Friday, March 13

...for the cardiac eval...

If the private market place can handle patient care, why am I constantly being sent at tax payer expense to do the job of their care givers?


A woman has called reporting an elderly woman has chest pain.


As the fire engine winds through the residential streets, narrow and difficult at normal speed, we're now blaring the siren and blowing the horn hoping to shave seconds off of the critical cardiac care clock.
We arrive at the house and are out focusing on quick evaluation and confident treatment. We're met at the door by a care taker from a private health care company who removes her reading glasses and looks around us at the fire engine, lights still flashing.
"Do you have an emergency?"
"I need help getting my patient back into bed."

Are you kidding me? All this to help someone into bed?
Upstairs our patient is an apologetic elderly woman telling us how sorry she is she can't get up on her own. A quick check confirms she has no injury or complaint other than being on the floor.

The caretaker hasn't said a word.

After getting her back into bed I ask the caretaker for a business card so I can contact her agency and advise them of the conditions at the house. If she is unable to care for her client, shouldn't someone from her agency come by to help her lift the woman back into bed?

No, she tells us, she was told by the office to call 911.

I looked back through the dispatch information and the caretaker told quite a yarn to get the call classified as an urgent dispatch. Each question was classified as most urgent. Our actual 26A1 was called in as a 6D1.

Once again we're picking up the slack the "free market" supposedly has a handle on.


Dantarius said...

Hey HM,
was hoping you could help me understand more clearly why socialized health care is going to be better... My curiosity started with the post a few weeks ago with medic999's version of their system and has come back up here. How would our soon to be system of health care changed this posts situation? The lady still couldn't have gotten the other lady up, and she lied about the condition not because of the system, but because of the situation. I also look at every other call I run, and wonder how socialized health care is going to do anything more than clog up our chance at having quality health care at the cost of everyone having the same health care. Last week a guy called on a pay phone and said his chest hurt. When we got there he said he was cold and that we had to take him to the hospital to warm up. Socialized health care doesn't help that. My post is a question, not a debate. I do think what we have is broken. You seem to be PRO socialized health care, and I don't see how it will help people like you and me. Could you please give me some of your insight. I worked for a "sovereign nation" for nearly two years, and would consider my time there an example of socialized health care. I hope it is not like that. Were our experiences that different? Or will the overall situation be different?

The Happy Medic said...

An honest debate is exactly what we need about this topic. Too much crap is floating around the TV on both sides of the argument.

We already have socialized health care with care guaranteed at all ERs and legally required by law from ambulances run by the state, except there is a private entity making profit at the same time.

When those who have no plan seek care, they clog the emergency rooms because they have no other access to medicine.
By opening the system so that any person can be seen by any part of the system, it allows you and me as rescuers access to resources that are currently off limits.

Imagine being able to have your dispatch center send that "chest pain man" a single resource who can get him out of the cold, into treatment and home, without wasting an ambulance.

There are drawbacks for sure. All the horror stories of people waiting months for surgeries in socialized systems are true.
All the stories of American families declaring bankruptcy because of health care bills every 30 seconds is also true. They go bankrupt and the insurance companies raise our premiums to catch up.

The system is indeed broken. I'm not for taking away profits of companies that earn it, but I want to know why my premiums go up but my level of care or service does not, yet they continue to make more.
Last month, February, Blue Cross raised premiums on average 19.7%. Their CEO made over $300 Million last year, and that doesn't include Kaiser and all the other companies making money off of us and giving us little in return.

Now replace all those CEOs and private bureaucrats with a public one and add a little oversight and we'll have a ton of money to improve the system.
Let them keep what they've made, but let's get this thing fixed.

More specifically to this call, the woman in the house could call the transfer van to help her patient back into bed, a service offered by only one insurance company where I am, and she was not associated with them, so of course they won't come to help.
She indeed lied because of the system since she had no other resource to call. Now they used the socialized Fire Department for free and still charged their client a fee for the woman being there.
Under a unified system she can have access to all resources without worrying about coverage, group, co pays etc.

Is the current rumor of a completely "socialized" system going to be the solution? I don't know, haven't read it yet, hasn't been written yet, but something needs to be done.
Thanks Dantarius, I hope this clears up my views.