Something less than perfect

Finding something wrong with the American health-care system, if “system” it be, is about as difficult as finding weeds in your next-door neighbor’s yard, especially since those weeds will eventually be in your yard. “Why can’t we do it like the Canadians do?” ask some people. Well, we could do worse, and pretty much any tweaking we do to our “system” will insure that we will do worse. Still, parking several billion dollars’ worth of bureaucrats throughout the chain will have similar results no matter whose flag they fly:

I’m curious: what must have happened to provoke the powers that be to make the health care system so inanely bureaucratic that wait times for life-saving surgeries are dramatically increased because of all the referrals for referrals required? Who could it possibly benefit?

I’ve written before about the system. After seeing an oncologist, to get a second visit to arrange to get a referral to a surgeon requires another referral to the oncologist from a family doctor. The same is true of many specialists.

We don’t necessarily do any better down here, and we have the additional complication of checking to see if anyone in the chain is Out Of Network, which will cost us a surcharge of somewhere between 20 percent and infinity.

Imagine the savings to the health care costs if, on the first visit to the oncologist, you were given your options WITH the names and numbers of various doctors to see depending on the decision you make, and then you were allowed to actually call them all by yourself! So once you decide to go with the hysterectomy before the mastectomy, then you DIRECTLY call the gynecologist!! That would be amazing!! But instead, it’s a bizarre, circuitous route from the family doctor to the oncologist to the family doctor to the oncologist (who says this should have been done months ago) and finally to whatever surgeon you need to save your own life.

Rules, rules, rules. And every bureaucracy worthy of the name has someone whose sole interest in life is insuring that all Ts are crossed, all Is are dotted, and no sentence ends with a period followed by two spaces. This is useful for a secondary-school English teacher; it’s not so useful for anyone in the health biz.





1 comment

  1. McG »

    25 June 2017 · 8:41 pm

    Imagine the savings to the health care costs if, on the first visit to the oncologist, you were given your options WITH the names and numbers of various doctors to see depending on the decision you make, and then you were allowed to actually call them all by yourself!

    He who pays the piper calls the tune. And if it ain’t your signature on the check — either as insurance company CFO or as Treasurer of whatever government, the piper don’t know you.

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