Daily Archives: June 1, 2008

Observations Regarding Health Care In America

So, for reasons that are rather uninteresting and slightly confusing, I did not have the correct insurance card with me when I arrived at the emergency room last weekend. The admitting people were unable to verify that I was indeed insured and marked me down as an uninsured patient. That was an eye-opening experience. Of course, I could be wrong in my analysis of the situation but here is what transpired from my perspective.

  • I saw the doctor once for about three minutes.
  • I had to request pain medication and when it finally arrived it was in pill form which I refused to take. (I was still in that object of torture C Spin collar thingamajig and frankly, it scared me to think of trying to swallow pills with that contraption around my neck.) They eventually gave me a shot of Demerol.
  • I had abrasions on my head and face yet no treatment was given to those areas. (My brother-in-law cleaned those up once they got me back home.)
  • Every time we asked about something, no one could give us an immediate response.
  • When the CT scans came back and showed that nothing was broken, they removed the object of torture C Spin collar thingamajig but I was not offered any other support brace to aid in healing.
  • I had to ask for water…which I never got.

Basically, in my opinion, the hospital did only what was immediately medically necessary. Of course, this could just be the way things happen in an emergency room. Maybe all the medical dramas on television have warped my perception of what is supposed to happen at a hospital? I have limited experience with emergency rooms and hospitals in general. I’ve been to an ER once before and hospitalized twice (when I had my babies). Maybe it was the hospital I was at? Others, who are more familiar with these sorts of things, swear that some hospital ERs are better than others. I don’t really know. All I know is what I experienced and it seemed to me that the hospital was making sure that minimal time and effort was given to me based on my insurance status. They didn’t know whether or not they would get paid for the services rendered. The less they did for me, the less I would have to pay and the less they would possibly lose if I couldn’t pay.

As much as despise the thought of universal health care and as much as despise the current insurance system, I have to wonder if there’s some way to make sure that when you go to the hospital, you get the treatment you need regardless of your insurance status. But then who decides what you need? In my opinion, I needed pain medication and I needed my abrasions treated. but the in the hospital’s opinion, I did not. Who’s right?

I don’t know. I do know that I will be requesting and getting the correct insurance card!


Filed under by Malia, random, Rant