Saturday, August 30, 2008

I'm sorry....but I cannot help.

You want a good example of the problem of the uninsured in america? Take my patient today. He was getting discharged for his skull fracture. Still some problems with dizziness. headache. that happens when you get a concussion for falling off a ladder....
However, then when you are good to go...told to follow up with the doctor, then you start saying..."Well, what about my chest pain?"
What chest pain? "I've had it off and on, when I move, and when I stretch." Ok, sir, that's due to the muscles had a EKG downstairs when you arrived to the ER, and that showed no blockage or cardiac problems..also, you haven't been getting treated for that. "well, how about a test for blockage?"
Ok, sir...the doc has told you to follow up as a outpatient for that. "well, I don't have insurance." Ok, if you're concerned about paying your bill, you can contact our financial services department...and they will work with you.
"do you have samples of vicodin or anything you can send with me?"
No, sir, I'm afraid I don't.
"well, I can't get around."
Sir, here is a bus schedule and a cab voucher so you can at least get to one appointment or out once. After that, I would suggest that you talk to a friend or family member. Ok, sorry. I wish I could do more.
"You've done nothing for me."
(THAT was what pushed me over the edge. I said, "well, then let me take back that prescription your cab voucher, your bus schedule, throw up those pain meds we just gave you, etc...not really, but it would've been nice.)
The negative thing is that he expected all this to be done, but didn't say a peep until 1 hr before he was to be discharged. I just work here sometimes.
Hopefully a positive post next!

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