The focus is all wrong here

True healthcare reform needs to start with hiring people who are actually competent to be tending to peoples' health.
While I concede that getting service to people without it is important, the severe mishandling of those who DO have access to it now is motherfucking SCARY! There was once a time where being a nurse in a doctor's office or hospital was something that young girls and some boys desired to be. They went to school for it and completed their task in a decently competent manner. They were well-informed and acted as if they wanted to be helped.
Nowadays, though? It seems as if having to have a job is a part of the deal for someone's probation or parole or probation, and being a nurse or nurses aide or whatever the hell they call themselves happened to be one of those jobs that just popped up without a lot of in-between.

These days, it seems that the scourge of the industry become the patient/support-facing people in these offices.
What is to come is some real-life experiences, and I WISH I could make some of this shit up.


*Exhibit A*
"My computer is saying 'no signal detected' what does that mean"
"seems to me that your monitor is on, but the computer is not... Have you turned your computer on?"
"how do I do that?"



*Exhibit B*
"Hi, I'm calling from [doctor's name]'s office, and we're not getting our patient's results on [reporting device]"
"Okay, may I please have your account number?"
"My account number? Oh, I don't have an account number, what's that?"
"Your account that you should be sending your patients in under"
"Oh, I don't know what that even is, it's doctor [doctor's name]'s office, you see that"
[Phlip note - the company I work for services literally thousands of doctors' offices]
"Do you have a requisition or an old result that may have the account number on it?"
"Yeah, but those are in another room, I didn't think I would need one of those, I just wanted some help getting some results"



*Exhibit C*
[Phlip note - this is a call that I initiate]
"Hi, this is Phillip calling from [company] and we've been trying to get some lab results across your [reporting device] and it is not working, is there someone nearby that I could speak to about that?"
"Oh... I don't know nothing about that thing, let me get someone who might can help you."
"... okay"
"allo? Is dere some-sing I can hel' joo wiid?"



*Exhibit D*
"Hi, I am calling from a doctor's office and I am needing results on [patient], can you help me with that?"
"Sure, what's your account number?
"Oh wow, I knew you would ask for that."



*Exhibit E*
"Hi, I am needing to add a test to [patient]"
"Okay, your account number please?"
"Yes, it's xxxxxxxx"
"Patient name please"
"Yes, it's John Doe."
"I'm not seeing a John Doe under you guys' account here, was it sent by you or another doctor's office?"
"Oh, it was sent by [doctor]'s office, not us"
"Oh, we can only add additional testing for the ordering physician"
"Well we received a faxed copy of the reports, why can't we add testing"
"Because we cannot bill another account for testing you requested."
"Why?"
"Imagine going to a gas station, you pay at the pump, get some gas and leave, the person waiting behind you can see that you just got $37 worth of gas, and fills up then at the end of the month your credit card bill comes and you were charged for their gas. Would you be happy about this?"
[Phlip note - I didn't really say this, I usually say something a little more PC]
"We just need to add testing to it, what is the big deal?"
"You'll need to have the ordering physician call to add testing"
"We tried them first, but they weren't available"





Now, I would like for you to imagine with me an industry that is/was segmented, competition regulated out of probability (if not damn near out of POSSIBILITY) to the point where it WILL stand on it's own, whether those who prop it up financially (you, the patient) have no fucking choice but to continue with it, for better or (as usual) for worse...
Imagine that every attempt at regulation (HIPAA, anyone?) was so exploited to the favor of the providers and not those it was designed to protect that prices were driven through the roof so these incompetent facilities could "protect" themselves from lawsuits which usually come at the hands of their own fuckuppery.

[Phlip note - look into the statistics on babies born via c-section now, versus 10 years ago... That is because there is largely more money in delivering more babies than to be delivering babies the right way risking infant death in the same rush and the resulting lawsuits]

Imagine an industry so rife with incompetence seeming to be purposely positioned to confuse the shit out of the patient/customer, who will wind up financially responsible/ruined by the whole shit in the end, more often than not.
Imagine an industry where it seems that they spin a wheel in these facilities, containing the names of the most inarticulate, uninformed, ignorant or English-challenged individual working in the office, then hand them a phone and say "here, call [company] and ask for help with this," extra points if that person is still on their first day or week with the practice.

You all know something like this has happened before, right?
In my past, I and/or my family have owned automobiles from General Motors... Now I am a Nissan loyalist these days, and I am looking into ownership of a Subaru in the near future. Japanese car companies are thriving in the US market, while the domestic companies are in need of a fucking bailout.
The problem with the application of this is that if we were to allow healthcare in total to digress to the point where a bailout is necessary, a whole lot of people will have already fucking died, and I would imagine the smell that would create to be quite damned putrid, so we don't want that. That being said, the "burn the fields, pray for rain" standard which creates the need for a "bailout" in the first place will not work in this application."
One would think that instead of fighting for a public option or universal healthcare, they should be working towards fixing just how fucking broken the system is now. Why it is so acceptable to claim 'success' in a system where most patients are NOT pleased with the care they've received, but can't bitch about it because "at least I'm not dead"? That is fucking sad.
No shit, I have heard of people in Southern California and other border states who will go across the border to get a tooth pulled or a root canal in Mexico due to the lack of hassle making the lower cost of it actually worth it... Think about that for a fucking second.
When one factors in that there are people who cannot afford, but would like to at least have a try at it, to be a part of even THAT sad state of affairs is even sadder.

One would think that with the collective lives, well-being and financial health of the constituency on the line here, there would be better standards kept on who and who cannot do what in a medical practice, but the mishandling of things that fall to the responsibility of the average patient, who is more often than not NOT at fault for the fuckups that will cost them up to tens of thousands of dollars, with little to no retribution to those who are at fault is angering. Why there is nothing in place to make sure this bullshit is not taking place is even MORE angering. I am pretty sure that the money saved on a PROPER restructuring might help to ease the blow of the cost of reform, but there again, what do I know?
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