Boy, talk about “striking a pose”.
Unfortunately, I don’t find this funny at all.
Imagine a family.
Solid “middle-class” if there is such a thing.
Dual professional household.
Four members of the family.
All covered by a Blue Cross PPO.
Now, remember, I said BLUE CROSS. The insurance company that for all of my known life was the GOLD STANDARD when it came to health insurance.
I’ve taken job offers BECAUSE of Blue Cross insurance.
Only now the members of this family need medical care.
The wife has been covered for awhile. She had an internist agree to take her on as a patient many years ago and when he retired she was happily transferred to a wonderful internist in her area.
But the wife’s doctor would not take her husband on because of the impact the retired doctor’s patients had taken on his practice.
No problem. The name of a local physician was received and that doctor agreed to take the husband on as a private patient. But only because the husband’s diabetic labwork “passed” his entrance criteria. He specialized in endocrinology.
So, when the 22-year-old son needed medical clearance before going off to law school, the mom called her excellent physician for a referral.
Oh! The doctor would begin taking new patients on July 1st!!!! Great, the son would like an appointment!
“What insurance does he have?”
Same as his mother. Blue Cross PPO.
The doctor is no longer taking patients with Blue Cross insurance.
“Oh yes, their reimbursement rates are horrible now. They hardly pay for anything after the initial $15.00 co-pay by the patient.”
Okay, do you have the names of any other internists or general practitioners who are taking patients?
A name is given. The practice is closed to new patients.
So, the mother calls the pediatrician of the son. The son who is now 22-years-old.
Three referrals are given by the receptionist.
All three referrals are closed to new patients.
The 22-year-old son goes to see his pediatrician for his check up.
I’m sure you have figured out by now that I’m talking about my family. We aren’t poor. We aren’t on Medical. We have good jobs and while we have a few health issues, we are compliant with our medical regimens and are motivated to stay healthy.
Between the two of us, a six figure salary.
And we can’t get primary health care for our healthy son. My husband and I are “lucky”. My retired doctor took me on in spite of his office being totally impacted because I was a nurse. My husband got a doctor because he was “diabetic enough”.
But my healthy 22-year-old son can’t get anyone to take him on. So he sees his old pediatrician and stands in line with the five-year-olds to get weighed.
BECAUSE THE DOCTORS ARE NOT GETTING PAID!
You want an answer to 90% of the problems we have American health care?
PAY THE FREAKIN’ DOCTORS WHAT THEY ARE WORTH!
These men and women have dedicated more than a decade of their life to learning their art and it costs money for them to run their businesses.
PAY THE FRONT-LINE, PRIMARY CARE DOCTORS: THE GENERAL PRACTITIONERS, THE FAMILY PRACTITIONERS, THE PEDIATRICIANS, THE INTERNISTS AND THE OB/GYNS.
If you pay the front-line doctors they will take on the patients who will then have a place to go when they are sick, which will dis-impact the ERs of the country, encourage doctors to practice in rural areas, help stop disease processes before they get to the stage of needing intervention and decrease the number of hospitalizations.
The entrance into the health care system needs to be the local, personal, patient physician. Let them be the gatekeepers, but make then WANT the job by paying them.
Is there any other business where the owner says: “I charge $1.00” but they are only paid 3 cents?
And don’t tell me the insurance companies don’t have the money. Blue Cross is NOT a poverty-stricken entity.
When doctors stop taking Blue Cross,
When families with a good income can’t find a doctor to take them when they are healthy but need a physician’s care,
Houston, we have a freakin’ problem here.
I can’t even imagine what it is like to be poor and to navigate the health care system. I am sure I have experienced only one iota of what they face trying to find primary health care. And I’m a nurse!
Pay the primary doctors and pay them well.
The other issues will take care of themselves.
Yes, I am passionate about this.
And no, I don’t want the NHS in the USA. Private insurance, affordable and paying the front-line doctors a larger piece of the health care pie.
Geeze, I better go take my blood pressure.
Good thing I have a doctor, just in case…….
Oh, and some day I’ll tell my son’s hilarious story about standing in line with those five-year-olds…..