Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Padding and Neglect

This topic is so close to all of us because, let's face it, we all have to deal with the current health care industry plus the insurance industry which holds us captive to whatever they want to do. It's troubling. Yesterday, Kelly gave us her take on the insurance industry. I see her points but there are big problems with it, too. Their huge lobby in Washington doesn't help and tends to influence lawmakers rather than work to serve their customers.

But I don't see the insurance companies as the only enemy here and the best way I know how to illustrate that is by personal example. Years ago my son saw a local podiatrist to have inserts made for his shoes. We went to see this doctor twice. He made a plaster deal and that was about it. A little thing...right? Of course, this was sent to our insurance company and we received a copy of what the doctor had charged them. It was...gasp...OUTRAGEOUS. There was a huge list of things on the doctor's bill that had NEVER been done and he'd charged the insurance company for this. Do you see a big problem with this? We sure did. It was cheating. Bottom line. And it was clear this doctor was gouging the insurance company right and left.

In another incident, our son had a minor outpatient surgery at a local hospital. No biggie. Minor. He checked in and checked out within a few hours. The bill from the hospital to the insurance company and us was $20,000. I mean, this would buy someone a nice new car.

I also find interesting the differences when you buy generic prescription meds as opposed to the name brand. It's HUGE. We're talking a lot of profit for the pharmaceutical companies. The price of medicine is astronomical and we all have to pray we don't get sick because we're sure as hell gonna PAY. How do old people on fixed incomes manage this? I know. They choose between food and meds. Something has to change with this.

The line drawn between the have's and the have nots is widening and lengthening. On the news the other night they showed video of a NY woman who had collapsed, face first, on the emergency room floor of a NYC hospital. She laid there for two hours while several security guards walked by to only give her a glance. Same with a doctor who peeked around the corner at her a few times. No doubt, she was indigent but she was also DEAD. They left her there to die and raised no alarm when they saw her this way. Later the doctor and a nurse (who's falsified records about her time of death) were let go. But I find the lack of care appalling. Oddly, enough the same sort of thing happened on the west coast the week prior. A woman waiting in the emergency room falls out of her wheelchair and is sprawled in the middle of the floor with the same lack of reaction from staff. She laid there for two hours. They even had video of the janitor mopping around her prone body. She was dead by the time anyone got to her.

In these cases, both women were indigent, uninsured, and out of luck because no one Cared.

Yes. We have problems in the healthcare industry and they all revolve around lack of care, callousness, and GREED. We are supposed to be a compassionate country. Well, tell that to THESE people.


  1. That is absolutely true. Absolutely. If the patient can't pay, it's as though the hospital/doctor/health care professional doesn't see them.

    As for the overcharging. I've seen that myself.

  2. Great post, Regina. I saw that news report with the woman you spoke of. It was just outrageous that she lay there so long.

  3. It's just awful to see these things happen. You know, you'd think these callous cruel people would KNOW there are video cameras all over the place!!!!

    With the woman in NY it was a mental hospital emergency room. Wonder if that makes it even worse?

  4. It's all true and getting worse. One other thing you might add is that part of the reason hospitals and some doctors charge such outrageous prices is because we do have insurance, which is totally unfair. This helps to offset the pro bono they offer to those who don't have insurance. We have a terrible situation in this country, and I hope we find someone soon who can do something about it.

    Kelly Kirch suggested I read this post. Thanks, Kelly. Great post, Regina. Since I'm on Social Security this subject is very important to me.

  5. Hey, Sandy! For some reason your comment didn't pop up for me but I'm so glad you're here. Come back and see us.


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