Does our healthcare system really ignore its patients this badly?
My friend had fallen and hit his head.
He had double vision and a headache, and a little nausea.
His roadblocks to healthcare
He got better over the next 72 hours.
But he thought that maybe he should have a CT (cat scan) of his head to see if he had a concussion.
Since he was new to his area he had not established care yet with a primary care physician.
He also knew that if he called his doctor’s office, the call center would only tell him to go to the Emergency Room.
He knew he was not dying.
All he wanted was a CT scan.
He had a concussion once before and his previous doctor told him he should get a head CT if he ever had these symptoms again after falling.
He did not feel that this was a life-or-death situation
But if you say, “Head injury”, they say “emergency room”.
Never mind that he was already 72 hours out from the injury and the keyword “getting better”, no one would listen to him.
Their decision? Let’s overload an already overloaded emergency room.
So then he called telehealth to get the CT scan and they said “No, they don’t order CT scans. Go to the emergency room.”
Another failed healthcare facility
Being a good steward of his health, he went to the urgent care and said, “I need a CT scan and explained why.”
The urgent care said, “Sorry we don’t order CT scans because we just do 12-hour shifts and when the CT scan results come in we may not be the person on duty who has to call you back and follow up with you.”
They explained that there is no follow-up at an urgent care therefore they do not write orders for anything that we require a follow-up visit or a phone call.
And again they suggested the emergency room even though he explained it was not a life or death situation.
Now don’t get me wrong, he has great insurance.
Everyone would love to take his insurance. So now he is $35 in the hole for the telemedicine and $50 in the hole for the urgent care and still can’t get us just a CT scan.
And on top of all this, all 3 places, the CT scan place, telemedicine, and the urgent care felt his pain, his denial of access to care, and said to him “Welcome to American healthcare. We hate it as much as you.”
This is the frustration that you and I experience every day.
We can have all the insurance in the world but it doesn’t mean we’re going to have access to care.
It means that everybody wants to push us toward the emergency room.
It does nothing but overloads them.
Well, it’s quite simple.
The healthcare system is afraid of medical lawsuits.
So let’s overload an already overloaded emergency room.
This is why I love direct primary care.
Fortunately, you have a choice. A Direct Primary Care physician puts you first.
These folks interview you. They show you around the office.
You pay them a fixed monthly fee just like a gymnasium or just like your cell phone except it’s not that expensive.
You now have access to your physician who knows you and understands you and listens to you.
You and they form a team and work together for your health.
No stupid running around, not getting what you want.
The rules are NOT attorney-driven to limit your access to care.
How did this end?
He gave up.
Truly, he had tried his best.
So, he found a Direct Primary Care physician.
With renewed hope, he interviewed this physician and she interviewed him.
And now… he has a stake in his own medical care. No doors slammed shut anymore.
He can text her. He can call her. She’ll spend all the time she needs to help him.