September 4, 2009


I will admit, up front, that I know next to nothing about Obama's health care reform plan. I do not know about the details or schematics of the plan. What I do know is that every Friday I see protesters across the street at the court house. I hear people complaining about this or that, in regards to health care reform. I also know that I pay a LOT of money for my own health care (working for a very small company, and all). I also know that I maxed my high-deductible last year and it wasn't fun. To add insult to injury, this year my high-deductible health insurance went up by $500 (added to my already high deductible). (From a personal standpoint, this reduces my monthly income, due to having to set aside more pre-tax health money to cover that deductible, just in case I hit my max again.) I do not share this information in complaint or asking for pity, but as a background.
Have you ever been to see a doctor that rushes in the room (after you've been waiting a lengthy amount of time), he/she rushes through your symptoms (that you explained to the nurse), they quickly diagnose X and write a prescription, leaving the room before you've had a chance to say 3 words? I have. It feels very cold, unpersonal, and somewhat frightening. Without the opportunity to ask questions or talk through things with a doctor, how do we know we are getting adequate health care?
This morning, I ran across a wonderful article on NPR. The jist is that Medica & Fairview clinics are teaming up to test a health care plan that is based on preventive and actual health care. Instead of a doctor being paid for how many patients they see and how many procedures they perform, they are paid a salary. There are initiatives in place for doctors performing cancer screenings (like colonoscopys and mammograms), rather than just meeting with patients. Doctors are encouraged, in this program, to discuss symptoms and such with patients. I don't know all the details of the plan (and it sounds like a few details still need to be hammered out), but this sounds like how health care SHOULD be. A doctor, actually listening to a patient and taking the time needed to understand and correctly diagnose. The idea is to be more efficient. One doctor even commented that he feels more compelled to consult with other doctors on cases. I LOVE this idea. The more people I have working on my health the better! I can't say that this is an end-all be-all. Nor can I compare/contrast this plan to Obama's (I'm not trying to). What I can say is that some health care providers have become all about the money, not about the patient, and I think that's wrong.

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