Sunday, May 27, 2012

Your Government Check is in the Mail

I saw a recent interview from one of our congressman who was stressing how physicians are overpaid. I couldn't help but look at the Medicaid payscale. This is what the Federal Government pays doctors to take care of you.

To admit you into the hospital and manage a severe pneumonia in a patient with diabetes and CHF an internist gets $74 and then gets $24 each additional day he or she manages your care while you are in the hospital.

When we had a problem with our furnace, the HVAC man got $75 to come to the house, $65/hr after that plus parts and labor.

Oh, the Federal Governement pays attorneys at a rate of $200/hr.

Access Denied

I hear the term "lack of access to medical" tossed around by government officials and other who are trying to define health care policy. This seems hard for me to comprehend seeing what I do in the Emergency Departments. In the Emergency department we do see alot of things that have become serious but much of it is because the patient did not seek attention sooner. The reason they did not seek attention sooner is listed in surveys that the government likes to cite as "no access". In fact, there is access, it is just that people do not want to take the time to go to a physician much less pay for it. There is "access", it is everywhere. To get to the ED patients have to drive past numerous walk in clinics which are at Walgreen's, Caremarks, CVS as well as medical offices. The problem is that they will pay for the cell phones, chromed out rims, expensive tennis shoes and premium pay channels on their cable but they wont pay to go see a medical provider. The truly destitute patients have Medicaid which even covers their expenses and these clinics take Medicaid yet they still wont go. It is not an "access problem" it is a volition problem. People don't want to go to the doctor much less pay for it. I cant tell you how many dental abscess problems come into the ED and the classic response was I cant afford to go to a dentist, yet the patient has Bling all over his teeth. No matter what the government does and no matter what they want to call it, a group of people are going to go to the Emergency Department because they will be seen and treated and not have to pay.