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Once Upon A Time

Posted by Thomas Ault on July 25, 2017 at 6:55 PM

Not so long ago, in the land of common sense and simplicity, there was a place you could buy needed drugs to ease pain and medicate the body as doctor recommended. During that time you rarely saw money wasted on advertising available drugs.

In those days, one could go to the doctor, meet the secretary/nurse/insurance clerk/doctor assistant, which was (believe it or not) one person. This one person generally knew you by name and had your name written down, or typed, along with the scheduled time to see the good doctor, it was called an appointment. An appointment meant that you would see and talk to your doctor at an elected time and date, and he was there. You could plan your day, because within a few minutes, he was there as he said that he would be.

Another wonderful thing in those days was that one could actually pay the doctor, in cash, on the spot! You could generally afford it! There was no up-front payment (co-payment) and no yearlong wait for another bill to come from people you can’t see or talk to. Frequently they request that you pay for a many medical codes that frightened you just to read them, let alone try to figure out what they mean…or for that matter, frequently left wondering if they were even yours.

Today, we pay for a few unseen things, none of which actually applies to the doctor/patient relationship.

1. Lobbyist: (804 in 2016) Works for the pharmaceutical industry. To influence lawmakers toward their goals.

2. Pharmacy Benefit Manager: Negotiates rebates and discounts, the pharmacy receives, in exchange for preferred placement on list of covered medicines.

3. Insurance Clerk: Establishes you have insurance, files claims, and submits the proper code number for the treatment and payment thereof. (hopefully)

4. Receptionist: Person who greets you, answers phones, frequently takes your money.

5. Computer: Programs required to handle claims, personal data, and your account.

6. Membership in the Medical Association which dictates how much he has to charge.

These are just a few of the things that the doctor gets the ‘cost blame’ for, and you, the person in need, gets to pay for. Is it time for a change so we, the average person, can live healthily?

 

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