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March 07, 2012


This is why I panic and I take my children to the doctor for cuts on their fingers if it happens on a Friday afternoon, because nothing is worse in this country than getting sick on the weekend and having to go to the emergency room, even if you do have health insurance.

Somehow no one ever wants to answer "how much does it cost?" when it comes to medical care. And that's really disgusting, in my opinion.

My parents had an otoscope just because they were tired of shuffling us to and from doctors. They got hip on what to look for and when it was bad enough to warrant meds, they dragged us down to the doctor. I am now thinking it would be wise to get one of my own.

Wow - I can't even imagine the frustration of basically (a) knowing the problem, (b) knowing it'll take 10 seconds and a relatively minimal amount of money to fix, yet STILL being unable to fix it. Sick babies are heartbreaking.

I know the NHS has its issues, but this post makes me very very glad to live in the UK, particularly as I also have a festering germ-factory child!

My friend just had to get the "old fashioned" prep for a colonoscopy because the new "better" stuff wasn't covered by her insurance and cost $60 compared to her $10 co-pay. The receptionist at the Dr.'s office -- where she had to go for a new prescription after finding out the above at the pharmacy --
snarked at her about "some people just don't want to spend the money for good care". That $50 difference is most of her grocery budget for a week.

I like this otoscope idea. Our whole health thing is really messed up here.

So, for what it is worth, I have had good luck with CareNow. Yes, it seems kinda ghetto (just like the you-know-where-mall), but they have web check-in and their prices are FAIRLY reasonable considering. I've never had to take a child there, however, so I cannot vouch for that piece, but I have been a few times myself and was impressed with the speediness and the medical staff.

I think that it is heartbreaking that we have to weigh the cost of care over the level of sickness and "is it worth it?" I miss the day of flippant $25 copays and "EH, WHY NOT JUST GO?" The system is not working for anyone except for the insurance and the pharmaceutical companies and the people who can rely on the government (aka YOU AND I, the TAXPAYERS) to pay for their health care.


(glad Charlotte is feeling better... Landry never had a sick visit until she was almost 2. Home care and breastfeeding, solid gold standards for the healthy baby.)

Wha???? She just... didn't tell you? And that was it? And you couldn't, like, turn her upside down and shake it out of her? Did she even know? DUUUUDE.

Full disclosure- I work for a hospital system, and have worked for numerous other healthcare providers before that, I'm not saying that the intake employee wasn't wrong in how she dealt with you BUT, and this is a big but, sometimes it's not easy to give a self-pay patient a price. There is often a sliding scale of cost depending on what actual procedures are performed and what ancillary procedures may/may not be needed as a result. She should have given you a range and been able to provide more information. Unfortunately the most important hospital employees, those on the front line/intake, are often those with the least access to the full story. Sorry you had a bad experience. I'm glad everything eventually worked out.

This is a tangent, but PLEASE seek care within a few days if you suspect strep throat. Complications (scarlet fever, rheumatic fever, rheumatic heart disease) can be devastating, aren't that rare, and are easily prevented by penicillin or amoxicillin.

She should have given you a range and been able to provide more information.

I find it rediculous the urgent care wouldn't see her for something as simple as an ear infection. I can see them not wanting to be responsible for certain diagnoses (what, I'm not sure. Pneumonia that might need an x-ray, maybe?), but they should be able to prescribe antibiotics for an ear infection.

Also, I guess it would be hard to guess what procedures a random ER patient might need and as an intake person, I'd be leery about quoting a price that might turn out to be low and therefore make the patient mad, but still. You are a CUSTOMER. She needed to, at the very least, tell you the base price while stressing the end cost is likely to be higher depending on procedures.

This is probably my biggest issue with the whole health care SNAFU. If we really aren't going to have "universal" health care for everyone, how 'bout we just start with the most vulnerable/needy group: CHILDREN. You are an intelligent, educated, reasonably well-off person with lots of resources. What in the hell does a mother without all of that do? She probably decides to do what you did - not get treatment. But she doesn't go to the regular doctor on Monday. And who suffers? THE CHILD. W.T.F.

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