Saturday, May 21, 2011


I have been noticing that alot of the patients that we see who are on Medicare and Social Security Disability are rather young. Many are under 45 years old. Being rather a cynic personally, I asked the front desk to keep track this week if they could how many patients I saw who were on Social Security and Medicare/Caid who met the following criteria: under 45, able to drive, talk on the telephone, and walk. The last three I included because I figure that if you can do these, there is at least some job that you can do. The answer they gave was a bit shocking to me. It was 18! I dont know if this was a high weekly number or a low weekly number. But still, 18! I am not sure what the truw dollar amount of full Social Security Disability and Medicare/Medicaid is but I can imagine both combined might be about $20,000.00. This is probably a very low ball estimate as these folks are receiving care that normally would have been covered by private insurance. Anyway, 18 time 20K is $360,000! This was in one week! No wonder Medicare and Social Security are going broke! I shouldn't have gone back up to ask the our front office staff anymore questions but I couldnt help my self. When I asked them about the number of people who met the criteria, they said "oh, yeah the Gamers". I asked why they called them that. They explained, "oh, they know how to game the system, they all are on disabilty for fibro". I said, "no, way, all of them?". They answered, "not really, two were on it for chronic fatigue". I asked why and they looked at me like I was a moron. "they have fibro and chronic fatigue because it gets you free money!" Great, we are all screwed!


rnraquel said...

You are absolutely right. When I was working in an outpatient setting, I noticed the exact same thing.

SeaSpray said...

It's a shame. Especially, since those that sincerely need the assistance are probably looked down on as well because of these people abusing the system.

And now with government extended unemployment ...there are all the people collecting because they can. All they have to do is send in a half_ _ _ ed resume or claim no available work in this economy.

I do believe fibro and chronic fatigue can be debilitating, but I don't believe that is true of everyone.

That is not to say people don't need it, but you know there are the ones milking it for all they can get.

Son has a 22 yr old friend who was athletic, in college... healthy young man. I don't have the whole story yet and for life of me can't imagine how could go undetected so long ...but he is very ill with Lyme disease affecting his liver. It took them a while to figure it out. Son just saw him and said he looks terrible.

Off track - just thinking I have met patients/clients on disability because of Lyme disease too.