Our healthcare system is broken
Posted by jmillman on 10 Mar 2013 . Filed under: Uncategorized
Ever since PPO and HMO managed care insurances began dictating what tests, medications, procedures, and surgeries they would pay for, and which doctors you could go to, your health care was no longer between you and your doctor. A third party payer now began controlling things. And their ONLY motive for their decision making is money…. pay out as little as possible. They don’t care about you at all, even if they lie and pretend they do. Even if your doctor feels it is necessary, the insurance company overrides the doctor. Insurances are smart. They don’t say no outright, but merely refuse to pay, so in effect prevent the care ordered by the doctor because most people can’t afford to pay for it out of their pocket (that’s why we have insurance).
Insurance companies have eroded the quality of your doctor visits by reducing reimbursements, especially for anything longer than 10 minutes. If a doctor bills for a longer consultation to discuss treatment options, medications and their potential side-effects, diet and exercise recommendations, or psychological counseling, payments are either denied, downcoded, or extra paperwork is required to justify the extra time spent. Insurance companies now arbitrarily refuse to pay for certain prescriptions your doctor gives you and forces physicians to comply with their preferred choices.
These days you often find your doctor’s appointments to be rushed and leaving little time for questions or explanations. Most doctors simply comply with these ever increasing controls, justify shorter and less personal encounters with patients as economically prudent, and yet express personal frustration and dissatisfaction with our worsening healthcare system.
There are a few dinosaurs still practicing medicine who feel it is more important to properly meet your healthcare needs, to give you the time needed. Even more importantly, you want to feel heard by the doctor, your symptoms and concerns addressed, feeling like your healthcare provider really cares about you. Sometimes extra time with one person results in delays in the office schedule and subsequent patients having to wait (as an aside to my patients—-sorry)
I am rather pessimistic about any beneficial changes happening in the near future. We seem to have enough money to blow up the world, but providing proper basic health care to all of us is not a high priority for our elected politcians.
So good luck in your quest for decent health care. Maybe a politician will come along brave enough to fight the money interests that run this country, and see it as his or her duty to serve the people with a caring humanistic attitude. Until then I advise you to stay healthy. Eat nutritiously, exercise daily, and take/make the time to relax and enjoy your life. Love yourself. If you don’t, who do you think will?