Just about every month now, regular as clockwork, Family Health Care Network refuses to authorize a refill on at least one of my medications, picked seemingly at random, claiming the doctor wants to see me first for whatever reason. This time it’s because their doctor who had previously signed off on that particular med no longer works there.(?)
Their basic premise? “We’re so concerned about your health that we can’t allow your prescription to be refilled until the doctor sees you. “. In spite of the fact that the doc just saw me 11 days before, knows exactly what meds I take (or better know it) and has expressed no concern over any of them and that they can’t let me SEE said doctor for at least a month or so.
Then they make an appointment for me anywhere from 3-5 weeks down the road. So for those up to 3-5 weeks I usually go without that particular med. This month it’s my potassium supplement. Without it I can’t take my Lasix which is what controls the fluid buildup around my heart (guess how important that is to a Congestive Heart Failure victim) because I’m averse to the massive muscle spasms in my legs that result from not replacing basic electrolytes lost due to Lasix use. These two meds have been a regular twice a day fixture in my life the best part of two decades and they will be a regular fixture for the rest of my life. But I’ve been without both for three weeks now, and still have another week to go.
Inevitably when I DO get in to see the docs, they inevitably ask me why I’m there ( Actually doc, it’s because your employers are holding my meds hostage so they can bill Medicare for another appointment) and then they just automatically… without any discussion about the med in question or its effects on me… walk me to the front desk and have the same front desk people who denied the refill call the drug store and tell them to go ahead and authorize it. Seriously leads me to believe that my doctor was never even personally aware any of this was taking place.
I already had an appointment for May 19th. My doctor had made it when she had seen me just 11 days before all this, knowing full well at the time that I took potassium as a counter to electrolyte imbalances caused by the Lasix. (Not only do I take my bag of pill bottles to appointments at their request but she’s authorized refills of this med at least twice before.) But when they pulled this (for the third month in a row now) I naturally wanted to move it up to as soon as possible. It would be impossible for me NOT to do without these two drugs for very long and I’m already feeling the effects of not having them in increased shortness of breath, degraded motor functions and vertigo and dizzy spells.
Took several minutes of the girl digging through the appointment list before she found a cancellation for May 1st at which time I, a congestive heart failure patient, will have been without my Lasix for almost a month. Would have been for going on two months otherwise but this is the best they could do.
THIS is what privatization and the subsequent monetization of public health care has meant to my demographic. People who keep blathering on about private industry doing everything cheaply and more efficiently need to live with the results of that kind of thinking for… oh, a year or two would probably be enough… instead of just automatically believing whatever Fox News says just because hey, they’re Fox News. It’s easy to sit there and mouth debunked 1980s screeds about it, not so much to have deal with it face to face every single day.
These companies that provide these services aren’t there to maximize service to the public. They’re there to maximize return on investment for their shareholders. Anything and everything else is subordinate to that one purpose for their existence. They’re not in the business for their health (or yours either, apparently), hence the sometimes one to two hour waits for a 4-5 minute session. There’s also the fact that they’re making these unnecessary appointments when they don’t have enough staff to keep up with what they have which is one of the main reasons for the long waits, short visits and cattle call assembly line procedures in the first place..
These kinds of practices not only don’t serve the patient, they actually endanger the well being of the patient. I’m seriously beginning to question the “First do no harm” rule I learned in my first EMT class. Maybe it ought to be updated to “First do no harm unless it increases ROI for the investors“. Then it would fit into today’s concept of health “care” a whole bunch better.
People we’ve got to demand more transparency and accountability from our executive branch no matter WHO happens to be living in the White House. Privatized health care is a blatant scam and I can’t find a single government agency that will even talk about it. While you focus almost solely on voting out RWs in congress, representatives of this Democrat administration are sliding huge chunks of the corporate agenda into place that will be almost impossible to dislodge when and if America ever comes to its senses and that have nothing whatsoever to do with either congress or the GOP.
Doesn’t it ever occur to you that the real reason the Tea Party was created in the first place was just to keep you looking the other way while Wall Street got in through the back door? At least think about it.