As a doctor, I live and breath healthcare. I’m one of those doctors who is smack dab in the middle of healthcare. I can’t do my job without a hospital. As a trauma surgeon, I need the support structure that a fully equiped hospital provides. Because I live in the Blue Ridge mountains, I take care of people from all around this beautiful country. Thousands of people come here to see the mountains. Thankfully, only a few injure themselves while they are here.
Currently, I’m taking care of a young man who lives in Florida. He crashed his motorcycle. He had a terrible head injury which required emergency neurosurgery in order to evacuate an expanding epidural hemorrhage. The patient has insurance. He is now much better and we need to figure out how to get him back to Florida. Here’s where the “fun” begins.
So, for 3 days the hospital social worker is trying to find a rehab facility to take care of this patient. Then we need to make sure that this facility takes the patient’s insurance. Next, we have to make sure that the insurance company will pay for the patient’s rehab and transport to Florida. Finally, and this is really choice, the facility requires the sending doctor to find a receiving doctor. Have you ever tried to get a single MD on the phone? Now, try to get two doctors together at the same time. (I have been waiting for a return call for more than an hour. Just waiting…)
This is nothing but a huge waste of time. All of this needs to be streamlined so that the patient is taken care of effectively. We need a system that is designed around the patient.