American Healthcare

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Anonymoose

American Healthcare

Postby Anonymoose » 2007 Dec 13 20:32

Fangz, the situation with nurses in our region is a sad story. When Carilion and Community in Roanoke first merged, some ten or more years back, a lot of nurses were purged, and those left behind were overworked, under-appreciated, underpaid. And, apparently that hasn't changed. I saw it first hand when my mother was dying at Community. I had to be there 24/7 to make sure she didn't get out of bed and fall. Just not enough nurses to go around. And, this thing of working 16 hour days is just crazy. Three or four-day weekends just can't make up for that.

Health care is in a tailspin. The cost of new drugs, new equipment, etc., has hospitals crying desperate, and they're all haggling over that almighty dollar. It seems like a fight to the death between pharmaceutical companies, insurance companies, hospitals, the whole danged bunch. And who suffers? The patient, with sub-standard care from some incompetent and running-scared doctors, and overworked staff.

I think, if structured properly, standardized, nationalized health care could solve some of these problems. But, it would be a leap of faith for the powerful, and those with good insurance versus those with little or none. Where do we go from here on health care?

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fangz1956
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American Healthcare

Postby fangz1956 » 2007 Dec 15 12:38

Where do we go on healthcare from here? That is much easier said than done. First all of the beauracratic red tape needs to be snipped and trashed. The HMO's and Big Pharma need to be kicked to the curb......along with their powerful lobbyists. If you have ever wondered why your family doctor can't admit you to the hospital or treat you while you are there, you can thank the HMO boys for that. Another "cost saving" measure.......yeah right! This little piece of "cost saving" seems to actually costing lives. The hospitalists (the attending MD's once you are admitted) get to pretty much make the final call on treatment and they are the ones who get called in the middle of the night when things go bad. Suffice it to say they are not the sharpest knives in the drawer.

Medicare needs to be reigned in and overhauled. The money that seniors have to pay for substandard medical care is nothing short of outrageous. It is the bean counters who decide what services are covered and what services a patient must do without...................and the major carriers follow Medicare's lead on those issues. The majority of the people making the decsions governing fee for services and which services are covered are people who have NO medical background. They are only paper pushers and the patient is nothing but a number. Oh yeah......it is ILLEGAL for Medicare patients to use their own money to pay for services that Medicare will not cover. Sooooo.......the government has fixed it so that people are denied CHOICE. How sick is that? Hmmmm.......but I guess the patients do get to spend their own money for the following note about drug plans. Heaven forbid that Big Pharma would lose a dime!

I was reading an article the other day about the "doughnut hole" in the Medicare prescription drug program. Once the patient spends approximately $2500 for prescription drugs, Medicare will pay NOTHING at all until the expenditures reach the $5000 mark. The doughnut hole is another out-of-pocket expense for the patient. And between the FDA, HHS, and Big Pharma, these people have to literally choose between vital medications and food and utilities. This should not be and every citizen should be outraged that this is happening.

The biggest part of the solution is to GET THE GOVERNMENT OUT OF HEALTHCARE!!!!! Yes, I am shouting.

"If you think the system is healthy, ask someone who isn't."


:2cent:
Ever looked at someone and thought "the wheel is turning but the hamster is dead"?

resigned

Re: American Healthcare

Postby resigned » 2007 Dec 15 19:39

I just read that between the two programs of Medicaid and Medicare that there have been as much as $60 billion dollars a year in fraud, waste and overpayment. And according to a study done by Dartmouth Medical School in 2003, it was found that up to 30 percent of the $2 trillion spent in this country on medical care each year - and that included Medicare and Medicaid found that it was wasted. The article went on to say that the costs have risen to approximately 600 billion this year. Yet the government doesn't want to do anything about it. It seems that the government is paying private insurance companies that offer the Medicare Advantage plans an average of about 10 to 12 percent per patient than the traditional Medicare fee for service. Now I heard that Congress is trying to do something about this and if they "fixed" the problem it would wave around $15 billion a year.

There is so much corruption and waste in our government that if it all were addressed would save our country trillions of money far more than is being spent in Iraq or else where.

This article was very interesting - so I found both your postings to be significant. When my Mom and husband were hospitalized for various reasons, I always stayed with them, especially when they were out of it to advocate for them and to take care of them. I realize there is a shortage of nurses, but even years ago, when my Mother was hospitalized, and there seemed to be adequate staffing, I still opted to stay with my Mom, because they couldn't be with her a hundred percent like I could. I feel that it was really important especially at night when staffing appeared less, were tired and doctors were harder to reach.

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Wise One
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Re: American Healthcare

Postby Wise One » 2007 Dec 15 21:30

Very smart, Beckonwood. I'm a very strong believer in an advocate with every patient, for many practical reasons.

For example, while my Dad was in the hospital, we discovered and reversed two serious breaches in his care. Both were for the convenience of attending staff, and had nothing to do with the patient's needs. Indeed, they were contrary to his needs and welfare, and one could have been life-threatening.

:wink: I want a guard there working for me when I'm hospitalized. :wink:
"If your only tool is a hammer, every problem looks like Donald Trump."

RubyRed

Re: American Healthcare

Postby RubyRed » 2007 Dec 26 23:16

When I first moved back to VA, from MA, I worked at SJH (before the big "C" took over) as a staff nurse (I am a RN). The working conditions were not safe, not only for the patients but for the staff as well. Having 6-8 moderate to high acuity patients in one 12 hour day that you are lucky to even have a 1/2 hour lunch break during was the norm. My final straw there was having all these patients; and of the patients I had, 2 needed to receive blood. 1 had a unit of blood the night before and had a reaction to it. When a patient gets blood, they need to be monitored very closely because they can have a reaction that can be life threatening. So I had 2 patients that needed to get blood plus 4 or 5 other patients that shift (I cant remember--its been 4 years). I was ready to walk out, but that would be abandoning my patients (which is grounds to lose your nursing liscense). The problem with the health care system is that the companies want to provide health care to as many patients as possible while using the least number of nurses/cna's as possible. I currently work in the mental health field, which I love, but things are actually worse in the mental health setting when it comes to insurance companies and such not wanting to provide coverage for a patients stay. Until I started working were I work, I never knew there were so many dysfunctional families.

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fangz1956
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Re: American Healthcare

Postby fangz1956 » 2008 Jul 02 11:00

All men are created equal???? Sadly, I think not...............at least as far American healtcare is concerned.

http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2 ... lness-die/




:angry4:
Ever looked at someone and thought "the wheel is turning but the hamster is dead"?

10thFO

Re: American Healthcare

Postby 10thFO » 2008 Jul 02 19:00

Well as long as you guys don't have to entrust your care to the VA system, you should be doing freaking cartwheels. Oh wait that's right, they say they are the model system for all healthcare in America. yeah if you like 6-9 month waits to get in. Even when you are on the "roll already" in their highest classification. And people want universal healthcare :roll:

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fangz1956
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Re: American Healthcare

Postby fangz1956 » 2008 Sep 15 09:58

In The Roanoke Times on September 10, 2008:

The tax-exempt status that Carilion receives from all of us taxpayers should be proportionate in a way to the benefits the town receives," said Dr. Larry Monahan, the only physician on the board. "I don't think it is."

Carilion has received about $50 million a year in tax exemptions and gave $42 million in charity care in 2007. Monahan suggested that those two numbers should be equal.

April Fields said she is an example of a patient who has qualified for charity care at independent medical practices, but instead was taken to court by Carilion for unpaid bills.

Two weeks after asking for forms to apply for charity care, Fields said she was taken to collections.

"I'm constantly getting phone calls from Carilion; I even got one asking for $1.86," she said.

Similarly, Sonny Bright said he was stuck with his wife's medical bills after she died.

"They took me to court to make me pay for it," he said. "I couldn't afford it."

He offered to pay $5 a month, then when they wanted more, he said he could pay $10 a month.

Cotter also urged those gathered to familiarize themselves with the 1989 U.S. Department of Justice antitrust lawsuit that tried, but failed, to prevent the merger between Carilion and Community Hospital of the Roanoke Valley.

"You can't understand this unless you understand that," he said of the coalition's campaign.



Woe unto the Mighty Big C. It's about time folks got highly vocal about this situation. The Big C is systematically (and has been for quite sometime) taking over the whole of healthcare in this valley......and beyond. They are, in essence, creating a giant healthcare monoply that is severely limiting choices for citizens and driving up the cost of healthcare. As you can read and see from the article excerpt, they are not the wonderful, non-profit, charitable institution that they try to paint themselves to be. Anyone who has had to deal with these yahoos has experienced similar things as the folks quoted here........I know many who have been skewered by the Big C. Here is a non-profit entity whose collection actions seeking judgements consumes 40% of the General District Court docket. This court generally sets aside one full day per week exclusively for Carilion and their strong-arm collectors.

My opinion as a resident of this valley who has watched the malignant spread of the Big C is this: this is not what a non-profit helathcare facility should be doing. I seriously doubt that they are truly non-profit except on paper for tax purposes.....and their "charity care" is a far cry from charitable.


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Uji
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Healthcare 2.0

Postby Uji » 2009 Jan 23 15:45

What do you folks think we should do about the health care mess? Fangz, I seem to remember that you mentioned being a part of the medical-industrial-complex -- any thoughts on the matter?

Unless it's whoever's-got-the-cash-gets-the-latest-treatment, there has to be some sort of rationing. We have rationing now -- it's just determined by how much cash you've got.

Being almost 60, I'm fully prepared to be left out on an ice berg, but what about the rest of you?

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fangz1956
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Re: Healthcare 2.0

Postby fangz1956 » 2009 Jan 23 16:55

There are a multitude of factors affecting this situation and whatever the cure, it will have to be a multi-faceted one. What you say is true in that he who has the most cash (or the best insurance coverage) gets the best treatment. This piece has been going on for far longer than most folks realize and it's not something unique to hospitals. It is every bit as prevalent in private practices everywhere. My professional career is a relatively even split between hospitals (large and small) and private group practices. I cannot count the number times I have seen patients treated based on who their insurance carrier happens to be.......that was always the first thing the docs looked at before entering the examining room. "Oh, this one is uninsured so he gets three minutes of time". "This one has SuperiorPlatinum insurance so he gets an hour of my time." "This person is a doctor, lawyer, judge, corporate bigwig with lots of bucks.....heck, I'll make housecalls for this guy".

Medicaid and Medicare recipients actaully do not fare much better than the completely ininsured and working poor. Free clinics are an idealistic stop-gap measure but they are way too few and far between and cannot fill the needs of the many as hard as they try. These places are fortunately staffed by what few physicians are left that actually care more about people than they do about money. treatment of patients inside hospitals follows the same line as it does in private practice. The uninsured and underinsured are herded like cattle and rushed through the bare minimum of treatment (all that is legally required) and hospital stays are extremely minimal. Patients with excellent insurance and/or major cash, get primo treatment and all the best that money and insurance can buy. This is the way it is.

About ten years ago, the last major chunk of NorfolkSouthern railroad pulled out of this town and moved the bulk of its operations to Atlanta. That left Roanoke (the railroad town) with just a few railroad jobs when compared to what the workforce here had once been. GE was the second largest employer here at the time. As major corporations have moved jobs out of the country in order to maximize profits for their shareholders, places like this valley have suffered devastating blows.....and further south of here, it is even worse. What we have in the Roanoke Valley now is a debt-ridden community whose largest employer is Carilion, the local healthcare giant. Running in second place is HCA.....owner of Lewis-Gale, Montgomery Regional, Pulaski Community, and Alleghaney Regional hospitals. By the way, HCA is the largest hospital chain in the nation.

So, the question here is, how long do people really think healthcare can survive in an environment of people who have no solid job base, no insurance and very limited money? The average person doesn't generally give this kind of thing a second thought but hospitals can and do fold and lock their doors forever. Unless something is done (and that right soon) to begin building a solid job base in this country (as in the resurrection of manufacturing and the skilled trades), all the money and insurance in the world won't matter because there will be no healthcare to purchase. In reality, hospitals and physician practices are businesses and businesses require sources of income in order to survive and thrive.

Unless we rebuild this thing from the ground up with the creation of new jobs that provide living wages for families, healthcare will die of exanguination. Any other solution at this point is akin to slapping a bandaid on a gushing artery. This is definitely an area where we can go totally Third World in a heartbeat.

One note to ponder here. A couple of years ago, HCA went private......no longer a publicly traded company. They bought up all the shares of employee owned stock (employee stock purchase had been a long-time perk of working for HCA). When we consider whose family owns HCA (Bill Frist of Tennessee), we may well be in the planning and pre-launch stages of Universal Healthcare. Only time will tell....and the clock is ticking.

:hmm:
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Uji
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Re: Healthcare 2.0

Postby Uji » 2009 Jan 24 15:46

Wow, Fangz. Clearly you've been thinking about this stuff...

If you were Chair of the Senate committee in charge of reforming health care, where would you start? When you say "from the ground up", what would you suggest?

I'm not baiting you here, I'm genuinely at a loss. The proposals so far seem all stop-gap: Just create some sort of Medi-care/aid for everyone.

If you could design a program from scratch, where would you start?

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fangz1956
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Re: Healthcare 2.0

Postby fangz1956 » 2009 Jan 24 18:27

Wow Uji! What a question! There's a lot rattling around in my brain so I think it might be best to take this in parts if that is OK with you.

I think there has got to be a paradigm shift in the way this nation views health and in its subsequent approach to healthcare reform. By and large, Western medicine has put the brunt of its focus on curing diseases rather than on preventing them. This is one of the first things that has got to change. The majority of insurance carriers will not pay for preventative measures or well-child annual physicals. Most of them do not cover all of the expense incurred in routine childhood vaccinations even though most states require those for entry into the public school systems. State health departments pick up some of the slack but with the state of the economy and looming budget cuts, that may not last much longer. All we need do is look to Richmond and the cuts the general Assembly currently has under consideration for the new budget. Among the things headed for the chopping block are CHIP (SCHIP) and mental health services. They are considering closing the only mental health facility for juveniles in the State. Sorry, I'm digressing here. Granted, some of the required vaccinations can do more harm than good(DPT), others have unproven track records(HPV), and some are totally unnecessary for infants and children (HBV). So, let's revisit these and eliminate a lot of unnecessary drugs being pumped into our children for good reason.

This brings us to Big Pharma and their advertsing blitz aimed at the general public. This sort of thing is completely unnecessary and, in my opinion, unethical. This needs to come to a screeching halt. This has created a populace dependent on drugs that, once again, have unproven track records and can actually kill people.(Remember Vioxx?) I'm currently reading Chris Prentiss' book The Alcoholism and Addiction Cure: A Holistic Approach to Total Recovery. He devotes a chapter of this book to pharmaceuticals and how physicians stack drugs. Stacking drugs is essentially a practice whereby one drug doesn't work so another is substituted for it before the first drug has cleared the patient's system based on the half-life of the particular drug. The good doc doesn't really know whether the second drug is effective or not because of the presence of the first drug, so a third drug is added and so on and so forth. This happens all of the time. Prescriptions are written friviously and on demand.(Consider things like Viagra, Valium, Xanax, Prozac, Zoloft). It is the rare doctor who actually knows how to accurately diagnose a patient anymore. With constraints placed by insurers and the drug blitz, it's easier to throw a pill at it than it is to get to the root cause. There's a pill for every ill and people are ill a lot....and the current system is making them sicker still. Doctors will not deal with alkies and addicts in the manner that they should as a rule. They will instead prescribe any of a number of anti-anxiety and anti-depressant medications rather than expend the time to help the patient find the appropriate treatment for his or her malady. Doctors do get wonderful perks for writing certain prescriptions........cruises, fancy dinners, tickets to the U.S. open, etc. The pharmaceutical companies need to cut their sales forces drastically and instead hire people to work on cures for diseases such and AIDS, diabetes, and various cancers. This is a must.

I'll stop here for now. I will continue on with doctors and medical schools in the next part.

:wink:
Ever looked at someone and thought "the wheel is turning but the hamster is dead"?

resigned

Re: Healthcare 2.0

Postby resigned » 2009 Jan 24 19:45

I find your posting really interesting, Fangz. When my children were growing up, I thought that antibiotics were the best thing coming down the road and always made sure the Dr. wrote a prescription for one for whatever child I had sick. It wasn't until later that I learned how wrong that was. I thought that Dr.s were doing better with constraints on antibiotics and meds etc. I realize that not all people are capable of researching their meds and side effects. Not only do I read the paper given at the drugstore, but also use the computer to look up the drug. There are even sites such as webmd.com where you can research the side effects of all the meds you take.

And you are right about drs. writing prescriptions for those who are addicted. We had a neighbor who had a terrible addiction to Percocet was on Medicaid and not only got the meds in large quantities but also with several refills. Before two or three weeks were up he had taken all the meds and would be experiencing drug withdrawal. He died a couple of years ago.

I also understand that older people experience some meds with more side effects. I believe that they need monitoring with their meds by family if possible.

Don't hospitals have to take all people regardless of their financial status? And if so how do they make up for those who can't pay as far as paying the bill? If some bills aren't paid then I would imagine the hospital has to absorb the bills. That would add to the financial problems facing many hospitals.

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Re: Healthcare 2.0

Postby fangz1956 » 2009 Jan 25 17:58

The next part of this deals with what we "lovingly" refer to as shotgun medicine. Shotgun medicine is an approach taken by physicians who do not know how to diagnose a patient. "Why, how can that be?" you say. I think this comes from the effect of multiple factors......poor training, the drive to make money, conditions of employment contracts, and over-burdened emergency rooms. Emergency rooms have become the new doctor's office and they are over-run with common ailments that should be handled and treated elsewhere. Cash only policies for the uninsured in physician offices have driven people to their local emergency room where they cannot be legally turned away, regardless of the ailment. It is easy to see how this practice drives up the cost of medical care. Facilities generally end up absorbing a lot of the cost of treatment when patients have no money to pay the bill. Pursuing payment through collection agencies and the courts adds fuel to the fire and drives costs further upward.

Physicians will (and I see this a lot on a nightly basis) order a whole list of tests without ever laying eyes on the patient or reading any part of the chart. If this were not true, how else would one explain orders for a pregnancy test on a 90 year old male? There is no medical necessity to support the testing, insurance denies payment, and the billing cycle drags on and on. Patients are expected to pay for testing that was not medically necessary in light of their condition in the first place. This type of treatment must end and it all begins with appropriate training in medical school. I think that doctors who continually engage in the shotgun approach should be fined, reprimanded, and made to pay for all unnecessary testing out of their pocket. Cries will go up claiming their practices to be corrrect in light of liability and malpractice suits. But if they could diagnose and treat correctly in the first place, they would be no worry about the latter.

Managed care......what an oxymoron! A more appropriate description would be mismanaged carelessness. HMOs and PPOs are the worst things that could have happened to the medical field. Here are a group of insurance carriers (for profit companies) telling people what treatments they can or cannot have, what medications they can or cannot have, what doctors they can or cannot see. Also born at the time of HMOs and PPOs were the hospitalists......physicians who practice only inside the hospitals. These are the doctors that do not know you or your medical history and are charged with your care if you are admitted to a hospital. Gone are the days of the family doctor who knew you well, admitted you, and took charge of your case in the hospital. Now, managed care requires that you have a primary care physician or family doctor. BUT, they deny that same physician (the one that knows all about you) the right to treat you inside of a hospital. These schemes were designed by bean counters and the folks that decide what treatments will be paid for are not necessarily people with medical backgrounds. Hmmmm........make sense?

Medicare and Medicaid: two essentially similar programs......the first for the elderly and disabled and the second for the indigent and/or working poor. Neither of these does an adequate job to serve the people who rely on them for healthcare coverage. Most private practices will decline Medicaid patients.....they pay the least of any insurance carrier. I don't think much needs to be siad about the multitude of problems associated with Medicare......just look at the "doughnut hole" in their prescription drug program. Both of these programs need to be scrapped and a single, new one created to take their places. People who qualify for these programs are by and large, some of our sickest citizens and they require numerous hospitalizations, long-term care, and drugs out the ying-yang. Thses are the people whose healthcare should be paid for in full by the insurance programs......prescription drugs included. No forms, no red-tape, no mess. Clean and simple, cut and dried. These are the people who are the core of our moral responsibilty as tax-paying citizens.

Next post.......nursing homes, agriculture and a Utopian World.

:cool:
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Uji
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Re: Healthcare 2.0

Postby Uji » 2009 Jan 26 08:50

Wow, Fangz, don't stop! The real story from the trenches...!

So, where to start? What should the chair of Health & Human Services Committee do to get the ball rolling...?

Could you recommend some general books about the problem?

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fangz1956
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Re: Healthcare 2.0

Postby fangz1956 » 2009 Jan 26 10:00

Nursing Homes: Quite a polite and socially acceptable term for warehousing of the elderly and infirm......and a money-making racket to boot. I worked in a nursing home when I was a teenager......weekends and summers. It was an experience I'll never forget. Given the hefty price tag versus the quality of care provided, I have to ask "What is the point?" I realize what a burden it is to be a caregiver in the home. A cousin of mine engaged in that for many years and it is an intense round the clock job with no breaks. The care given in nursing homes (I am not speaking of assisted living here, but rather long-term care) is nothing short of horrendous. It was horrendous in the mid-70's and has only continued to slide downhill. The people hired to work in these places are definitely the most underpaid of all medical professionals to date. The staffing shortages in hospitals pale in comparison. If you haven't crossed the threshold of one of the facilites recently, I challenge you to do so. Here are breeding grounds for MRSA, VRE, and C. difficile. Many elderly folk are placed here and forgotten by their families......out of sight, out of mind. These are tragic hell-holes sucking up tons of money from Medicare, Medicaid, VA, and other carriers. Many people have to forfeit their homes and other assets to the facility or the State to offset the expense of their "care". What a racket!

Agriculture: This is a bigger part of the picture than most folks care to even think about. Step into any major supermarket and take a good look around. First glance would have any person thinking are blessed we are to have such a multitude of choices available. Closer inspection reveals the reality of the situation. Stroll down an aisle or two and spend some time reading labels. The unhealthy state of the nation and of healthcare itself lies in the food supply. Here are a few items of interest that may help to illuminate what I'm trying to say here:

Big Pharma is into Pharming in more ways than one. The food industry itself is no saint. Consider the health of your grandparents relative to your own health and that of others that you know today.....is it better or worse? A friend of mine gave me a bit of advice years ago when I was in the early stages of recovery from chemical dependency. He said "Listen to your body. It will talk to you." As the years have rolled by, I've taken that sage bit of advice more and more to heart. I can see and feel a definite difference in my overall state of being based purely upon on what I eat. I make a concerted effort to avoid convenience foods as much as possible and am on a mission to stay with whole foods as much as possible......I feel better, think clearer, and my mood is generally a good one. For the record, I've not seen a doctor since my last child was born 17 years ago and I take no drugs save the occasional aspirin. A holistic approach to health and healthcare is our only saving grace at this point in time. The way that needs to happen might just be this:

  1. Dismantle the Big Pharma lobby and ban the use of things such as bovine growth hormone.
  2. Overhaul the FDA. This agency whose job it is to ensure the safety of the food and drug supply is doing a mighty poor job. The drugs aren't safe (Vioxx, Oxycontin, Rezulin.....) and the food supply is patently unhealhty.
  3. Dismantle the war on drugs and legalize marijuana. This could be the creation of a new industry and a new tax base.
  4. Legalize euthanasia (death with dignity)
  5. Begin a massive campaign to re-educate the public on what a healthy lifestyle really is. Our grandparents had it right and we have managed to screw it up royally.
  6. Incentives and tax credits to entice physicians to build private practices in rural areas.
  7. Levy a hefty tax on the biggest drug of all............ALCOHOL. This tax should be equivalent to or larger than that levied on tobacco products. Hmmmmm......think we'd see a decrease in DUI's and alcohol related-diseases?
  8. Dismantle HMOs and PPOs and banish hospitalists. Bring back the astute diagnostician know as the family doctor.
  9. Revamp medical training and shift the focus to preventative medicine and holistic treatments.
  10. Allow the purchase of pharmaceuticals from other countries. The current state of affairs grants the FDA and Big Pharma quite a monoply and encourages run-away corporate greed.
  11. Two insurance carriers could be created to replace the current system. One as previously mentioned and the other created for all of the people who work for a living. I think quite a substantial chunk of this could be funded by #3 and we would see the cost go down for everyone and even the self-employed could have insurance at an affordable rate. (A lot of self-employed folks who work very hard currently cannot afford health insurance. Something about that just isn't right or fair.)
Until we put the HEALTH back in healthcare, everything else is a waste of time and money.

:wink2:

Uji......I'll see what I can come up with in reading material for you. This is probably more than you expected but the problem is mammoth and the solutions are not small ones. Perhaps the first thing we should do is perform CPR on Common Sense!
Ever looked at someone and thought "the wheel is turning but the hamster is dead"?

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Wise One
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Re: Healthcare 2.0

Postby Wise One » 2009 Jan 26 12:12

:tiphat: A tip-o-me-hat and a hearty thanks to Fanz for wonderful contributions on a subject she clearly knows a lot about! They have everything: knowledge, experience, clear thinking, and passion.

Here are a few of my thoughts, weak by comparison to hers, related to the subject at hand:

  • Food: buy ingredients as close to the original unprocessed state as possible and prepare meals yourself.
  • Avoid foods derived from corn and soy (hard to do since agribusiness always uses this cheap petroleum-derived basis)
  • Don't buy any supermarket food with more than 5 ingredients (hard to do)
  • Eat animals that eat only real food (wild salmon, chickens/eggs that walk the ground eating grass & bugs rather than corn/soy; wild venison is great)
  • Use good milk (hard to do) This audio file is fascinating (12 sec commercial)
  • Use prescribed drugs only when really necessary and helpful. Over prescribing and overuse abound.
  • Aerobic exercise, exercise, exercise. In case you missed that, exercise.
  • Smoking, or drinking to excess, no do unless you desire no brain, no body, no life.
  • I've asked the last 6 medical doctors/surgeons I've met what they think of our medical system and how they would improve it. ALL of them say it stinks, and the single most helpful step would be cutting out private insurance companies by replacing them with a single government payer. They know their stuff.
:sail:
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Amy Probenski
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Re: Healthcare 2.0

Postby Amy Probenski » 2009 Jan 26 16:54

Regarding your last point, it always tickles me that Righties object basically to any proposed improvement, with the cry, "SOCIALIZM!" (Yes, they tend to spell poorly)

For hundreds of years, we have lived in a country that socializes some things and does not socialize others. We should do what makes sense, regardless of label.

Here are some examples of things we have already socialized, completely or partially:
  • Armed forces
  • Streets and highways
  • Police
  • Fire departments
  • Emergency services like ambulance/EMT teams
  • Drinking water supply
  • Trash and waste disposal
  • Wastewater collection and treatment
  • Schools
  • Cemeteries
  • Prisons
  • Fundamental research & development funding
  • Medicine (for Veterans, Presidents, and oldsters)
None are perfect, but many are done very well and arguably better than private providers could have. Can you think of more?

resigned

Re: Healthcare 2.0

Postby resigned » 2009 Jan 27 13:44

In response to nursing homes, as a social worker years ago, I did a lot of nursing home placements. I even worked as a consultant in a nursing home. All nursing homes are mandated to have so many Medicaid beds. My mother is presently in a nursing home run by the Lutherans. I have to say there are bad ones and good ones. Generally, I have found that those who are run by religious groups do better than those who are for profit. I couldn't say enough good things about the Lutheran Home. Women from various Lutheran churches serve as volunteers there, they run an Ice Cream shop, and they make quilts for all newcomers. They make bibs for those who need them. They make pretty decorative throws etc. They have a church connected with the home. They provide beauty shop services; they include the residents in a number of activities.

Prior to my Mom going in she was sitting at home watching the weather channel because she forgot how to tune the TV. She has dementia. She wasn't going out, she wasn't socializing with other senior citizens. She was taking too much of her meds. She would drive out and get lost, lose her car, lock her keys in the car. Sold her car to a car dealer thinking she was getting it serviced. I could go on and on. But at the home she is given the proper meds, included in all activates, loves to play Bingo and various church groups come by on a regular basis to lead in singing, or to provide some sort of entertainment. I don't see my Mom being warehoused at all. The ombudsman meets with the residents on a regular basis to see how they are doing.

I have seen the worst and the best of nursing homes. I also believe where those nursing homes are not meeting the needs they can be reported to the State.

As for psychiatric hospitals, I worked in one for a number of years. When we wanted to keep a patient whom we thought needed more treatment but was not a danger to himself or others the judge would rule in favor of discharging the patient. I even saw a judge discharge a patient to a park bench. I advocated for years for these patients at these commitment hearings and the law usually ruled against what I was asking for.

I found many caring professionals in the mental health field just as I did in the developmentally disabled field.

Just my humble opinion. The only sources I can back this up with are my own experiences

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Uji
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Re: Healthcare 2.0

Postby Uji » 2009 Jan 28 14:05

Man, Amy, are you right on. And we forget about how "socialized" our "free" market is... Where do you imagine those utility easements and highways that support business come from? Not the free market, but the government. Everytime a new mall goes in, the millions it costs the tax payers in direct, up-front costs for roads, water, utilities, fire, rescue, etc. never get figured in. It's always the mythical "welfare mom" who gets singled out.

Anyway, I was hoping to get us talking about pie-in-the-sky fixes for healthcare: if we could start all over, what would we do. I was hoping to avoid the entire "socialized medicine" red-herring.