I had a request for a new blog post today, and responded with something to the effect of "I'm in the middle of trying to get an abstract accepted and everything I'm doing at work right now is confidential", so I came across a colleague's link of facebook which led to a post that really moved me a lot, while also reminding me that I became a pathologist to help with situations like this while not having to directly deal with situations like this:
An Ode to a Patient
There's a bunch of fighting about health care currently, and if I were a truly good politically aware doc, I'd be paying more attention, but honestly, this whole health care legislation/insurance company screwage is so confusing that it's honestly not because we don't care. We don't get it either.
This doesn't really relate to the current bill either. It's just a general observation.
Common situation even as a medical student:
Patient: I have insurance. I have a complaint. Please address my complaint.
Doctor: I am a doctor, thus interested in your complaint. Let me examine you and run tests and get images.
Patient's insurance company: We're going to cover 60% of this and some of this, but this image you ordered we aren't going to cover because... blahblahblahfishcakes. So you're not going to really get paid much, but the patient's general expenses are going to still be life altering, and patient still isn't going to be able to afford the MRI, and if you want the MRI, you're going to have to cough the two grand out of your bank account, since while you can comp your services, you don't own an MRI or an MRI technician, or a radiologist. Addendum, we're adjusting our provider options, so the specialty treatment your patient requires is going to be at a hospital across town. Double addendum. Those lab tests got sent out to a lab that wasn't covered, so the patient's getting charged four hundred dollars she's going to blame you for. Meanwhile, people are just going to keep thinking you're a Mercedes driving golf club swinging douchebag while you drive your used jetta to work and pay off a quarter million in loans, cool?
Patient: Why can't YOU treat me???
Doctor: I genuinely don't know.