Tuesday, June 17, 2014

I'm pro-choice....when it comes to healthcare.

It started all so innocently enough.  Yesterday I called the dentist to cancel an appointment I have for next week...one which I will be unable to keep.  During that phone call, I was informed that I have a balance on my account.  Say what???!!!  I never received any bill. I was only in the office ONE time for a preventative dental cleaning which is 100% covered by insurance.  

100% covered, except for the parts that weren't.  I guess insurance is wising up these days and not covering bogus made-up charges like "oral hygiene instruction."  What honest, trustworthy dentist would actually charge you for telling you to brush your teeth? And let's not talk about the "routine preventative treatment" that "is very, very rarely covered by insurance" which NO ONE informed me would not be covered and which I never actually consented to get...they just did it to me. 

Yes,...I'm mad. 

This basically illustrates everything wrong with health care. 

Which leads me to my diatribe - *I am pro-choice when it comes to health-care.

As in, I should get to choose what medical procedures are done to me or my children.  I want informed consent before any treatment or procedure or test. 

I should be informed of the risks, benefits and costs of those procedures.

I should be given adequate time to read the fine print and not be rushed through the decision making process.

I should be accurately informed of the financial cost to me of those procedures or treatments BEFORE they are performed (barring a life or death emergency that is).

If you're going to charge me $35 to inform me to brush three times a day, give me the courtesy of letting me know beforehand, so I can opt out of that instruction should I so choose. 

Unless it is an emergency, I should be asked permission before procedures are done...rather than just assuming that I will consent to EACH ITEM.

I am an intelligent, capable human being (pre-morning coffee excepted).  I want to be treated as such.  I want to take an active part in my own health care and that of my family.  I want to be consulted on what tests, procedures or treatments are done to us.

I am pro-choice when it comes to our health.  The ultimate choice of what procedures, tests, or treatments is up to me.  My body, my health, my choice.  And, my choice to leave poor reviews on as many relevant web sites as I can find regarding certain dentists. (wink).

*When most people think about choice, they think about abortion.  I shouldn't have to say this...but I am not "pro-choice" when it comes to abortion.  I believe everyone deserves the right to informed consent before having any medical procedure, test or treatment done to them.  That is not the same thing as saying that I believe that everyone has the right to whatever treatment, test or procedure they want, whenever they want.  We deserve informed consent and the right to refuse antibiotic treatment, but that doesn't give us the right to demand antibiotics, whenever we want them. 

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  1. Brava! When I broke my hip, the hospital spent 90 minutes questioning me about whether or not I was there for drugs -- the hospital then charged me almost a grand for this "therapy session."


  2. When I relocated I had to find a new dentist. They did an oral cancer screening without telling me it wasn't a part to the regular exam and charged me $75. Then they told me I had to come back another day for a cleaning, this appointment was only and exam. I didn't go back. I found another dentist who does exams and cleanings the same day (as I suspect most dentist offices do). And my new dentist is very upfront about cost and what is covered by insurance. My advice: Find a new dentist.

  3. I went to the midwife's office explicitly to get blood drawn, and then the nurse said I needed to go into the exam room to speak to the midwife... and I quote... "for billing purposes." AS. IF. I did not see the midwife that day. But I'm glad the nurse was dumb enough to say that, because otherwise I might have unsuspectingly gone along with it! But heck yes I was mad, and everybody in that office knew why.

    I have had our family doctor forced to close his office because of decreasing reimbursements from Medicare/Medicaid and private insurance. I'm positive that many doctors are resorting to bogus charges like this in order to make up for lost revenue.

    Usually I can get out of paying at least partially by calling the insurance company and going line by line as to why the charge is BS. Most of the time they cave. They just want me to go away.


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