Our Screwed Up Healthcare System
Some of you may have noticed I have not been posting or commenting much of late. The reason is I had an encounter with our American Healthcare System and the results were not pretty. Let me explain the process. For the last 10 years I have been a patient of Garden State Urology. This is a large 21 doctor Urology practice. Every couple of years I would get a Urinary Track Infection. No big deal, I would call up the Urologist I had been seeing and he would call in a prescription for oral antibiotics to my local pharmacy and have me drop off a urine sample at their lab just to double check the antibiotic effectiveness against the particular strain of infection. Within 2 days the infection was always cleared up.
This time when I got a UTI infection I called the practice only to find out the doctor whom I had been seeing for 10 years had left the practice and moved to his hometown in upstate New York. OOPS. I was told to drop off a urine sample at their lab and that the doctors would meet and decide who my new Urologist would be. 5 days later and after numerous phone calls I was told the doctors were too busy to meet and no one could find the lab report. 5 days the inflection had been allowed to grow.
I ended up calling the lab myself and after some fighting with the staff, convinced them that I was the patient in question and they could give me the results – a significant UTI. Now with a temperature of 104, off to the Emergency Room I went. Blood tests quickly showed the infection had entered the bloodstream – Sepsis. I was admitted and hooked up to an endless stream of liquid antibiotics over the 7 days I was in the hospital until blood tests showed the infection was defeated. Until then the infection localized in my left shoulder joint and a hospital surgeon had to operate and clean it out. Now to the sad part of this experience, the bills rolled in:
A – $201,712.86 – 7 days Hospital bill
B – $ 7,750.00 – Surgeons bill
C – $2,800.00 – Assistant Surgeons bill
D – $2,475.00 – Anethesiologists bill
E – $6,100.00 – Total of the 17 doctors who claimed they saw me sometime during my stay.
I have good insurance so I will only be out a couple thousand dollars but goodness this is ridiculous.