Health Care News & Discussion
Getting a Doctor That Will Work with You
06/04/1998 2:04 PM
The cost of health care in this country has orbited out of control. Doctors have not only been blamed for their own costs, but also for expensive tests and prescriptions they write. Let me give you an example of why this may NOT be true.
Mr Allen, a patient with bad emphysema, came in stating that his wife was disabled and had to quit working. She would therefore lose her health insurance, an HMO that paid for their prescriptions. He was left with Medicare that pays all the important things except prescriptions.
He went to the pharmacy and found out that his medication bill would cost about $600 a month. Since he only made a little more than that from Social Security, he asked if I could get his medication costs lower.
We went through all his required medications, streamlined them a bit, and wrote generic equivalents for the others that would do essentially an equally good job. He reported to me later that he was pleased that his medication cost had been reduced to nearly $200 a month.
This points out frequently overlook things. The doctor and patient, when they are jointly in charge of the patient’s health care, are unbeatable in reducing health care costs, even better than HMOs or government regulations. Patients are not aware of the true medical costs until it hits them over the head and overwhelms them. A small $5 or $10 co-pay doesn’t really tell us what the entire costs are. Let’s get informed before we acquiesce to the government that will have to tax us to death. They can’t even control the costs of Medicare. Can you imagine what will happen when they take over the rest of health care?
To remain in charge you will need a doctor that is willing to spend the time with you to accomplish what you need. We will tell you in a future installment how to do that.