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And while I'm on a roll:

Sometimes the Paperwork is Worse than the Disease

The paperwork nightmare started for Ms. Mayer when her oncologist switched hospitals. Everything suddenly seemed to need a justification, or a new piece of paper with an authorization.

    The stacks of papers, folders and Post-It notes related to Ms. Mayer's treatment have started to take over her house. They fill manila envelopes, boxes and files, which fill closets. They spill from the dining room table onto chairs.

    "You can't just be sick," she said. "You have to be sick and be drowning in paperwork."

    So overwhelming has the paperwork grown that Ms. Mayer has considered giving up and ceasing all treatment because of the bureaucratic hassle that accompanies it.

And that's a person with health insurance, in the wealthiest nation on earth...

In the days before managed care, most insurance plans operated on a fee-for-service basis. Patients paid 20 percent of medical fees; insurers paid 80 percent. But as health care costs have continued to rise, many patients are being required to pay an ever-larger part of their medical bills, and deductibles continue to increase. And to keep the system churning, close to 30 cents of every dollar spent on health care goes for administration, much of it spent generating bills and explanations of benefits.

    "The number of bureaucrats between the point of service and the final cash reckoning is just incredible," said Dr. Thomas Delbanco, a professor of primary care medicine at Harvard Medical School who is a leader in the field of patient-centered care.

It says something ghastly about our current system that "patient centred care" should be a speciality field.  WTF else should medical care be, if not patient-centred?  oh, oops, silly me, I forgot -- profit centred.  well we are doing very well on that front...

if I don't take a deep breath I'm going to start using boldface, and that would ruin my rep :-)

The difference between theory and practise in practise ...

by DeAnander (de_at_daclarke_dot_org) on Thu Oct 13th, 2005 at 08:17:41 PM EST
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