Here is a true story recounted by a patient of a large medical group. Why you won’t get the care you need if you are 65 or over!
Some names are changed to avoid legal issues:
My son and I went to see a doctor I have seen for years at a large medical group we shall call the “Mound Of Crisco Medical Group”. His name is” Dr Magnificent.” When I called for the appointment, I was told he could not see me as he had used up his Quota of Medicare Patients. When I pressed them for an explanation, they explained that at medicare’s low fees, a doctor’s visit “broke even” on cost after 4 minutes with the patient. My doctor, Dr Magnificent, was at this point not profitable to the group and could no longer see Medicare patients. They sent me instead to Dr Childish. Dr Childish sat and read my chart, since I was “new” to him and then let me explain some of my issues. It was somewhat complicated as he knew nothing about me. After a while he looked down at his wrist, put his index finger on his watch and stared up at me with a severe look. He then said, “It is now 15 minutes, all that is allotted for your visit. If you need more time, you will have to schedule another appointment.” He then got up to leave.
I called a friend who works for the group and asked, “is this true about the 4 minutes?” She said, “Yes and it is worse for medicaid patients. In their case the break even point is one minute only. This is one reason we are very concerned about Obama Care.
I also have a good friend who lives in Florida. She is 65 and on Medicare. She has lupus and was recently suspect for having cancer in a leg where a wound created by a medical treatment is not healing. She called several doctors to get an appointment, she was told they would not see her because she had cancer and lupus and they would not see her on Medicare.
I am 65, I have always feared this is where we were going! There are answers to this dilemma but no one wants to deal with them. They are not “pretty” as they don’t deal with perfection and the desires of religious leaders. On the other hand the religious leaders don’t want to pay for the care either.
As a private office of just two doctors, I can tell you it is hard to make a living even though our office is full of patients and we often spend 12 hour days at work. Patients get angry when they get a new really low paying plan, and don’t understand why we don’t take it. Recently the Very Profitable and Very Greed, IBM, gave their employees the low fee eye care plan called “Eye Med.” I am not a member. It is costing me a loss of some of my patients. Someone, somewhere, sometime has to take a stand and say NO MORE! I won’t take a fee and treat you like a hamburger on the grill at Burger King. You as the patient, must organize and speak up for your rights. Not the right to bully your company into bankruptcy by having Unions do what they did to GM and other car companies but the right to buy your own insurance and not have you employer give you “their version of a welfare system.” How can this work?
Reality is that America has BEEN (past tense) great because we were willing to take risks and we refused communism and socialism. When YOU are taking the risk, pay the bill and getting reimbursed you will make GOOD DECISIONS. When your doctors has to ASK you to pay a fee for a blood test or exam, he will make good decisions so as to keep you as a patient. When you demand (as is long overdue) that lawyers cannot sue and abuse doctors for not being God, your doctor will not be terrorized into giving you every expensive test on the planet and stupid medications that make you sick. He is often pressured into giving you the drug just because the drug companies have convinced your litigious family that they should sue, if you are not taking the toxic med to lower you cholesterol that 90% of Americans must be on. The criteria for these cholesterol lowering drugs are lowered according to their “new research” (I suspect after they voted on a needed profit increase of 40% this year). I am not telling you to not take your cholesterol drugs, after all how could I? On the other hand if you took responsibility, stopped eating garbage I wouldn’t feed to a pig, lost weight and exercised, 90% of you would never need most drugs. And by the way, taking Mevacor “does not make you bullet proof” as I hear from my patients who like to eat a 1/2 quart of Ice Cream before bed each night. Religious leaders need to pay attention to the fact that God created the universe with death in mind. Like it or not people die. Spending 70% of the medical finances to surgically cut up, radiate and torture old sick people in the last few years of their lives is not only stupid it is cruel and senseless. Old people deserve dignity and love not the abuse that modern medicine heaps on them with the little success of increasing their survival significantly with quality of life.
My suggestion, if you are a young person, recognize you will be old. If you are an old person recognize you are in trouble. It is time to organize and defeat the politicians, bureaucrats, and corporate greed lobbyists who are dictating how you should live and die. Don’t think it can be done? Look at the Arab Spring. Look at this video. Do something worth while, become a leader or a good follower. After all you are following the commands of lots of drug companies, politicians, and even failing medical institutions that probably mean well.
May God Be With You,