 percent muscle, and the remainder was fat, cartilage and pieces of bone. In fairness, the authors indicate that breast meat and thigh meat are identified as muscle, so that’s ok. Here’s the rest of the ‘good news” : “It is really a chicken by-product high in calories, salt, sugar and fat that is a very unhealthy choice. Even worse, it tastes great and kids love it and it is marketed to them.”


In fairness to chicken producers, and there are a lot of them, they did respond by saying that the size of the sample used by the study authors was too small ( I agree), and that some large chain restaurants have changed the ingredients to be mostly white meat. The chicken producers also said that nuggets are a good source of protein for kids who are picky eaters. Read the nutritional charts at the restaurant to get an idea of what your kids are eating. And if you don’t understand what you are reading, check it out on Wikipedia. Everything is explained there but do not be embarrassed. A lot of your friends have no idea what they are reading either !


Money makes the world go around, and if you might need some for a good project, real estate or otherwise, please call me at 818.305.4695.

Have a better week !!


Berman’s Factoids of the Week:


Paraprosdokiansare figures of speech in which the latter part of a sentence or phrase is surprising or unexpected; frequently humorous.

War does not determine who is right – only who is left.

Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.

To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism; to steal from many is research.

I didn’t say it was your fault; I said I was blaming you.

In filling out an application, where it says, ‘In case of emergency, Notify:’ I put ‘DOCTOR’.

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 Les Berman CMC
    Money Specialist
NMLS ID 227675
Voice: 818.305.4695

October 20, 2013 Posted by | business, chicken producers, fun, general interest, humor, medicine, real estate, stuff, Uncategorized, whimsy | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment