Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Stating the Obvious on Medical Costs

In editing this piece, I realize that it is fairly hot and heavy handed. I simply cannot apologize for my vehemence, but now you know that it is there.

Many don’t take prescriptions because of the cost

I saw this on abbyjean's Tumblr.

Wow, LA Times, really?!? Gee, next they will find out that people break compliance with follow up or specialist visits due to money or circumstance. Holy fuck, do folks really have their heads buried quite that deeply up their own asses?

Yes, people want to follow up with their doctor’s orders, recommendations, prescriptions, suggestions, and referrals. This is why low income folks have such terrible compliance levels. Fucking hell. I can think of three big roadblocks right off the top of my head: no money, no time off from work or childcare, and no ride. We can dig deeper: some people are neglected and abused, at home and maybe at previous providers. Have you shamed a patient away because they were fat, slutty, or sloppy*? Did you do it with some snide comment in the hallway you thought they couldn’t hear?

We want to get better, just like everyone else does, dammit! There’s just a lot in the way that you cannot see, because you see a diagnosis waiting to be made, not a whole person. Can you just take one damn minute before you put your hand on the blasted door knob, and deliberately employ a gestalt point of view for just sixty bloody seconds? Are they seeing you on Medicare, Medicaid, or their own dimes? If the patient has transportation programs, sliding scales, pharmacy discounts, and/or drug manufacturer discounts available to them do they even know? Because it is just as bad as having no options if you do not know they exist.

Sure, maybe you and your staff just cannot handle trying to keep track of that on top of every thing else you have to manage. I get that, I really do. So help the economy by hiring someone to do it for you – all they would need is a high school degree, some empathy, and some tenacity. With the additional people you can help, maybe it will even cover an additional employee.

* Fat, slutty, or sloppy were just a few adjectives I have heard office or hospital staff use regarding patients. I offer no judgments to folks that are fat, appear to numerous sexual partners (people suck), or folks who have a hard time bringing themselves around to what their community considers acceptable appearance standards. Neither should their damn medical professionals!