Can a Person Die Because They Don’t Have Health Insurance ? Yes they can
Can a Person Die Because They Don’t Have Health Insurance ? Yes they can
This is not about President Trump so please do not think this is a political post. It may have some bleeding heart liberal emotions stuff in it , that I cannot help for God made me and this is how I feel. Do people die because of lack of health insurance? Yes they do. I have seen it for the last 25 years. My last example just happen a few days ago. The good news is he did not die this week but he would have died very soon with a chest (lungs) full of blood clots. The 43 year old male sounded like the big bad wolf who could not blow the house down in a sedentary position , meaning sitting down watching TV. I heard it with my own ears and I said you are going back to the ER. This was his third trip with an Oxygen saturation rate of 86 percent. This is low, very low and even if we did not have all the nifty tools we have today a person in the third grade would have picked up the phone and called 911. The last two trips they refused to do anything in the ER when everyone in their right mind would say to themselves if a person can’t breathe with no apparent reason a CT of the chest would be a good start. When we argued with the ER they said he has no insurance and CT’s are expensive. They also told us that his Oxygen level was normal at 98 percent but when we picked him up it was now at 90 percent. Thank God this ER did a CT and he sounds much better today after spending six days in ICU.
I can’t tell you how many patients I sent to the ER for cellulitis ( redness in the leg or other area an infection ) The poor uninsured goes to the ER and the ER doc gives them a script that they cannot afford but it is free at some places if the person knows about it. They don’t even know that this infection can kill them. They are released. Maybe for you and I we know better and we know if the infection gets worse go back to the ER but for the poor uninsured and less educated person who may be a little noncompliant in the first place due to mental illness or just bad life skills they may never go back to the ER or maybe they go back when it is too late and they become septic and they simply die. In the old days the doctor would do a white blood count and then maybe a blood culture. Those three big tubes of blood that you wonder if they took too much blood out. The results use to take three days and you better bet your bottom there was no way that doc would release you if your blood count was high. Now they simply give you a script for MRSA and send you on your way home not even knowing if that script is the correct antibiotic or not. I have argued with ER docs over and over and yes some of these cases died in a week or two. I have gotten so mad I have said to myself that yes the hospitals and medical staff should be prosecuted. Then I say it is not the doctor it is the one who makes the money the insurance company and the hospitals. After all who wants to prosecute a bunch of people who went into health care to help people but are denied the chance to do so because of the all mighty dollar. You see them work so hard on a code blue or a trauma alert they are my heros and 95 percent want to help people and make the right calls. The other five percent they treat the poor and mental health people like crap. They create “ Fake News “ in that medical chart upon discharge just to get them out of the ER.
Don’t be fooled, a person with insurance these days don’t get everything they need. Just look at the medicare recipients and people that have PPO’s or HMO’s. Here is what happens. You go to the ER and try to get treatment for same illness as above an infection. The more test the ER does it cost them more money. WIth HMO’s and PPO’s as well as medicare they are paid a certain amount of money by the codes and type of illness. So getting you in and getting you out with as little testing as possible becomes much more profitable than keeping you in and doing some blood work or maybe give you one bag of antibiotics (Iv Therapy) before you leave to get a jump start on the infection. So don’t be fooled thinking you have insurance and they are doing everything possible. Even with cancer there are tests that you can take to tell the doctor what is the best form of treatment based on your case. On one of my friends we had to ask the doctor to do this test and I asked why he did not do the test and he said because insurance may or may not cover it and it takes a lot of work to get the test approved and if they don’t cover it most people don’t have $1500 laying around to get the test. I wanted to reach over the counter and strangle him and tell him who gave him the right to play God. I did say to him. Doctor you are to treat every patient like your mom and dad and to inform the patient of “ best practice” I did say how many people have you let die because you did not perform the test or to at least offer the test. I told him he should have told us about the test and let us decide.
Here is the kind of patient we all must be in times like today. You must ask questions and look up things online and if your condition is serious get a friend or family member to make sure everything is being done. I can assure you that the doctor may miss something . Insurance companies want documentation and if there is not good documentation the doctor won’t get paid. So they will miss things because they have to take time to write the reports. But better yet doctors have figured it out to make their reporting less work. There are programs out there that allow the doctor to just insert certain words and the rest is done automatically. You don’t believe me the next time you go to the ER get the full set of records and read how much the doctor did so much for you when he did not even touch you. You will see things that your lungs are clear , he will say he listened to your bowels and all kind of neat stuff he never did but when you read your records you will see just how bad they report “ Fake News” I am sure the doctor wanted to do all those things but just did not have the time to do it because the suits and dresses in administration put pressure on them to get the job done.
If you are sick and they want to discharge you get it on record as much as possible. If you have a smart phone ask them for their fax number and fax them something that you believe they are releasing you way too early. Call a friend and have them send a fax. Refuse to sign the release papers and they will tell you that if you don’t sign the release paper work you won’t get your scripts. They can’t do that. They will tell you that if you don’t sign the release paperwork your insurance company won’t pay the bill. I have refused to sign paperwork many times and each bill has been paid.
It is going to get worse so fight for your health care just don’t settle for whatever they tell you. There is a reason why cell phone prices went down. One of the reasons is because many more people have them and once that major cost of the system they built is paid off they can drop the prices. Same goes for the CT scans , once that machine is paid off the cost is minimal minus staff and the read fees from a radiologist. The hospitals know how to save money sometimes they send the scans to India or to a radiologist at home or even another hospital. In the case above with my guy who had a full chest of blood clots he could have said at the first hospital
“ I m not leaving until this test is done” Yes they may call the police but then there is a police report that will list the issue of why and what and you can remind them that “now there is a record that I wanted more test to be done.”
Again things are going to get worse so fight for your right or get an advocate to help you. You may ask yourself “aren’t the hospitals afraid to get sued when they make these mistakes ?” Sure they are but they got that covered as well by states making limits when a hospital messes up. This means the patient that has malpractice committed against them can only get a set amount of money. They figure the cost of lawsuits when they cut corners and see what is better for their bottom line.
Think back 35 years ago, We paid maybe $5 a week out of our check for health insurance that paid 80 percent. HMO’s and PPO’s were starting to come around. Back then the hospitals charged high prices and charged you for everything and they got good money for a band aid. The insurance company just paid their portion of the bill with no questions asked. Back then it was most likely they paid 80 percent. Insurance companies made good money, the hospitals made good money and the insured did not pay much for insurance at all. Now jobs charge you sometimes 100 a week for the group plan. Hospitals do less and get paid less. Insurance companies are charging way too much. All this has caused deficiencies in health care and are forcing our doctors and hospitals to do less or to institute countermeasures so they can stay in business. I know that we have been lucky at our shelters we had great doctors, nurse practitioners and nurses.
Personally I don’t mind helping those who need health care and I think we all should be able to kick in when we can. I am not saying Obamacare was bad because I saw people get insurance that never could and in the past they used the ER as their own personal doctor. Now they can stay healthy by getting treatment to prevent higher health care cost in the future. I am not saying that Trumpcare is bad. Yes if an uninsured person goes to the ER for a heart attack they will work the code and try to save that person for free. These doctors and hospitals I am writing about not doing a good job will also work their butts off saving someone’s life all for free. Watch them work on a person who is dying or who has died and they are trying to bring them back to life all for free .. they are my heros. They will risk their life getting blood all over them in a trauma alert all for free. However that person they saved for free when they took that heart attack may die in a few weeks if they have no follow up care or can’t get the meds they need because they have bad coverage or no coverage at all. So when someone says a person can’t die because they don’t have health insurance the answer is yes they can. If you want I can give you their names.
We can make this work , we are smart people . I say put Obama and Trump in a room and don’t let them out until we have “Healthcare at a Deal” and brand it “Peoplecare.”