Why is it that one of the wealthiest countries in the world has one of the worst healthcare systems in the world? For all intensive purposes, we should be calling it, "Sick Care." Hit on the head with yet another example of exceptional patient management.
Today, my practice was blessed to have sweet little "Ms P" come into my practice for spinal corrections and mindful therapy. She is a limping clich of someone who has been put through the meat grinder of healthcare. 15 years ago, a masterpiece by Picaso, soldered, welded and fused from top to bottom, claimed the quality of P's life. It was not enough that the loss of her leg, heart disease and diabetes determined her daily activities, now she battles with excruciating lower limb phantom pain and debilitating lower back pain.
Ms. P takes more then 12 medications every day. The side effects cause side effects which cause side effects that cause side effects. Do you see where I am going with this?
I don't blame the surgeons for the botched spinal surgery. I believe they were truly doing something that they thought was going to help her. The surgeons who took her leg most definitely saved her life, as did her diabetic doctors and her cardiologist. The ball was dropped when there is no one pilot to fly the plane. All of the drug interactions are making her sick and there is no one to regulate, coordinate or orchestrate all the moving parts. Her primary care is pushing 102 years old and maxed out with too many patients just to make ends meet. I get that, but I don't agree. Something needs to be done with this paradigm. He seems less then concerned with her debilitating pain, rash and excessive perspiration. She is crying out for someone to take the helm and steer the ship. One would think she could get her new handicap electric chair with in some sort of a timely fashion. Her battery has been dying for months now which significantly limits her time she can roll around town. Why is medicare making her wait months for a new one? I get it, she could fake the paper work that says she has heart disease, diabetes and a spinal fusion that has more hardware then Ace, but do they think she is lying about only having one leg? Her paper work that has been processed three times and is sitting on someone's desk in someone's office while that claim's processor sends me a bill for an over payment of $8.07.
We are about to ad 30 million more people to Medicare which is already grossly underfunded by 23 trillion. Do you think Ms P is going to have better care, coordination and choices? No, she will continue to be spun through the meat grinder. Her quality of life will continue to decline until she won't be able to make it to our office for care. The up side is that Medicare will be able to save the very paper their $28 checks are written on. More and more our Medicare patients are going to be held at gun point to our failing system.
I take great pleasure in telling my Medicare patients that I am going to do what it takes to make them better, not merely treat them and send them to the wolves.
On this note, happy new year!
I promise my next blog will be a little more up lifting.