Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Another rant

Today's Link
The Wishful Writer

Today's Saying
My own prescription for health is less paperwork and more running barefoot through the grass. ~Leslie Grimutter

Today's Picture
Birds in the Field behind the House

I have done a Portrait of Words Story . It is HERE.
Pigeon Falls is HERE

The other night President Obama addressed the nation concerning health care. One of the things he said was that this government action would not lower the quality of my health care. Then he said something that might very well lower the quality of my health care. He said that one of the reason health care was so expensive is because doctors were running unnecessary tests to make extra money. I don’t believe that for a moment. I’m sure some doctors do. Some doctors perform unnecessary surgery, and some doctors bill Medicare for visits that never took place but those are crooks and aren’t the vast majority of doctors. The vast majority of the doctors run tests for two reasons. The first is to protect their patient. N
Not to long ago my Doctor ran the usual test and everything looked fine. I looked to be in good health given my condition. There was no real reason to run another test except he felt uneasy. He ran the test and discovered I was low on Potassium. That could have done a lot of harm before it was finally discovered because I would be so sick. But instead he started me on a pill that corrected it. Lets suppose he listened to Obama and decided to save my insurance company money by not running the test. You get the picture.
The second reason follows on the first. If he hadn’t found the problem I could have ended up in a coma. Then my family might have sued him. The lawyer would have asked why that simple test wasn’t run. The settlement for damages, suffering , and to punish the Doctor could hit a million. That’s what our society does to Doctors. I don’t think the jury would be impressed with “ Obama wanted us to cut back on tests”.
Doctors run many tests to protect themselves from the legal system. If Obama really wants to cut medical costs he needs to get legislation passed ending punitive damage in medical cases and damages for pain and suffering. Law suits to cover all of the patients expenses could be allowed.
But Obama won’t do that because Congress is made up of lots of lawyers and lawyers give more than Doctors to both parties.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well said quote.
I stand And clap ! clap ! clap !

1:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Applauding" Very loudly. Excellent Dr. John. Yet another post that you need to send off to Obama and every Congressman :) Aloha my friend :)

2:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Working in healthcare I can say I've seen "extras" but I have also seen doctors NOT run tests because insurance companies will not give authorization for patients with managed care plans. I once was told that a NJ patient with CF would have to go to a capitated center in NC for her TRANSPLANT surgery, because it was cheaper-so no auth was possible for the "expensive"(very good) place in NJ. OKAY. It works both ways, some doctors(not many, I have found) do to excess, and some are forced not to do enough.

4:35 AM  
Blogger LoieJ said...

I also have low potassium, take 2 pills a day for that. I don't think that is the kind of test that Obama is referring to, since it is a relatively cheap test and done when regular blood tests are run.

But I had a CT Scan which showed something questionable, not in the area of my body that has the current pain. More CT scans followed because the X-Ray doc kept putting down "re-test in 3 months." My family doctor said that the X-Ray doc either didn't want to say that the finding was just an anomaly or it was for the "Radiologist Retirement Fund." This test costs $900 for the hospital part and $150 for the radiologist part. Meanwhile I'm getting a whole lots of xrays into my body, which is also a concern. I stopped going for the scans.

5:37 AM  
Blogger Voegtli said...

The last sentence of your "soap box" is the essence of all.

6:13 AM  
Blogger Sandi McBride said...

But you probably wouldn't have been able to sue the Doctor since the gov had tied his hands effectively, insuring that while you got SOME care, you just didn't get the PROPER care...Great post, I'm with you on this one all the way!
Is our prez acting stupidly? Just had to throw that in, being a cop and all, you know!

7:13 AM  
Blogger Melli said...

Yes... I wonder how often "other problems" are found when doing these simple tests that save the Drs. butts from being sued too! I know several people who NEVER suspected they had cancer, until they went in for simple tests for something else. I do thing INSURANCE and Lawyers are more of a problem.

7:32 AM  
Blogger Nessa said...

People act like medicine is a guarantee, so when something goes wrong they feel they should get to collect extra as if something couldn't go wrong every step of the way. We are a nation of too many law suits. i agree with you. Pain and suffering should only be awarded if there is intentional malice.

7:45 AM  
Blogger g-man said...

Doc...Are those Sandhill Cranes?

1:43 PM  
Blogger hope said...

Standing ovation!

The real "problem" with health care lies in frivolous law suits and greedy pharmaceutical companies. It's a miracle anyone becomes a doctor today. Maybe if we withheld health care for lawyers....... :)

3:10 PM  
Blogger secret agent woman said...

I think it's complicated. The insurance industry has done a lot of damage to health care, limiting care and making it impossible for people to get the coverage they need. I don't think tests are the biggest issue, but I do believe we need a national halth care system. I'm self-employed and don't have access to decent health insurance. As I'm watching the bills roll in from a recent very necessary surgery, I find myself just furious that HMO's were allowed to bribe congress into passing the laws that made them so powerful.

6:27 PM  
Blogger anthonynorth said...

Well said. Once upon a time the world was run by despots, then there was a hint that the world may be run by the people, but it ended up being run by the media and lawyers.

12:43 AM  

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