Saturday, March 20, 2010

Health Care Emergency


Nurse Nancy

"Mama called the doctor, and the doctor said . . ."

"We have an opening Friday. What kind of insurance do you have? Oh, you don't? Actually, I don't have anything available until July. I'm sorry."

—AND—

"For a non-insured patient we require a $250 deposit before we can schedule an appointment. Can I have your credit card number?"

—AND—

"Our new patient fee is $200, payable when you sign in. The rest of your charges will depend on what you have done."

—AND THEN—

"Before we talk about hot flashes, I'll need a full blood work-up." ($1,000.) "The blood work showed your hormones are out of balance. To rule out a tumor, I want to schedule a CT scan." ($3500.) "No tumor. But you don't need your 'equipment' anymore. A hysterectomy guarantees you won't get ovarian cancer."

"I didn't think hysterectomies were routine anymore," I said. "Oh, I do them all the time," she replied. "They're my bread and butter." (I can't afford to pay for your butter, I thought.)

The Deseret Morning News wrote this editorial on April 10, 2008:

"In our opinion, lack of insurance is deadly.

"The nation's uninsured are 25 percent more likely to die prematurely than adults with private health insurance. In Utah, at least three working-age adults die each week because they are uninsured or they have too little coverage. More than 800 Utahns ages 25-64 died between 2000 and 2006 due to this problem.

"As we consider meaningful health-care reform, the medically uninsured must occupy a high place on the agenda. If they are placed in health-care plans that have high deductibles, it is unlikely they will receive primary or preventive care that can eliminate or control small problems before they become health crises.

"As it stands, the medically uninsured or under-insured are three times more likely to delay seeking health care. Cost and access are clear impediments. They are three times more likely to have difficulty obtaining needed medical care. When they receive hospital services, for instance, they are charged almost three times what insured patients are billed.

"It is somewhat difficult for average Utahns to comprehend the challenges faced by people who are uninsured or under-insured. That's because nearly 80% of Utahns are covered by a medical insurance benefit plan offered by their place of work. As such, they do not encounter the full cost of medical procedures and services, nor do they face extraordinary challenges obtaining health care.

"Policymakers must be mindful of the estimated 100,000 working adults who work full-time—many of them self-employed—and have no medical coverage.

"Medical costs are skyrocketing due to many factors. People with insurance are not the most careful stewards of the benefits. Hopefully, as architects of health care reform set about their work, addressing the needs of the under-insured and uninsured should be a key factor in their deliberations."
Doctor Dan

Maybe by Sunday there will finally be a cure for what ails me.

(Good luck to all of us with health issues!)

9 comments:

Heather @ Alis Grave Nil said...

Hugs from the blogosphere. I wish I had answers, but I think you're one brave lady for posting the truth of your situation. Rock on.

Katie H said...

I'm facing the same difficulty! Well, not health issues per se, although a nasty case of bronchitis is fighting me right now, and I have no insurance to show for it. Incredibly frustrating. Fingers crossed things get fixed soon...

marta said...

and then come to find out, no cure for the hot flash!?! sorry oms. hang in there. i've got something that will make you feel better. it'll be showing up at your door next wednesday night! xo.

Astyn said...

I trust the people that will be making this decision for us on Sunday far less that I would that Dr. who recommend major surgery and has the audacity to call it her 'bread and butter' in your presence. I too am completely uninsured and have been postponing an appointment for my foot for months because of the cost it will incur. However, there has to be something better that what is being thumbed up or down on Sunday.
I enjoy reading your blog. Hope you find the answers soon.

cannwin said...

One of the worst experiences I've ever had was when a doctor informed me she wouldn't take checks from me because people in my situation rarely had good checks.

Hugs and Kisses from the Cannwin-o-sphere.

the wrath of khandrea said...

i hear you can get crackers and margarine behind the corner drug store for half the price...

truthfully, in this day and age, i'll bet you could sue your practitioner and win. no one, the legal system included, has any tolerance for this kind of nonsense anymore.

Kay Dennison said...

I have screamed about health care ad nauseum and feel your pain.

Susan Adcox said...

While traveling, we have had occasion to use both the Canadian and the English systems, admittedly for minor problems, but we found them efficient and affordable, even for visitors. I am lucky enough to be covered under my former employer and my husband's former employer, although we pay a hefty price for the second coverage. I still had to put $2500 on my charge card to cover my deductibles which started again in January. Then there is my father, who has Medicare and a supplemental policy but who has to pay for the entire cost of his prescriptions--about $1500 a month--when he falls into the "donut hole" each year. The health care system in the United States is broken, and I hope that we take the first step toward fixing it in a matter of hours.

Tiffany said...

I'm sorry for your woes. Congratulations on a small victory toward fixing these!