Tag: health care policy

Breadwinner

Breadwinner

The first thing I notice are the dark circles under Mr. Jones’s eyes.

It’s 4:30 pm on a Wednesday during my third year of medical school. I’m in the fifth week of my family-medicine rotation, and we’re deep into our daily routine: triage, history, physical examination, differential diagnosis, present the case to the attending physician, repeat.

Mr. Jones is a new patient. His face and belly are round, his arms and legs lanky.

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Unalienable Right

 
The Declaration of Independence endows all of us with “certain unalienable Rights…among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” An ill person who lacks medical support does not have the wherewithal to pursue happiness. An ill person who is denied health care due to prohibitive costs does not possess liberty. Most fundamentally, a government that deprives its citizens of affordable health care profoundly undermines the life of those citizens. 
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Confessions of a Recovering Insurance Addict

 
When I hear other physicians talk about burnout, I often feel a little guilty. Sometimes I sit in meetings of physician associations where they are discussing ways to help physicians deal with the stress of the job and the increasingly complicated demands for documentation and billing. I think to myself, “Don’t physicians always talk about prevention being better than treatment?” Yet most of what I hear about are measures to deal with the aftermath

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Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Affordable Healthcare

 
Years ago, I left a violent marriage in Colorado and returned to Iowa to start a new life. My health insurance was good until the end of the August, and coverage at my new job wouldn’t take effect until October. That’s the way things are, I was told. You’ll be fine.

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The Financial Assessment

 

My Nicaraguan pediatrician friend astutely summarized her work: First you make the clinical assessment, then you make the financial assessment. In other words, a clinician may know the right treatment, but what good does that do the patient if the treatment is entirely out of reach financially?

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Benefits and Burdens

When I retired from teaching in a suburban school district north of Detroit in June 2003, I left Michigan for my hometown of Pittsburgh with boxes of belongings, twenty-nine years of memories, and health insurance tied to my state pension. That insurance has served me well–except when it has not.

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DDoA Seehra

#KeepAmericaCovered

Amrita Seehra

About the artist: 

“Krithika Kavanoor (left) and I are both family-medicine residents at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx. As primary-care providers in one of the poorest urban counties in the US, we see firsthand the impact that access to health care–and the lack thereof–can have on our patients. The narratives we share are

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Assaulted by “Health Care”

Sandra Shea

I’m no stranger to dealing with the medical world and its billing systems. I’m a triple cancer survivor, had knee surgery in 2012 and now have ulcerative colitis. All told, I’ve had eleven surgeries and fourteen colonoscopies. Paperwork is practically my middle name.

But the last twenty-four hours have been ridiculous.

In that time, I’ve had three different encounters with healthcare billing–each absurd in its own way, and each more challenging

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Two Timelines

Debi Santini

Timeline One

Day 1: For over thirty-five years my strong, spirited spouse, Carlo, served around the world in the Air Force. Now retired from the military, he still serves at the air base as a civilian security police officer.

His neck hurts. A lot. He blames the pain on the unbalanced weight of the bulletproof vest that Uncle Sam added last year to the uniform he proudly wears every day.

Even though

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(Not So) Golden Years

Madge Kaplan

When I read news articles about caring for elderly parents at a distance, I sometimes shake my head. There’s a tendency to put the best spin on the experience: as long as you contact the right people, get the right information and treat the ups and downs as just part of life’s challenges, you’ll be fine. You can do this!

I find myself wondering when the author last talked to a caregiver at

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Concierge Care

Deborah Pierce

I am a family physician. Like most of my colleagues, though, I must sometimes step out of the comfort of my clinical role to take on the role of patient or family caregiver.

Generally, these trips to the other side of the exam table inspire a fair amount of anxiety.

During visits to the doctor, I find myself noticing many details and comparing the quality of care to that in my own practice.

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Checking Boxes

Regina Harrell

I am a primary-care doctor who makes house calls in and around Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Most of my visits are in neighborhoods, but today my rounds start at a house located down a dirt road a few miles outside of town.

Gingerly, I cross the front walk; Mrs. Edgars told me that she killed a rattlesnake in her flowerbed last year.

She is at the door, expecting my visit. Mr. Edgars sits on the

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