Gramma WhiteCoat is getting foot surgery this week. She’s in her Golden Years, so her care is paid for courtesy of the Medicare National Bank.
I spoke to her last week and she stated that she was examined by 4 different doctors, 2 nurse practitioners and 3 nurses for preoperative procedures. Her primary care physician (not one of the 4 doctors providing a preoperative exam) saw her about a month prior to her surgery, cleared her for surgery, and ordered preoperative labs. Because the labs were more than 3 weeks old, the surgeon wouldn’t accept the normal results and ordered a second set of preoperative labs.
Grandma WhiteCoat’s response: “I know they’re doing all these exams and blood tests to pad the bill. But I don’t care — I’m not paying for it.”
From the mouth of my own mother.
Just another example of why any system in which the consumer has no stake in cost containment is doomed to fail.
Patients must have some skin in the game in order for any medical system to work.