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June 21, 2007


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» Primary Care Access, the ED, and 1972 from GruntDoc
Stimulated by an entry over at Medical Humanities, what started as a comment took up too much space, so it goes here, instead: There are many who believe with total sincerity that more primary care offices will alleviate the burden on EDs; this... [Read More]


i totally agree. gone are the days of people swarming ben taub's ER for an earache, believe it or not, "indigent" and "ignorant" are not wholly interchangeable. enough media hoopla has educated the indigent about the hospital system and most understand unless it's life threatening it's an exercise in futility. harris county grows by the millions, yet never a new clinic opening, and come on,the same two hospitals? what the heck is the city of houston health dept for? i guess their too busy with std clinics and TB to bother with primary care, even though primary care could prevent both. texas medicaid reorganized the program at the first of the year.plans dwindled from 6 to 3, most notably texas children's opted out, sending their patients down to ben taub to add to the overload. i spent three hours going through the amerigroup book making calls. right up front in the book, at least 30% of the docs have the symbol for "not accepting" by their name. almost all of those without the symbol are also not accepting, telling me their "panel" just closed. i selected a local doc's office for my son because they were listed in the book as accepting. they tried every which way to run me off, but i finally waited around until i saw the doc himself leaving and asked him in the elevator to take my son as a patient. he accepted, but his nurse is terminally rude over it. when my son injured his ankle playing basketball at school, i called the primary and he did an xray. concerned, he ordered an MRI, but amerigroup said only an ortho could order one. funny thing, NO other doc in the practice at hilcroft medical group takes medicaid, including dr. frazier in the next pod, who happens to be the sports dr. so i guess we'll end up in the st. lukes minor care eventually if his pain gets any worse or he reinjures the ankle, both likely scenarios. forget ben taub, i spent 22 hours there with a broken arm, then waited two years for surgery, but that's me and not my child who has medicaid star plus. health care should be universal, and should start with wellness, nutrition and prevention. but we get into ethical delemma's like how birth control could help prevent people from cranking out kids until they can provide for them. until my older son was diagnosed with cancer a couple of years ago, i worked and my kids had insurance. but go to any foodstamp office and see the throngs of children being BORN into public assistance. how about citizens who cannot afford health care bartering their time for care with community service? i volunteer on several projects, but how about an organized project where people who need assistance swap their time for med services? according to the labor board, volunteer time is currently worth around $18 per hour. finally, face it, people with more money expect better care, expensive drugs and private services. fine, they deserve it, but at private places like our new designer hospitals. perhaps our fine docs at st lukes, methodist etc could pro bono a bit in the community, to take pressure off of ben taub?

I've had some thoughts on my blog:

And, for deb martin, my experience working in similar hospitals, the other (non tax supported) hospitals are writing off millions in uncompensated care, so they're doing what they can while still staying open.

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