healthcare

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The doctor will see you now…NOT!

Published February 10, 2017 by lynn k scott

No one in today’s world can question the reality that the face of your medical care has changed.  With new laws, requirements, insurance requirements and medical office billing, trying to see “your” doctor isn’t always your choice.

Whether you have a chronic medical condition or just need to be seen for newly developed symptoms, making an appointment isn’t as easy as it used to be.  In today’s world, the emergence of Nurse Practitioners (NP) and Physician’s Assistants (PA) are the new “in” thing.

“Hi, I’d like to make a doctor’s appointment”.

Seem’s like a simple enough request.  After all, most of us are pay enormous premiums and/or copays for the privilege of a doctor to spend 10 minutes with us.  That’s in addition to two or three patients being scheduled for the same time slot so the doctor doesn’t lose any money, should there be a cancellation.

“Sure, you there is an appointment with Jean Smith at 3:30.”

There you go…your appointment…WAIT!  Where was the word “doctor” to go with that name?  Ahh…did you catch that too?  That’s because in this case, you won’t be seeing a doctor; but a PA instead.

Awesome.  No, not really.  I already have issues with doctors “practicing” medicine.  If I’m going to drop $45 on an appointment that a General Practitioner wasn’t able to resolve, why in God’s name would I entrust an on-going, chronic issue, to someone who isn’t even a board-certified doctor?

I don’t have the flu and I don’t need a throat culture performed.  I need a real diagnosis, made by a doctor, that will resolve my issue; the first time around.  “Oh, sorry, there are no doctor appointments available then”.  Don’t you just love the system?

Truth be told, PAs and NAs are half the price of a real doctor.  They are in even in the specialist’s office…the specialist!  Someone who may, or may not, have done any clinical work, who is now entrusted to see, diagnose and treat you, independent of a doctor reviewing their work.

Does that leave you with the same lack of confidence it does for me?  So, what are the other options?  Urgent care…yea..seeing a doctor, at double the cost of your primary’s copay only to refer you to your primary doctor.  The emergency room.  You’re in pain.  You have severe symptoms; chronic symptoms…just go to the emergency room.  Sure all the testing will be done right then.  You’ll be lucky if you only walk out owing about $2,000 as your portion of this wonderful care provided by your insurance.

All this, because carriers and medical offices prefer using under-qualified medical personnel instead of having you treated by a physician of your choosing.  After all, it’s only your hard-earned dollar that is footing this medical nightmare, right?

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Need an Ativan just to go to the Doctor

Published March 4, 2015 by lynn k scott

I make no bones about it…I DESPISE AND HATE the medical profession with a passion.  I am not tolerant of red tape.  I speak and expect to be heard.  If I am seeking medical attention, than it’s absolutely necessary you sit up, push up your glasses, be prepared to take accurate notes and offer a solution.  Me seeing a doctor is the equivalent of a making an emergency room visit. It can’t wait and before you suggest me visiting the emergency room, I need to feel as if death is imminent to think about the amount it will cost me at the 7-11 of the medical world.  As if charging $6,000+ for a saline solution IV is acceptable ANYWHERE! (Note:  I was actually charged that two years ago).

With all the “lovely” healthcare changes, my company, which is a good one, had to make some changes to be “in compliantce” with these new mandates.  If you haven’t already been able to tell by the tone of this post, “healthcare reform” is not a topic I think has been resolved or remotely addressed, esp. by the idiot who’s name it bears.  Sorry; I digress.

Back to the issue.  My company goes with this new insurance carrier who has their own plan.  Needless to say, we’re starting month three of with this carrier and contracts have yet to be signed for certain counties.  Services are virtually non-existent.  I use the list of providers that was given to us, only to find out, it’s actually insufficient, as the majority of the providers, not even in my county, aren’t available and needs to be “updated”.

I have to hand it to the carrier’s customer service skills. They were nice enough to tell me where I could find an Internal Medicine doctor:  Fresno.  From where I live, that’s a FOUR-HOUR DRIVE!  Needless to say, the customer service representative didn’t quite care for me raising my voice and asked what was wrong with her for even making that suggestion.

Since I’m on my medical-bashing roll, let’s talk about the new trend of Nurse Practitioners.  I am not a fan of dealing with ONE, not a clinic of, but ONE doctor who is practicing medicine.  You actually think, that there is some cosmic influence that would make me actively seek out a Nurse Practitioner who is playing doctor.  Somewhere, someone thought….”Hey I know!  We are going to have a huge influx of people seeking medical treatment.  I don’t want to give up my golf-game and actually work more than two days a week, so let’s give a nurse the power to write prescriptions.”

Seriously?  Doctors miss stuff all the time and they’ve gone to school to become “educated”.  I’m not a fan of taking medicines, unless there is no other alternative.  To expect people to see a script-writing nurse is absurd.  Sure a doctor is in the office if she needs assistance.  Great…I’ll speak to the doctor directly then.

I guess I miss the days when you saw the same doctor, they knew your name, they didn’t quickly skim your chart and cover all your issues in 3 minutes so they could move on to the next patient, because they purposely book more than one person for the same time slot.

I don’t do clinics.  I’m not a number.  I speak to real people and I won’t answer a series of questions just to book an appointment.  Oh it’s policy that I answer them because my doctor has deemed them necessary?  Oh did you really just ask me if I was pregnant?  Hmm, if my doctor deems that question necessary and he/she doesn’t know the answer already, there’s a problem.  I’ve had plans that worked that way.  I answer “no” to every single question.  Later when making the appointment, I’ll contradict myself and say I have “so and so issue”.  They nurse then says, “but you said no to that question”.  To which, I simply would say, “I told you I would.  I don’t do surveys to make an appointment”.

So now, here I wait, hoping my broker can fix the non-provider issue while the carrier removes its collective head from it’s collective ass and does what we’re paying a small fortune for them to do. After all it’s only been 4 months since we elected this plan and it’s been a full 60 days active.  I’m done playing nice.  And in case you’re wondering, where the medical profession is concerned, this is me being extremely nice; cuz you ain’t seen nothin’ yet!

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