Why does the American health care system keep disagreeing with Benjamin Franklin, who said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”? Let’s clear the air. Daily, our health care system wastes millions of dollars and causes unnecessary pain and suffering because we refuse to ask questions. For example, the $80.00 a patient just spent, an hour’s waiting time and a waste of a doctors time and resources combined with pointless anxiety and discomfort was because of lack of information in a sick system in which no one asks a question, let alone looks for answers. Read what happened and tell me if we shouldn’t question how we spend our health care dollars?
A woman I know was becoming very weak: headaches, pale, exhausted, dizzy and numbness. I knew the signs. I had seen her go through this before. It was an allergy attack, which is often overlooked by health care professionals, especially when symptoms aren’t routine. I asked if her air cleaner was working properly. It wasn’t, but she had decided to ignore it because she didn’t know where to get the filter and was concerned about the price.
The doctors never ask questions about air quality so why would a patient? Finally, the patient had to go to an urgent care and was given a steroid injection for what the doctor diagnosed as an acute allergy attack that was evidenced by the patient’s blocked ears & sinuses. The congestion caused by the allergic reaction triggered an infection.
Fortunately, the doctor figured out part of the problem but then prescribed the wrong antibiotic that wouldn’t work for this patient. The patient tried to explain about the patient’s experience with that antibiotic to the doctor who ignored her. No questions asked. If this patient had gone to another urgent care facility in the area where the patient lives that is open on off hours, she would have been forced to submit to an x-ray, a wait up to 4 hours and pay a whopping $200.00 co-pay without any guarantee of getting the right antibiotic if one were needed.
Luckily, this time the patient had the correct antibiotic on file in a drug store and was able to fill the prescription. Unfortunately the antibiotic cost a $45.00 co-pay; the urgent care visit co-pay was $35.00. Without insurance, the antibiotic would have been $300.00. Although the patient didn’t know what the cost would have been for the urgent care without insurance, she suspected at least $150.00. All this because of an air filter that had to be replaced in an air cleaner. To replace the air cleaner filters cost the patient $76.00 which will last for 6 months. If she could have afforded a more expensive air cleaner, those filters wouldn’t be necessary. Are we sick? If this patient did not have insurance, it would have been a far higher price to the tax payers and extensively more difficult for the patient to get the treatment she needed. The cost of not asking questions is too high. Please let’s clear the air and demand answers.