Tag Archives: physicians

Update to my Kentucky medical story and a flip side of the same coin

Update to my Kentucky medical story and a flip side of the same coin.

I spoke too soon on my belief that the American Medical Association would be interested in my comments about a Medicare patient and a doctor in a small town in Kentucky – but a “Kentucky Medical Complaint” Google search brought up some answers.

Update in my friends Kentucky case – she, as of Saturday, 24 September 2011 had not heard from the doctor for test results.  She called the local hospital where the cardio tests (2) were performed and told the results were in and she could pick them up.

She called the doctor’s office yesterday and told the PFTs were normal and the heart tests were normal too.  What justified the cardiac tests when the PFTs were normal?

Why would the PFT procedure be so different in a small town in Kentucky than in the rest of the nation?  Is the 29 days it took to wait for the doctor results due to a state raising fast horses and s l o w doctors in general or specific to one doctor in one small Kentucky town?

Having dependence on Medicare/Medicaid and being old, poor and trusting should not be a factor in a doctor’s way of making a living off the patients through unnecessary testing and no follow up contact with the patient.

The plus side is that she now has the physical test results of her lungs and heart but not a clue what they mean.  When she called the doctor’s office this time, she was told the results of the PFT and cardiac tests were ‘normal’.

Why did the doctor order cardiac testing if the Pulmonary Function Tests were normal?

I called the doctor’s office this morning, Monday, 9/26/11 and asked several questions including why the doctor didn’t call the patient in 29 days to give her the test results and was told that it can take two or three weeks to get the results and another week for the doctor to review the results.  My friend the patient was told two weeks.  When I asked why the cardiac tests were ordered when her PFT was ‘normal’ – BEFORE he spoke to the patient – I was told to call back later to speak with the office manager.

I was told if my Kentucky friend wanted to know the meaning of the test results, she should call and make an appointment with the doctor.

Fast horses and slow doctors in a small town in Kentucky – doesn’t seem right to me.  Are other seniors on Medicare/Medicaid being ill treated by this doctor? 

Are most Kentucky doctors as seemingly indifferent to their senior patients by failing to give test results in a timely manner and ordering cardiac tests without apparent need – or just this one based on my own PFT experience?

The flip side of the coin is the unfair treatment of the medical profession by Medicare and Medicaid.

I wrote the following in answer to a Letter to the Editor, Kitsap Sun:

“Well…health care costs...not one post has mentioned WHY doctors don’t take Medicare or Medicaid. The fact is physicians and the health care industry is the only profession in this nation that PENALIZES the doctor and health care businesses!

Any other business in the country can set their price and people pay it or go elsewhere. Not so the physician. Medicare and Medicaid pay only a fraction of the set price per service of each doctor.

Why should doctors take patients that COST them money to see them…they LOSE money.

If a plumbing business could take ten calls during the business day – why would they take a call from someone that will not pay their full price for the service?

Some doctors DO TAKE MEDICARE/MEDICAID patients and I for one – am grateful mine do.

I will mention here that I saw a medical devise recently that cost Medicaid/Medicare about nine thousand dollars per patient that has one. For a patient to buy it outright it cost about twelve thousand dollars.

If that isn’t outrageous enough for you – my opinion of the value of the devise – it MIGHT be worth one thousand dollars TOPS.

In my opinion, what seems to be happening in some cases is that the health care folks have tacked outrageous prices on cheap junk to make up for the low Medicare/Medicaid set prices.

Who loses? WE DO! The taxpayer AND the patient.”

Read more: http://www.kitsapsun.com/news/2011/sep/19/letter-to-the-editor-state-shouldnt-cut-more/#ixzz1YsPjzSZ4


Speaking of a medical determined momma squirrel in Silverdale…

Thanks for reading… Sharon O’Hara

Googling for COPD Finds an Old Letter

I wrote the following about 2004 for the American Lung Association and re-found it goggling for COPD.  I’m posting it here in hope you will see the value in early detection Spirometry testing.

“Hungry for Air: Breathing Better Together

“Living with COPD/Emphysema and Sarcoidosis was a living death. I existed. I struggled to breathe, when I moved I panted, gasped for air like a fish out of water.

As I slowly showered and dressed, ready to go somewhere, I couldn’t sit down to rest. I fell asleep.

I went from a physically active life landscaping, restoring a wonderful property in Port Townsend to a blob who existed in front of her computer.

I searched the world web to discover what COPD/Emphysema was – what Sarcoidosis was, everything, anything I could find out about my diseases and the medications I took.

I couldn’t sleep in a bed – I couldn’t breathe – I dozed sitting in a chair.

By the time I arrived at the Pulmonary Department at the University of Washington Medical Center, I believed my days were numbered. Previously diagnosed with COPD/Emphysema, an open lung biopsy showed the fibrosis and granulomas of Sarcoidosis evenly throughout both lungs.

Without energy, I felt isolated, without a purpose, a shell, a mockery of the person I used to be.

I regretted a 40-year smoking habit, but didn’t dwell on it. The single most difficult thing I’ve ever done is stop smoking. I craved cigarettes and for the first time understood a drug addict’s ‘craving’ for a drug. I craved a cigarette many times a day, then almost daily for more than two years. Even today, occasionally the urge to smoke a cigarette becomes almost overwhelming.

That is how I felt then. Today I’m energized with purpose.

I found a support group online – the non-profit EFFORTS, begun by COPD’rs, run by COPD’rs and filled with folks like me working to change the world’s awareness of COPD. I want other lung folks to know they are not alone and how they can lead the best quality of life possible.

I want to see Spirometry tests for patients. common place among physicians – to catch COPD early – before it is too late. Other than stop smoking, the single most important thing Lungers can do for themselves is exercise.

And from the time I learned of the American Lung Association® of Washington’s Big Ride Across America, it is my dream – my goal.” – Sharon”

People Gotta Breathe
Fish Gotta Swim - People Gotta Breathe

Part  2 of 4     More later… Sharon O’Hara

COPD Patient International BILL OF RIGHTS

The First World Conference of COPD Patients held in Rome, June 2009 had more than 250 people from more than 40 countries in the world. Gathered together, the First World COPD Patient Bill came into being.

How does the health authority in our country, the United States of America, stack up against other countries in the COPD fight for patient rights?
How does our local authority stack up?
“COPD is a disease that working people acquire as a part of their
life in society. Like arthritis where years of strain and lifting
on the joints wears them down, COPD is caused by years of
breathing toxic materials, especially tobacco and biomass fuel
smoke, and other pollution that damages the lungs.
People with COPD worldwide have earned their right to
medical care by their lives of work. These rights include
all those listed below.”

The COPD Patients’ Global Bill of Rights was adopted
by the First World Conference of COPD Patients,
1. The right to receive early and accurate diagnosis

Early and accurate diagnosis is essential for COPD patients to take
the necessary steps to improve their quality of life and lung health.
Physicians and national health services have a responsibility
to provide this early and accurate diagnosis. National health
services should have reliable information about the number of
COPD patients in their country. Physicians should be willing and
able to diagnose COPD.

2. The right for information and education about COPD

People in each country should know what COPD is, its risk
factors, especially smoking, and what symptoms it causes. COPD
patients should be taught what state-of-the-art care for COPD

3. The right for support and understanding

Friends, family, communities, health care providers, and health
services need to provide support and understanding to COPD
patients for this difficult disease.

4. The right to receive care and treatment that will benefit them

Proper care and treatment will benefit patients, improve their
breathing and quality of life, and will help them contribute more
to others. Effective medicines, smoking cessation counseling
and treatment, and good health care are essential to provide this
right, as is long-term follow up.

5. The right to their fair share of society’s involvement and
investment in their welfare and care

COPD patients have worked throughout their lives to earn their
fair share of society’s involvement and investment in their welfare.

6. The right to advocate with other COPD patients and
supporters for improved COPD care and COPD prevention

COPD patients know how important good care is to their lives.
They also know that every effort should be made to prevent
others from suffering from this disease. It is their right and
responsibility to advocate at every level for improved COPD care
and prevention.

7. The right to safe air and environment

Unsafe air and environment are particularly harmful to COPD
patients. All health care professionals have an obligation to
protect their patients from conditions that are unsafe to their
health. Patients and health care providers have an obligation to
fight for their rights to safe air and environment.

The COPD Patients’ Global Bill of Rights was developed
by the International Copd Coalition (ICC)
Helping the World Breathe Free

More later… Sharon O’Hara