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Jan 15, 2022 09:04:31   #
srt101fan
 
sb wrote:
There is no question that you can get the best health care in the world in the United States - if you have the money. But our healthcare system is being so overwhelmed that it takes a long time to get non-emergency care.

When I first practiced medicine I worked in a small town on the border of Canada. Very rural - 90 minutes' drive to the nearest traffic light. The nearby Canadian residents would have to travel 110miles round-trip to see a Canadian physician (not easy in winter!) so the two of us docs in our town were asked to register with the Canadian (New Brunswick) Medicare System as providers. Half of my patients were Canadian, and half were Americans.

First: none of my Canadian patients thought they had "free" health care - many could tell me how much of their income tax went towards their health care. Not one ever complained about their Medicare system. Most expressed great appreciation that they were covered no matter what - if they changed jobs, lost their job, were unemployed for the season. Their parents were covered if they needed home care or if they needed to go into the nursing home. No one went bankrupt because of their ill health or that of a family member.

Second: Quality of Care: The most expeditious care could be had for my American patients with insurance. Referrals to medical specialists required going more than two hours to the northwest to Bangor, Maine or two hours to the northeast to St John's New Brunswick for the Canadian patients. I had no problems making referrals for my Canadian patients. The problem was that over half of my American patients had either no insurance or Medicaid. Medicaid (not Medicare) is the state-run program for poor people. It reimburses very little. Doctors will sometimes agree to see Medicaid patients as part of their charitable work in their community - this works OK unless a big part of the practice becomes Medicaid patients. (At that time I could drive 28 miles to see one of my Medicaid patients in the hospital, examine the patient, review their blood work and x-rays, write orders, and drive back to the office - and I would get paid $8.50. I spent more than that on gas.) The half of my practice that had no insurance or who were covered by Medicaid were a huge challenge to get the care they needed. I would sometimes have to pester or beg the specialists to see them. Their care was delayed unacceptably. I couldn't order tests for them that they couldn't afford - sometimes they couldn't afford the gas to get to Bangor for specialized testing or to see the specialist.

So - people argue against nationalized healthcare by pointing to long delays in getting hip replacement surgery in Canada. While that is true (too many orthopedists have left the cold north and moved to Florida where they can make more money and be warm...), I have patients who put off joint replacement for years. I have patients who cannot afford needed joint replacement in the US and go to foreign countries for it. National health systems may ration care such as hip replacement also so that they can squeeze in folks who break their hip and need emergency surgery. They have a more fair and equitable system. Everyone here worries about "the government" making decisions about their health care - but instead we allow big business to control our health care.
There is no question that you can get the best hea... (show quote)


Another interesting perspective.....Thanks!

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Jan 15, 2022 10:57:43   #
Fleckjohn65 Loc: Ajax Ontario Canada
 
Gerry. I am in Canada so this may not apply. However when I go for my annual check up the Dr sends an email to pharmacy that gives me my drugs for a year. I can only get them every three months though but that works. Not sure if that might give you some sort of resolutions

John

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Jan 15, 2022 11:10:12   #
alexol
 
Having personally experienced both the Euro healthcare systems and the US systems over many years and many others I am most certainly better informed & more experienced on this topic than most of our posters. I wish that were true of photography too, but that isn't the case.
To date I've spent lengthy periods of time in some 2O countries.

US healthcare can be excellent - if you have the money, and only a relatively small percentage of the population does have enough to experience the very best healthcare. For the rest, not so great, and often cripplingly expensive.

Systems such as the UK's and Canadian systems seem to work better for a much larger percentage of the population, and a simple fact (that is skipped over by most North Americans) is that in many countries that have universal healthcare you can also have personal insurance.

In Britain for example, you may have to wait a bit to have a knee replaced (and the wait list is lengthening apparently) but if you have an accident there will be no-one rifling through your pockets to see what insurance you have.

A couple of years ago, my wife needed some particular medication - a cancer treatment - and two pills alone were $7800.

Roughly around the same time, my 86 year old mother in England, developed a severe UTI. The doctor made a house call at 6pm on Christmas Eve, along with a secondary vehicle, the traveling pharmacy. While treating her, he noted that she had a bum knee and booked an appointment to start the replacement process. He gave me - I was there at the time - his mobile number with instructions to call the following day - Christmas Day - if there was no improvement . Total bill for the three visits that he made, plus medications, came to less than $50.

There are good and bad stories about all healthcare systems but the glaringly obvious conclusion has to be the the US system is both out of control and completely unsustainable.

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Jan 15, 2022 11:23:03   #
bamfordr Loc: Campbell CA
 
Walkabout08 wrote:
Many years ago I traveled to Montreal for laser treatment of my myopia. I paid out of pocket for the treatments which were done by the head of ophthalmology at McGill Un. medical school, using the latest German equipment. The cost? Less than half the price charged by US surgeons using older equipment. And I had great outcomes.
If you do the research you’ll find that in aggregate we in the US pay more for our healthcare and in aggregate have poorer outcomes than other high income countries. We have to stop believing the fantasy that the U.S. has the greatest healthcare in the world. We don’t.
My spouse is a primary care provider who’s nearing retirement. She’s been with the same office now for 35 years and her internal medicine practice has morphed from a physician owned and directed one to one that’s owned and managed by the largest healthcare conglomerate in Massachusetts. Her practice is managed by people who are bottom line directed. Her days are filled with more patients to see, with less time per patient, with less clerical help. It’s like the old TV show I Love Lucy with Lucy and Ethel on the production line at the candy maker. The patients just keep coming even though the providers can’t keep up.
Many years ago I traveled to Montreal for laser tr... (show quote)


My experience was years ago with health care in Germany. My daughter developed a kidney infection and was hospitalized. Fortunately her boy friend’s family stepped in to ensure she got the proper care. What was interesting was when I called the hospital admin to arrange the financial details. They estimated a five day stay and the charge was (as I recall) $1200 US a day. I asked about additional charges for labs, X-rays, band aids, aspirin, etc. The $1200 covered the cost of any and all hospital services. Very different from what I was used to. Everything turned out well. And they took American Express.

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Jan 15, 2022 11:37:14   #
srt101fan
 
alexol wrote:
Having personally experienced both the Euro healthcare systems and the US systems over many years and many others I am most certainly better informed & more experienced on this topic than most of our posters. I wish that were true of photography too, but that isn't the case.
To date I've spent lengthy periods of time in some 2O countries.

US healthcare can be excellent - if you have the money, and only a relatively small percentage of the population does have enough to experience the very best healthcare. For the rest, not so great, and often cripplingly expensive.

Systems such as the UK's and Canadian systems seem to work better for a much larger percentage of the population, and a simple fact (that is skipped over by most North Americans) is that in many countries that have universal healthcare you can also have personal insurance.

In Britain for example, you may have to wait a bit to have a knee replaced (and the wait list is lengthening apparently) but if you have an accident there will be no-one rifling through your pockets to see what insurance you have.

A couple of years ago, my wife needed some particular medication - a cancer treatment - and two pills alone were $7800.

Roughly around the same time, my 86 year old mother in England, developed a severe UTI. The doctor made a house call at 6pm on Christmas Eve, along with a secondary vehicle, the traveling pharmacy. While treating her, he noted that she had a bum knee and booked an appointment to start the replacement process. He gave me - I was there at the time - his mobile number with instructions to call the following day - Christmas Day - if there was no improvement . Total bill for the three visits that he made, plus medications, came to less than $50.

There are good and bad stories about all healthcare systems but the glaringly obvious conclusion has to be the the US system is both out of control and completely unsustainable.
Having personally experienced both the Euro health... (show quote)


Very helpful and thought-provoking commentary.

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Jan 15, 2022 12:33:19   #
PhotogHobbyist Loc: Bradford, PA
 
jerryc41 wrote:
Our medical system is not getting better. While my son was at work, he got a cryptic email from CVS saying that they couldn't contact his doctor to get a Rx refilled. This happens every time a Rx has to be renewed. I can always get through, so why can't they? I called my doctor, and I got a recording saying that because they were overwhelmed by Covid, I had to go to the "Patient Portal" to renew the Rx. I'm signed up on the portal, but my son isn't, and I saw no way to sign him up. I can't visit the office in person because I must have an appointment, and I have to phone them when I get there so they will let me in. I wrote a letter to the doctor, and I'll mail it when I go out. Is this progress?

My doctor's office joined a large group - Health Quest - after the founding doctor retired. Then that group joined a larger group - Nuvance. Now it's Nuvance Health Quest, which includes hundreds of practitioners and several hospitals. Besides that, the local hospital has also joined a group, and it's now Health Alliance. Health Quest, Health Alliance - life used to be simpler - and easier.

I watch an English doctor report on Covid every day. The US is leading the world in hospitalizations - way more than any other country. He said this is partly because so many Americans have other health problems, like obesity, and our healthcare system is so costly that it leaves many people on the verge of needing hospitalization, anyway. Getting Covid, even the milder omicron, pushes them over the edge, and they must be hospitalized.

A couple of years ago, I cut my thumb. After having it washed and bandaged at the ER, I received a bill for $3,897. Fortunately, my co-pay was only $75.
Our medical system is not getting better. While m... (show quote)


I refuse to use the local CVS pharmacy. A few years ago I went through their drive thru prescription pick-up for my wife and received two prescriptions from the pharmacist. One of the prescriptions was for another person. Another time I was picking up a glucometer and supplies for her as she was newly diagnosed with diabetes and the pharmacist, when asked to assist, did not provide adequate help to get the proper items to match the meter. And the final insult was the pharmacy tech who admitted to filling a script, but did not know the difference between milligrams and milliliters. I do not want my medications provided by a company that hires such incompetent employees.

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Jan 15, 2022 13:14:25   #
jerryc41 Loc: Catskill Mts of NY
 
PhotogHobbyist wrote:
I refuse to use the local CVS pharmacy. A few years ago I went through their drive thru prescription pick-up for my wife and received two prescriptions from the pharmacist. One of the prescriptions was for another person. Another time I was picking up a glucometer and supplies for her as she was newly diagnosed with diabetes and the pharmacist, when asked to assist, did not provide adequate help to get the proper items to match the meter. And the final insult was the pharmacy tech who admitted to filling a script, but did not know the difference between milligrams and milliliters. I do not want my medications provided by a company that hires such incompetent employees.
I refuse to use the local CVS pharmacy. A few yea... (show quote)


Yeah, CVS is on the bottom of my list, but that's the choice of my insurance company.

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Jan 15, 2022 14:03:34   #
bwana Loc: Bergen, Alberta, Canada
 
John N wrote:
I can't understand this hangup with 'socialised' medicine. You have no problems using the same system for Education, Waste Collection, Police, Fire etc. It's not like it's FREE as many of you believe. During my working life I paid into it every single month, as did my employer. It's not 'Socialised' it's paid for by all of us - and we all hope we don't need it - but if we do we are not going to go Bankrupt because we used it.

I'm not saying the NHS is the best, nor the French, Canadian, Australian et al. But there's a reason why no other Country (that I know of) uses a similar system to yours.

But should I want to, I can still go PRIVATE if I want - I still have to pay into the National System though, most often at a lower rate than your insurance premiums, no middleman rakeoffs here.
I can't understand this hangup with 'socialised' m... (show quote)

I have no problem with universal healthcare either. I've never had to wait for healthcare under the Canadian model and have received very good care when I need it AND it is available to all, not just a special few that can afford it.

bwa

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Jan 15, 2022 14:33:25   #
raymondh Loc: Walker, MI
 
Real Nikon Lover wrote:
And what are the inequities? Come to Los Angeles! Healthcare is all free! Spend your money on healthcare or don't. It's just that simple. The US has some of the best healthcare in the world. People travel outside of the US to get healthcare and then end up regretting it. They usually do this because of the cost. I cannot tell you the number of people I have met, known or dealt with that went to "X" country and came back with a nightmare surgery, infection, secondary illness. It goes on and on.

Your right I am concerned about socialized medicine. It sucks. PERIOD. I bemoan nothing. My point is if you pay for a Toyota you will get a Toyota. If you pay for a Cadillac you will get a Cadillac. Same is true in healthcare.

Nowhere in the Constitution does it guarantee healthcare for all. It is not a right (at this point). It is a benefit often negotiated by unions for workers (LA SEIU did a great job on this) or added benefit at time of employment.

Is it morally or ethically correct for society to create health inequities? Not my decision.

I have worked over 40 years, earned and paid for everything I have. Including healthcare. Nothing was given to me. NOTHING. If I were suddenly broke and zeroed out I would do what I have always done... find a way, survive and dig out of the hole.
And what are the inequities? Come to Los Angeles!... (show quote)


Well said!

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Jan 15, 2022 14:40:38   #
14kphotog Loc: Marietta, Ohio
 
C.V.S. sucks, they can't keep track of refill times at all. If it is a high-cost med, they will fill it 3 weeks after filling a 90-day supply. They send reminders to refill a scrip way too soon or short count the # of pills.

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Jan 15, 2022 14:54:53   #
TriX Loc: Raleigh, NC
 
The US healthcare system normally works well, but only for those that can afford it, but now with hospitals overloaded with COVID patients, even if you have the $ and the coverage, you won’t necessarily get in when you need it. We have Medicare plus Blue Cross Medicare advantage plus our personal physician (of 40 years) has gone the “boutique” route with MDVIP. He was going under with thousands of patients and insurance payments. He cut his patients to 3-400, and we pay him $450 per quarter in addition to the insurance. I can call him any time day or night and be seen within hours, even housecall if necessary, but how about the majority of the world who can’t afford that? I understand why he went that way, but the principal leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

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Jan 15, 2022 16:28:02   #
Wuligal Loc: Slippery Rock, Pa.
 
Shhhh, I'm not rich nor do I have the "best" health care in the world but just last week my doctor actually made a house call because I couldn't make it to his office. Doesn't get any better than that my friend.

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Jan 15, 2022 20:10:14   #
Old Coot
 
In the last 15 years. I have had two knees and one shoulder replaced. All under Medicare and with absolutely no Co Pay. There is good service out there but you have to go look for it. My plan is a HMO and I believe that I have only had to pay around $100 total for drugs over a year.
Take the time to find a good Doctor group tied to a first class hospital

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Jan 16, 2022 01:22:26   #
Doc Mck Loc: Terrell,Texas
 
Longshadow wrote:
Key operator: You get what you pay for.

BTW - Aren't we paying for "socialized medicine" via taxes? Not really "free" is it.

In my opinion, your taxes are paying for the privilege of living in the USA, where oppottunity thrives.

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Jan 16, 2022 05:47:27   #
AirWalter Loc: Tipp City, Ohio
 
jerryc41 wrote:
Our medical system is not getting better. While my son was at work, he got a cryptic email from CVS saying that they couldn't contact his doctor to get a Rx refilled. This happens every time a Rx has to be renewed. I can always get through, so why can't they? I called my doctor, and I got a recording saying that because they were overwhelmed by Covid, I had to go to the "Patient Portal" to renew the Rx. I'm signed up on the portal, but my son isn't, and I saw no way to sign him up. I can't visit the office in person because I must have an appointment, and I have to phone them when I get there so they will let me in. I wrote a letter to the doctor, and I'll mail it when I go out. Is this progress?

My doctor's office joined a large group - Health Quest - after the founding doctor retired. Then that group joined a larger group - Nuvance. Now it's Nuvance Health Quest, which includes hundreds of practitioners and several hospitals. Besides that, the local hospital has also joined a group, and it's now Health Alliance. Health Quest, Health Alliance - life used to be simpler - and easier.

I watch an English doctor report on Covid every day. The US is leading the world in hospitalizations - way more than any other country. He said this is partly because so many Americans have other health problems, like obesity, and our healthcare system is so costly that it leaves many people on the verge of needing hospitalization, anyway. Getting Covid, even the milder omicron, pushes them over the edge, and they must be hospitalized.

A couple of years ago, I cut my thumb. After having it washed and bandaged at the ER, I received a bill for $3,897. Fortunately, my co-pay was only $75.
Our medical system is not getting better. While m... (show quote)


Isn't your Son old enough to sign himself up on the patient portal? So, what is your problem?



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