Medical 2016/Research/One Woman’s Opinion
By – Sheri de Grom
From the back of my Medicare statement:
If you, or someone you’re helping, has questions about a Medicare Summary Notice (MSN), you have the right to get help, and information in your language at no cost. To talk to an interpreter, call 1-800-MEDICARE.
This ruling has become a requirement for all commercial insurance companies and I ask you to imagine the cost to your premium increasing to accommodate this service.
My Opinion: At least 24 languages are offered and include: Vietnamese, Tagalog, Russian, Portuguese, Polish, Korean, Japanese, Italian, Haitian Creole, German, and French to name a few.
If I required medical care in any of the above countries, I would be asked to pay for services rendered. I would not be offered a plan such as Medicare and no one would bother to translate their language to English. Many citizens of the countries named are fluent in English but from my experience these same citizens are selective about when they will use their language skills.
Is MEDICARE broke because we try too hard to be nice to countries whose leaders and/or citizens would just as soon see us dead? Who decided this was a good investment of our tax dollar? Why are we so afraid to stand up for ourselves and say, enough is enough?
From TIME, Oct. 5, 2015:
TIME magazine offered three (3) ways for consumers to get better health care. They based their summary on Leslie D. Michelson’s new book, Patient’s Playbook. The book is listed as one of the top fifteen of 2015 by AARP.
- Bond with your doctor. I agree 100% with Mr. Michelson’s assessment that it’s tough to
make small talk during short visits. But people who have strong relationships with their primary-care physicians tend to be more open about important health details and are likely to get the preventative exams that are right for them.
- Get second opinions. In the U.S. alone, diagnostic error contributes to the death or disability of at least 80,000 people a year. It’s important to consult with multiple medical experts before agreeing to surgery and other major treatments.
- Don’t be afraid to travel within the United States to major medical centers. Community hospitals offer quality care. But for complex problems, it’s worth considering a major institution; if it accepts your health insurance, the cost will be roughly the same.
From AARP, Dec. 23, 2011 & reprinted Dec. 26, 2015:
An AARP Bulletin discussed five (5) ways you can easily be labeled a difficult patient and have your doctor dislike you:
- You don’t arrive on time.
- You treat your doctor’s office as your personal assistant.
- You don’t admit that you’re not taking your medication.
- You diagnose your own medical problem and tell the doctor how to treat it.
- You start asking questions just as he/she heads out the door.
From the American Association of Orthopedic Surgeons – Your Access to Health Care Services May Be Threatened:
There is an effort in Congress to prevent physicians from owning imaging, physical therapy services and pathology services. This doesn’t make sense because it hinders access to quality care. If a patient cannot have these in-house services it will cause scheduling delays, prolonged waits, the need to travel to other offices, etc.
The prohibition of these services could present significant harm to our elderly, disabled, poor and military families. It would not be fair to discriminate against those patients and purposely inconvenience them as they are some of the most vulnerable in society.
My Opinion: I appreciate having all the services mentioned above at the same place as my physicians. It’s an added convenience and a bonus I always look for when considering a new provider.
From The Centers For Disease Control:
- 1 in 3 people will get shingles in their lifetime.
- If you’ve had chickenpox, the shingles virus is already inside you.
- It’s hard to tell when the shingles rash will erupt.
- Unlike chickenpox, shingles can be painful and can lead to long-term nerve pain.
- Your risk for shingles increases as you get older.
- MEDICARE DOES NOT PAY FOR SHINGLES VACCINATION. IF YOUR PRIMARY INSURANCE PAYS FOR THE VACCINATION, ASK YOUR DOCTOR TO ORDER IT FOR YOU BEFORE YOU ARE OF MEDICARE AGE!
It’s amazing to me just how much information is available along with how much mis-information. We must become informed consumers in selecting our healthcare providers and consider carefully the decisions they make for us. It is a matter of our life and death.
Thank you for reading with me.