Friday, August 18, 2006
Putting the "care" back in health care
…HealthDay reporter Amanda Gardener (August 17, 2006), writes that 40% of Americans say they have experienced poor health care.
…75% want to see fundamental changes.
…Medical errors…duplicated tests…uncoordinated, unsafe, inefficient care…unnecessary treatment...failure to communicate options and test results. These are the things that frost the butts of sick Americans!
…HA once needed a dermatology referral—urgently! Her doctor would not call the dermatologist and see if she could get in—he said it would make the other doctor “mad at him.”
…This is a huge complaint—doctors not talking to each other—according to a recent study.
…HA would add that the test result situation is total crap! No news is not good news on tests, people. There are half a dozen ways you could have a problem and not be told. HA has written about this.
…One study shows that 40% of doctors don’t even report a positive finding in all cases.
…The doctors’ offices say allow 2 weeks to get results. They get readings back from the lab in a day or two. This means it will sit on the doctor’s desk 2 weeks!
…HA tried to call the next day to find the results of a test she has monthly. Oh, no, we can’t tell you. (Isn’t anything in the chart the property of the patient?) Finally she got someone to utter the number. She does this every month—gets the result the next day. One time, when it got to the top of the doctors’ to-do stack, they called 3 weeks after the test to say: you’re OK. Uh, yeah…HA knew that.
…92% of people think they need a “medical home,” one office in charge of their care.
…Yes! That doctor could be your advocate, try to get you the specialist care you need, look at all your findings and reports.
…Experts say this flies in the face of consumer-driven care, where people manage their own care, trying to get the cheapest rates.
…Now, the statistics show, a third of people with incomes between $50K and $75K are having trouble paying medical bills—and a fifth with incomes over $75,000 are having problems paying.
…Every time HA writes one of these rants, someone emails her and says their medical care is fabulous. She is so glad—and so envious.
…These stats show that more than a quarter of people who have experienced no medical errors want the system overhauled.
…A doctor who would call another doctor would be a start. A nurse who would call the next day with test results would be great, also.
…Although a certain percentage of their patients might fall over dead from the shock.