Today was a self-care day.
I’d been putting off my routine mammograms for a long time. Not good, you’re saying. You’re right, I say agreeing. In our current healthcare arena, there’ve been many factors playing into the delay.
The first challenge was my first Texas primary care physician and his office staff. They were not fast at returning calls or efficient faxing orders to correct places. Once those boxes were checked off, I discovered successfully talking with a scheduling person was going to be my next obstacle. After many missed connections, I learned the imaging center I’d been referred to did not take my insurance. If I wanted to use this facility, the exam would be at my cost.
Because so much time had elapsed, I now had different insurance. Compliments of the Healthcare Market Place changes, I now needed to find a new primary care physician. This inconvenience ended up being a plus. After hours researching physicians all across my area, I found a doctor who listens to me, answers my questions, and responds to me quickly. I can “talk” to him by email, meaning I have a direct line to him, sidestepping office staff. The catch–you knew there had to be one–the radiologists covering the hospital and the imaging centers I’ve been referred to are out-of-network. Thankfully, the facilities established workarounds, a “fix” taking more money directly out of my pocket.
Getting good health care should not be so complicated and costly. In a country filled with so many really smart people, why does healthcare remain such a mess? In my cynical, older person mind, I think it’s complicated so we get frustrated trying to figure it out. We pay the premiums, make calls after calls questioning the cryptic bills, eventually giving up the fight so we can be done with it all and move on with our lives. If we could hang in there long enough to get to the bottom of all the terminology, codes, and qualifiers, we’d discover we’re paying a lot of money to a lot of different people for suboptimal care.
I know I am not alone in this battle. My bills are nothing compared to many others. The saddest part of it all is I don’t see things getting better or easier anytime soon.
After all of this, I needed a laugh. To get that done, thought I’d share a Christmas quote from George Carlin:
“The main reason Santa is so jolly is because he knows where all the bad girls live.”
I wish you all a great weekend. Be careful and stay aware as you head out to do your holiday shopping. Listen to your gut. If a place or situation doesn’t feel right, leave.
Love, peace, and pray for those in need.