A young lady came to my office with an injury to her foot. I patiently listened as she explained the circumstances leading to her traumatic event.
The night before, she’d had too much to drink and fell off the side of her porch landing on her feet. Her explanation was embellished by frequent tangents that had nothing to do with the incident.
After performing an exam, I determined that an X-ray would be appropriate, which revealed a fracture of one of the bones in her foot. Treatment required a walker boot that would allow her to continue working since she didn’t want to lose income, and had to stand to perform her duties as a hairdresser.
She requested pain medication samples, and I explained that I would be happy to write something for her, but that we don’t keep controlled substance sample medications since they are highly regulated. She huffed, but agreed. I explained the prescription would be generic and the pharmacy would charge her less than ten dollars. She asked if I had samples of anything that I could give her. I told her we didn’t have anything . . . again.
After fitting her with crutches and the walker boot, she made her way to the front desk, ecstatic that she was able to walk with very little pain because of the boot.
During checkout, the receptionist informed the young lady that her insurance policy required her to pay for the walker boot. The young woman argued that she had already paid her co-pay before being seen.
My receptionist showed her the insurance report on the computer screen that explained that her co-pay was different from her deductible, which was different from her DME coverage, and that the policy she chose did not cover DME items at all. DME is the abbreviation for Durable Medical Equipment—for example, a walker boot, arm splint or crutches.
My patient complained rather loudly in the waiting room that we were overcharging her. The receptionist attempted to explain that under the Obama Care regulations, we are required by law to collect at the front desk any fees owed by our patients per their insurance policies, as determined by the reporting of their insurance company to the clearinghouse.
At that point the young woman became belligerent and abusive, spewing obscenities and throwing things even though there were many children in the waiting area. She eventually took off the boot and threw it across the counter at the receptionist, cursing the entire time, swearing that we owed her the boot and free healthcare, and that Obama Care would shut us down for not giving her what she needed.
At the end, she tossed in her feelings of anger that we had increased her co-pay for no reason. The entitlement issue is here in full force, ushered in on the surge of Obama Care.
Because this young woman was injured and had paid her premiums, she felt entitled to healthcare under the new Obama propaganda indicating that everyone would be covered and the world would be wonderful.
The truth is that everyone is required to be covered, but not for free, and not for cheap. There are still premiums to pay, and for most individuals the cost of those insurance premiums is higher than they ever were before.
We in the medical field have no control over insurance premiums. If you choose a policy that covers everything so you have little personal expense, the cost is higher than if you choose a high deductible and co-pay option.
In other words, if the monthly premium is higher, the out-of-pocket expense for an office visit is lower. The converse is also true, and that is where we usually find the rub.
Obama Care isn’t free, and it isn’t cheap. Our president wants you to feel entitled so that you will become entitled. That way when healthcare is fully socialized, he’ll meet less resistance and you’ll drink the Cool Aid . . . so to speak.
The bottom line—we’re doing more with less. We are getting less for doing more. Sometimes we don’t get paid at all, even though our patients are treated well. Those are the facts. The real facts.