July 18, 2015
In a well written article entitled, “A patient is angry with her emergency care bill,” published on KevinMD and written by Whitecoat, MD, the author writes:
“Unfortunately, in the world of $20 copays and government-mandated free birth control pills, there seems to be a pervasive belief that medical care should cost less than an appointment at a hairstylist and should definitely cost less than the newest iPhone.”
I couldn’t agree more. Recently a middle aged man who was successfully being treated for diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and obesity demanded that I change his medications. His insurance company had informed him that changing his medications that “preferred” status generics would result in a $385 a year savings. I explained that his medications were doing their job. His blood pressure and lab values were in excellent ranges and that changing his medication would be potentially risky. I also explained that losing weight and exercising would go a long way towards getting him off of his medication.
My patient persisted in his demands and I stood my ground, refusing to make those changes. Before you judge me too harshly, let me at one more fact to this story. My patient had pulled into the parking lot at the same time I did that day. He was driving a brand new S series Mercedes. Wow, what a car! I would venture to guess that the price tag on that vehicle exceeded $100,000.
Yes, “there seems to be a pervasive belief that medical care should cost less than an appointment at a hairstylist and should definitely cost less than the newest iPhone,” or even a $100,000 Mercedes.
I really do wonder what this world is coming to.