By Dr. Raymond Kordonowy, Guest Writer @ A Muse Creative
This week the system has me at an all-time low. Being the optimist that I am, if my initial statement is true, I can’t understand how any physician in America’s workforce can possibly continue taking care of folks. I say this because I have taken myself as a provider as far away from the bureaucracy as possible- YET THEY STILL PULL ME IN.
The majority of physicians still participate in Medicare and third-party payment schemes. Further, more than ever doctors are letting hospitals or (lately) pharmacy and insurance franchises turn them into employed drones. From a morality standpoint, this has to have doctors professionally sitting in the bottom of a deep cesspool of poop… This situation is basically no better than a case of spousal abuse. AND THAT CAN’T TRANSLATE TO GOOD PATIENT CARE OR SATISFACTION.
Let me share a bit with our readers.
This is a typical day. Just this morning I have to see an acutely ill and low oxygen status patient. This patient had to cancel his morning appointment with the specialist because of this hypoxia with significant respiratory distress. Upon learning this, I directed him here to my office for acute management. I found out the portable oxygen I ordered last week hasn’t been provided due to bureaucratic hold up. First issue- multiple failed faxes, This morning as this crisis unfolds and I start digging further into root cause analysis, I learn the company merged with 3 other oxygen suppliers and so our provider database is polluted. The card my patient provided didn’t have the latest brand name for the oxygen supplier. Second issue– yesterday afternoon after getting a human contact at the oxygen supply company, we were told no portable oxygen will be provided because there isn’t a 6-minute failed walking test. Never mind that I have documented at-rest hypoxia and the patient clinically is suffering from a lack of adequate oxygenation. With his home stationary oxygen, he can maintain normal saturations. Apparently, the system doesn’t care if he has to look like a fish on dry land in order to get to his medical appointments.
Next scenario: Lunch with a drug rep who has some great products BUT- if you aren’t insured, you can’t afford it. IF you are on commercial insurance a coupon can be surrendered and now it’s “five bucks a month”. Of course, I or my staff have to seek prior authorization which will entail loading up to a “convenient” website (CoverMyMeds) which exists as a “clearing house” for insurance authorization harassment. Odds of medication approval? Batting around 40-50% after the second application.
Next scene: Several faxes to sign second time authorization of referral orders of Physical therapy, home health, and/or Durable Medical Equipment fulfillment. Often the DME requests come over the fax from trolling companies hoping out of drone response the doctor will sign off on that unrequested back brace or pair of special shoes. AND ON AND ON… These scenarios are played out in spades for contracted physicians and their extender assistants.
And I know This Pain is Felt Equally by Patients!
Patients are angry and upset that they are caught in the middle of this bureaucratic nightmare. Our government made the unwarranted claim that health care is a right and a majority of voters appeared to agree. This was demonstrated when America voted for President Obama signaling affirmation of his Patient Protection and Affordable Healthcare Act (PPACA). Now we are all eating crow and hopefully have come to understand that demanding health care as a right has only worsened access and affordability of health care. What we want or need as individuals has been completely ignored. Uncle Sam and the insurance bureaucratical minions as well as the American Medical Association are joining hands in regulating every single aspect of your physicians’ life whilst enabling dummied-down degrees to take our drone seats and perpetuate further mischief. Law has been enacted making it illegal for physicians to own outside health care products and services but it is apparently perfectly fine for hospital corporations to have a fully vertically integrated ownership of the entire medical community in their region. This folks, is known as a monopoly, and loaded with conflicts of interest when it comes to serving patients.
Just In This Week- See How England Is Handling The Healthcare Is A Right Position:
Well, noting that government command health economics has resulted in the assured result of supply shortage England is now offering Doctor and Nurse privileges to the School Leavers. This folks is where we are heading and in a tout de suite fashion. We have to stop pretending this isn’t happening as we speak.
Call To Action:
- Doctors- seek private practice, leave your corporate employer. Tear up insurance contracts and exit Medicare.
- Patients- seek DPC practices and cry “Uncle”! to Uncle Sam. Ask him to stop meddling and get behind individual rights and support a free market in medicine. We need health-sharing accounts/credits to any tax-paying citizen. End the HSA handcuffed to the PPO insurance policy presently legislated. Understand insurance does not guarantee health care anymore than socializing health institutions do. Ask/demand the option of paying cash for services when the bureaucracy is burying you and blocking you from “covered services”.
- Doctors and Patients- check out the Free Market Medical Association and the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons. Support these entities as they are trying desperately to solve the problem and not be part of the problem.
Dr. Kordonowy is a well-respected private healthcare physician in Fort Myers, Florida and has his own practice – Internal Medicine, Lipid, and Wellness in conjunction with Dr. Marconi.