Some misc pieces for a chilly Tuesday morning in the Northeast (at least we don’t have a hurricane coming through!)….
I heard from Bob, a reader who alerted us all to a scam-of-sorts — meant to increase revenue for the doctor while draining a patient’s pocket for no apparent reason…. it’s unclear from his email whether it happened to him — but — here’s the takeaway:
You go to the doctor for a check-up. At the end of the exam, you are scheduled for bloodwork and told to return the next day. So — now you have to make a second trip AND pay a second co-pay. Why? Why can’t they draw the blood while you are there?
Granted — it could be a fasting blood-sugar test — which should be explained to you. But if it was a check up, then they knew that’s why you were there to begin with, and it should have taken place just prior to your exam, fasting the night before — right?
Bob’s point is a good one, in two ways: first, don’t let them schedule you for a return visit, which you’ll need to pay for, unless it’s absolutely necessary. Ask if whatever they need to do then can’t be done while you are already there. And second, when you make an apopintment for a check up, ask whether you should fast beforehand, if that would help move the process along.
Good points, Bob. Thanks.
Then I heard from a woman who blogs under the pseudonym of N=1 about healthcare politics, policies, trends, and all those big picture things that mostly get in the way of healthcare. You know — my statement that American healthcare is not about health or care –> it’s about sickness and money. It seems she was part of the healthcare landscape, in a highly responsible position, for many many years — and blew the whistle and got fired — and is now persona-non-grata when it comes to being hired elsewhere.
Talk about a trust violation! The very person who sticks her stake in the ground to HELP is now left out of the helping field all together.
She’s taken her skills, anger and vision to her blog and other writing. While I don’t agree with everything she writes, I admire her chutzpah to go out on such a long limb…. And the points she makes are certainly based on our lack of trust for “the system” that is so out of control.
I really hate not trusting. Just want to make that clear. It’s not in my nature. Last week in a conversation with an advocate I was “meeting” for the first time (who I’ll blog about in a day or two — some really good stuff!) I explained to her that the ONLY part of this work I do that I dislike is that edge of cynicism I have had to develop. It’s just not who I’ve been in my entire life. In fact, I’ve been dubbed Pollyanna too many times! That gives you some idea of how far outside my comfort level this new edge is for me.
But I also know it’s necessary to fulfill my mission of helping patients help themselves. Asking the right questions at the right time, looking at the inside from the outside, trying to play devil’s advocate — it’s all worth it if the result is a better outcome for just one person.
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