Friday, July 16, 2010

Maxine and Unintended Consequences

Everybody's favorite gal, Maxine, speaks for me today. Click on the picture to enlarge.
More wisdom from the feisty old gal.


I have been accused, and rightly so, of being outspoken so I can identify with Maxine. I am sure many of you can find one or two of these cartoons that speak for you, too.

In a more serious vein I need to tell you about the unintended consequence of my fight to help Obama pass the health care legislation. I now need to find a new primary care physician in the next few months. This event is extremely distressing to me because I love my primary care doctor. He is the most caring and thorough doctor I have ever had. He always remembers me and my ailments, If he finds it necessary, he always takes a lot more time with me than my allotted 15 minute appointment (sometimes as much as an hour). He took over my care when I broke my hip without compensation and visited me in the rehab center. I can't praise him enough.

Of course there is always a down side. I am not the only patient that he spends so much time with and, as a consequence, he is always behind on his appointments. I have waited in the reception room
as long as 3 hours, before being seen. I t has never bothered me because I expect it and take a book to read.

Well, my good doctor has decided to get better compensation for being so thorough and has joined the MD VIP program. This means that he will be limiting his patients to 600 and will give a more comprehensive annual physical than is now covered. He will also give his patients his home phone number and take a more personal interest in them. It's a high tech version of the old family doctor.

Why am I not retaining this wonderful doctor? Because I would have to pay an annual fee of $1,500 up front. I doubt that many Medicare patients will be able to afford to stay with him. I certainly can't.

To calm myself down I am including a soothing song, Body and Soul. as sung by Mel Torme. Some of you may remember it.

28 comments:

Rain said...

I have heard of that happening and it's certainly depressing to say the least. :( I hope you find another doctor who cares more about his patients than the money he can make. Of course, I realize some of this might be pressure from the clinics but still it doesn't seem like an encouraging thing for most patients. Once again the rich dominate.

K. said...

And yet we don't have health care rationing in this country.

As I begin my studies, I'm learning that the entire health care apparatus is set up to do anything but maximize positive outcomes for patients. It's all about cost shifting, which inevitably leads to rationing.

I saw Mel Torme and George Shearing back in the late 80s, at the Paul Masson Winery in Saratoga, CA. Beautiful day, wonderful show;

Joy Des Jardins said...

I'm so sorry to hear this Darlene. You're probably like me...and so many of us who stick with a primary doctor for a long time because we really like their manor and the relationship they've nurtured with you. I would hate to have to find another doctor after having mine for about 25 years; but I certainly understand why you must. I hope you find another doctor who is just as caring and attentive to his patients. Love, Joy

P.S. Love the Maxine cartoons....

Darlene said...

*Rain - I am not the only one to lose my doctor. My friend's friend had to change when her doctor joined MD VIP. I think we will all hear more stories like this.

*K - I saw Shearing in Tucson about the same time. We had a table right under the bandstand and it was indeed thrilling. I talked to one of the musicians during the break. What a wonderful night that was.

Isn't Saratoga, CA a charming town?
Did you see the movie I made from photos I took in the Japanese Gardens there?

*Joy Des Jardins - Thank you. I hope my next doctor likes elders.

K. said...

Darlene, I missed your film but would like to see it. Do you have a pointer to it?

Baino said...

I don't quite undnerstand? Your doctor is charging an up front fee for VIP service? That doesn't sound in line with the old hypocratic oath?

naomi dagen bloom said...

Sad to hear about this, Darlene. Is there an organization that represents medical rights for people in your situation in Arizona? AARP should be the one but I do not know if they see themselves responsible to protect against health inequities.

Hattie said...

That is really too bad, Darlene. I have had Kaiser for a long time and like my Dr. well enough. I hope you can get some help here, as this sounds like a very bad situation for you.

kenju said...

I love Maxine and the music, but boo on the doctor who wants to charge upfront for being nicer than he has been.

Darlene said...

*K - I tried to find your e-mail address, but was not successful. If you will e-mail it to me I will send you the video. darcostner@yahoo.com.

*Baino - I'm afraid the Hypocratic Oath went out with the horse and buggy.

*naomi dagen bloom - Since it's a free country the doctor can change his practice any time he chooses. I have no recourse other than paying for the advanced service or finding a new doctor. I think many more doctors will be going this route.

*Hattie - My doctor will recommend several other doctors that I can choose from. I have been spoiled, though, and it will be hard to settle for second best.

Darlene said...

*kenju - It's been a downer. I don't see how my doctor can give better service than he has (other than giving me his home phone number which I think he will come to regret.) This is a new trend, I fear. After all, doctors need that new car and vacation in some exotic place, don't they?

Rummuser said...

The Maxine cartoons are a hoot. Thank you. My favourite is the one about the woman without a mate being a genius.

You have an uncanny knack of pushing the right button as far as music goes. Body and soul took me back to so many years ago and times of laid back companionship, candle lit dinners, wine and slow foxtrots or two step dancing. Thank you.

Darlene said...

*Rummuser- I'm glad I was able to revive happy memories.

Darlene said...

*K - I don't know how to make a link in the comment box. If you copy the link below it should take you to the post on Hakone, Sarasota, Ca.


http://www.blogger.com/blog-this.g?t=&u=http%3A%2F%2Fdarleneshodgepodge.blogspot.com%2F2010%2F06%2Fhakone-in-sarasota-california.html%23links&n=Darlene%27s%20Hodgepodge%3A%20Hakone%20in%20Sarasota%2C%20California

20th Century Woman said...

I know how hard it is to have to change doctors. I called my gynecologist for an appointment (I have to go to a gyno because I have a chronic condition my GP says he can't manage) and was told he is now doing only "baby work." He has been following me for years, and I felt very nervous about someone new. But I was lucky. I like the new one very much. I hope you find a good new doctor.

Of course we have rationing of health care in this country, as in all the other countries no matter what sort of system they have. We ration by ability to pay. I wonder how your nice doctor feels about serving only well to do patients?

Darlene said...

*20th Century Woman - I imagine my doctor is like the rest of us. He has a large family and putting his children through college is a higher priority for him than serving the less affluent.

One Woman's Journey said...

Darlene - I know your feelings.
7 years ago my doctor of 40 years retired. I tried 3 doctors and they were not for me. Now see a young internist the age of my youngest daughter. I like her and guess she will take care of me until I am out of here. I am so sorry you have to go through with this.

Darlene said...

*One Woman's Journey - I hope I don't have to try out 3 doctors before finding one I like. I am spoiled so I will be hard to please.

joven said...
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joven said...
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joven said...

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Lydia said...

I am so sorry for you in this doctor situation. As I was reading I was thinking you were describing my primary physician, my dear 82-year-old doctor who I've been seeing for over 20 years. We--all his patients who gladly wait 1-3 hours for our turn at his undivided attention--are dreading his retirement. He says he won't retire, but the day will come when he can no longer practice...
So, I thought you were going to tell us that your doctor is retiring. What a sharp shock to read that he is one of those going the new route that I have heard about only briefly until your post. Again, I really feel this disappointment of yours, this heartbreaking change in a key part of your life. Wish I had the money to get you onto the list of 600...

looking to the stars said...

Darlene,

so sorry about the doc, to bad he won't take a homemade cake for his extra care. He's going to lose a lot of people who really need him. I don't like the path some of these doctors have chosen. Only the rich can afford those prices, its a down right shame!

Darlene said...

*Joven - Thank you for visiting my blog. I hope you return. I visited yours and am puzzled. Is it a blog to sell things?

*Lydia - Thank you for wishing you could get me on Dr. M's list. I am sure I will find another doctor I like. I don't see my primary care physician often anyhow.

*Looking to the Stars - I don't think he would treat me a second time after eating one of my homemade cakes. ;-)

Mildred Garfield said...

You had a special relationship with your doctor, that was a good thing! Hope you find someone that makes you feel comfortable and confident.

It's tough to loose someone at this point in time.

I've had my primary doctor for many years. When I have a problem I contact him by e-mail and hear from him quickly. A lot better than leaving a message and waiting for his nurse to call me back.

Since you are a computer person maybe you'll have that set-up with your new doctor.

Good luck.

Kay Dennison said...

Damn!!!! Rain told me about this but seeing it in print isn't doing my BP any favors. I maintain that this doc's crapola is a genuine violation of the Hippocratic Oath.


Finding a new doctor is not an easy chore and I don't envy you.
I'll be praying that you're as lucky as I was when I went Dr. shopping.

Darlene said...

*Mildred Garfield - I hope I can find a doctor like yours. Thanks for the good wishes.

*Kay Dennison - I wonder if today's doctors today even take the Hippocratic Oath. It sure doesn't mean much if they do. I guess he figures as long as the patients that can no longer afford him will have other doctors to choose from he is off the hook.

joared said...

Sorry to hear about your Doctor's practice change. This is just the beginning of many health care changes that will affect many of us, especially those of us who are older. I was well aware of such impact when I chose to support change so all could have health care. I don't believe it would have to be this way, but until more "middle men" siphoning off hunks of the health care dollar are eliminated (think, for example, pharmaceutical and insurance companies)we're not going to have the change needed. Perhaps my children and grand children will receive the benefits we sacrifice today.