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HealthCare Horror Show- Thoughts?

Need to get something off your chest? Have a topic that doesn't fit one of the other forums? Rant away in here. Mature audiences only, not for the easily offended.

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HealthCare Horror Show- Thoughts?

Unread postby peeker643 » Fri Feb 18, 2011 12:18 pm

I've had some issues this year to put it mildly. Suffice it to say I've spent more time in an ER (3 trips) than I have at the office (0 days).

I'll skim over the details but I've been to each of the area's three hospital systems (Lake, Cleveland Clinic and University). I've had MRIs done at Lake and University, ultrasounds at University and Cleveland Clinic and I have future appointments at Cleveland Clinic and through a doctor affiliated with Lake.

My issue is not just the time spent waiting in ER rooms and between appointments due to crowded schedules and a lack of empathy toward patients but more to the point here, the communication between systems.

Businesses often share resources. I work in the auto insurance industry and there are countless databases with a pool of information to draw on regarding fraud, claims information, injury history, business types, etc.

Why doesn't the medical field share information? Why is it my personal responsibility to pick up MRI reports and discs from Lake to take with me to CC? From what I've asked and learned it's not a HIPPA issue. It's more a rivalry issue. But why can't one system access another system when it would seem to alleviate questions and ensure a patient's information is accurate and accessible by any health care professional that treats the patient, regardless of system affiliation?

I can't for the life of me understand why a trained professional would want to rely on my ability to transport critical diagnostic and treatment documents with me to an appointment. Wouldn't the quality of care be better insured if they could access those documents in a universal database?

It's not a laziness issue on my behalf. But after literally countless visits to doctors in all three systems I'd need a database of my own to keep track of this stuff.

Just needed to get that off my chest I guess. Never realized how much of a clusterfuck health care is til I really needed it. It seems to me to be a hopelessly broken system.

As an aside, I don't know how many of you work in the industry or if you work for any of the three major systems. But I found issues with all of them, University less so than the two others.

Tri-Point (Lake) is a beautiful facility but is still, at its core, Lake East. And you can dress a pig in a dress and still have a pig. CC is massive and has its own internal communications issues IMO. They are slow (unless you're a Saudi Sheik) and while I believe they operate at a higher level than Lake that's really not saying much.

This whole ordeal has been an ordeal. At it's foundation its terribly frustrating to have to wait weeks for DX testing or doctor availability when you're having issues NOW. There's no empathy from the professionals who, in their defense, are overwhelmed on a daily basis.

But it saddens me that in a developed country like this one that the health care system is so disjointed, territorial and inefficient.

A friend of the family has stage 3 brain cancer. She went to one of the hospitals because of a potential blood clot in her leg. The doctor she saw in the ER actually asked her why she was concerned with a clot when she had stage 3 brain cancer as if it were a bother that he had to deal with that when it ultimately would be meaningless.

There's something horrifyingly fucked up with that. And you get the feeling that many docs and hospital personnel feel the same way about nearly all of the people they treat. Not trying to say they are all like that. I've found a few who are empathetic and concerned. But on the whole we're going the wrong way.

Sorry if this was rambling. But if nothing else it was cathartic and has probably kept me from killing someone today (though it's early).

Just wondered if anyone else had any thoughts.
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Re: HealthCare Horror Show- Thoughts?

Unread postby motherscratcher » Fri Feb 18, 2011 12:35 pm

Wait until the paperwork and EOBs start pouring in. I'm sure it already has, but it's only going to get worse. You will get 5-6 different pieces of paper all explaining the same thing a little differently for one date of service. Half of the shit you will get will say this is not a bill on it.

Then you will begin to wonder why you have bills for out of pocket expenses totalling $12,000 when your OOP yearly max is $5,000.

My son is over 2 now, but he was born 10 weeks early and spent about 6 weeks in the NICU. A lot of doctors. Bills form everywhere. I honestly think that it is designed by the insurance companies to cause the greatest amount of confusion with the goal of people paying money that they don't even realize they shouldn't be paying.

The system is definitely broken. And, it seems hopeless.

As far as hospitals sharing info...I have no idea. It should be the way you describe. Everything should be available on iPads that doctors carry around with them, or something like that. I don't know.

About the lack of empathy. It sucks. It shouldn't be like that. But, the doctors get beaten down by the system as much as the patients. I think it is very easy to become cynical. You have to make a conscious effort.

What that doctor said to your friend is awful.

I hope they get your head screwed back on straight soon, dude.
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Re: HealthCare Horror Show- Thoughts?

Unread postby FUDU » Fri Feb 18, 2011 12:39 pm

I feel your pain doesn't seem such a good reply now peeker.

Just think in about 30 years the algorithm we will have come up with will deem you not worth keeping around by expending money on HC to help better you life b/c you do not contribute enough to society...and Cleveland will be able to say THAT's what we're good at.

My experience with the CC was pretty damn good with exception to very delayed billing. So my payments were as equally delayed.
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Re: HealthCare Horror Show- Thoughts?

Unread postby Ziner » Fri Feb 18, 2011 12:52 pm

motherscratcher wrote:Wait until the paperwork and EOBs start pouring in. I'm sure it already has, but it's only going to get worse. You will get 5-6 different pieces of paper all explaining the same thing a little differently for one date of service. Half of the shit you will get will say this is not a bill on it.

Then you will begin to wonder why you have bills for out of pocket expenses totalling $12,000 when your OOP yearly max is $5,000.

My son is over 2 now, but he was born 10 weeks early and spent about 6 weeks in the NICU. A lot of doctors. Bills form everywhere. I honestly think that it is designed by the insurance companies to cause the greatest amount of confusion with the goal of people paying money that they don't even realize they shouldn't be paying.

The system is definitely broken. And, it seems hopeless.


Dude, that is dead on. I went for a check up because it was required even though I am a 29 y/o healthy male with nothing going on because I wanted to get a menigitis shot because I am getting my MBA and those dirty undergrads had it going around. My simple check up was something like $700 or something and while it was all preventative and supposed to be free I received a bill for $200. I called and asked why it was because it was all preventative and continually told them to do nothing that they could not bill as preventative. The lady told me it was just a mistake and it would be paid. I asked her if that is something they do intentionally to see how many people pay that with out calling. She was offended, I didnt care.

That is why I can't stand Obamacare, not necessarily what it did, more of what it failed to do. More coverage for all, great, people with pre-existing conditions getting coverage, love it. 26 y/o on their parents....ummm... well whatever.. but where the fuck are the measures to clean it up, get the slack out, make it patient friendly and for god sakes where the hell does it address costs?

Peeks I do not pity the mountain high pile of garbage you will have to sort through. I remember my dad beating his head off the table after my mom died... she was in the hospital off and on for a year with multiple surgeries... its a freaking disaster.
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Re: HealthCare Horror Show- Thoughts?

Unread postby idoctribefan » Fri Feb 18, 2011 2:55 pm

I had some tests done and my wife had a minor procedure done a few months ago. Both at Cleveland Clinic. I was very impressed with all the doctors. The billing dept?...another story.

We had all this shit done basically at the same time, so our bills came on the same day. Neither were outrageous, but enough to make us want to pay them out over a few months. So I call the Clinic and they're more than willing to give me a "payment plan". 3 equal payments, one per month for three months. Sounds f'n great. So I make the first payment. The other day I get a statement saying that I only paid about 30% of that initial payment and that they sent the rest to a collections agency. I get the billing dept on the phone and the rep is like "oh i don't know why you got that statement. I see right here that you made the payment in-full and on-time. Let send a fax over to the collections agency to make sure this is taken care of." She proceeds to tell me it's taken care of and I have nothing else to worry about. However, I fully expect to get a notice from the collections agency anyday now. THat's fucked up because I think being sent to collections hurts my credit and I'm lookin at buying a house pretty soon. In addition to that, they sent my wife's bill to a "3rd-party credit agency" and THEY are the ones who will be collecting her bills from us. The CS rep was sure to tell me that my wife's balance wasn't sent to collections, just to a different billing agency. Why the hell would they send her balance to a third party? I called this 3rd party and they're like, "we'll get you her bill within 90 days." 90 days? WTF? I said just send me a bill now and I'll pay it within 2 weeks and the bitch said that it has to "run through the system" so it'll take up to 90 days. What a clusterfuck.
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Re: HealthCare Horror Show- Thoughts?

Unread postby Orenthal » Fri Feb 18, 2011 3:03 pm

With ya peeks on 2 major points.

1.)This is not a bill/mountain of paperwork.
2.)Lack of a central database, or at least not making the patient responsible for transporting medical records.

2 years ago I started coming down with vertigo and ringing of the ear. I probably had it since highschool but it was always seasonal and episodes lasted 5-15 minutes over maybe 2 weeks twice a year. It was more of an annoyance then anything. That was until it started to not go away. I'd have the vertigo on and off, but the ringing was constant. Well after going through MRI's and CT scans nothing was found and they just diagnosed it as Tinnitus. It just didn't feel like any effort was expended to try and find out what the problem was, and I was diagnosed with the default, we don't know whats wrong option.

The fact I had epilepsy as a child made me think that they would at the very least send me to a neurologist. I've kinda got that man disease where if I am not pushed or wake up at the hospital I don't go.

The one positive about our system? When I needed that MRI or CT scan I was able to get them in a few days. Good luck with that in any other system. It wasn't like what I was had half my brian hanging out my head.

Still gotta make that appointemnt for the clinic. After this story maybe I can wait a few more weeks to see the neurologist.
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Re: HealthCare Horror Show- Thoughts?

Unread postby peeker643 » Fri Feb 18, 2011 3:34 pm

The original post was long enough but I have plenty more.

The onus in the medical field now seems to be less diagnosing and treating the patient but, first and foremost, cover your ass as a doctor and a system. These people are afraid to death of malpractice litigation and allegations.

Case in point on CYA, empathy and communication in a nutshell:

My original ER trip was New Years Day (night of). Follow up with my PCP on Monday morning. She thinks I had a rogue migraine due to not having my usual caffeine Saturday (whatever, eliminate the most obvious and move on I guess- no issues). Anyway, she gives me Imitrex to take Monday night if the massive headache hasn't subsided with the caffeine.

It doesn't. I take the pill at 9pm that Monday night and the headache comes ripping back. Knee knocking intensity. Not light sensitive or anything. Just like someone impaled a rake in my head and was pulling it out.

Hour later I call her number. Another doc is on call. I tell her I took the Imitrex and my headache is worse. She stops me right then. "Get to the ER now. I can't help you."

I ask why, can I wait, etc. "No. Get to the ER and we'll do an MRI and MRA right now."

At 11pm?

"I'll call and set it up."

Then she speaks to Lisa and tells her the Imitrex may ave caused something to possibly rupture. Scares the piss out of my wife.

For the 2nd time in 3 nights my kids watch me led off to the ER, scared shit-less after the ambulance ride I took NY night. I get to the ER and doc there looks at me like I have 3 heads and says, "You're kidding me right? We're not doing an MRI and MRA at midnight. I'd have to wake someone to do it. We'll give you some painkillers, compazine and fluids in a bed here."

I ask them to consider admitting me because there's clearly a problem and they can do the tests at 6am the next morning and I'm not leaving there til 4am or later anyway.

"No. You can call and schedule an MRI tomorrow."

Doc on call never called according to ER doc. She wanted to brush me off like she was Eric Stolts in Pulp Fiction to avoid any potential issues, ER doc didn't give a shit about the inconvenience. And on top of that ER nurse pulled my IV out and splattered blood all over me, my clothes, her and the room. It looked like the beach scene from Saving Private Ryan. She was sweet and apologetic and I was medicated so it coulda been worse but it was a fucking nightmare of stupidity and bullshit.

After I get into see a Neuro and he gives me RX for some shit. I take it and have shortness of breath and elevated heart rate. Call neuro and he tells me to stop taking one of the meds and follow up with my PCP.

I go see her and she tells me she can't help any more with these issues as they're head/neuro-related and refers me back to neuro.

Had it been more than a one story building I'd have sought a window on the highest floor.

The patient's health and well-being is at least 3rd on the priority list behind avoiding malpractice and making sure that insurance is in order. Fourth if you consider that many of the docs just want to put out the immediate fire because of 1 and 2 or simply don't give a shit.

8 weeks after initial incident, thousands and thousands of dollars in accrued costs and no one knows why the head issue occurred, what it was or what to do to get it gone. I continue to slug down 9 300mg Neurontin pills each day to mask the head pain.

2700mg of brain chemistry altering shit daily and no end in sight to the fun.

The more people I talk to tell me this isn't out of the ordinary. How can that fucking be?
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Re: HealthCare Horror Show- Thoughts?

Unread postby Orenthal » Fri Feb 18, 2011 3:41 pm

Yup the one two punch of no solution and tons of run around.
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Re: HealthCare Horror Show- Thoughts?

Unread postby motherscratcher » Fri Feb 18, 2011 4:10 pm

Have they checked you for glaucoma Peek? Even if you don't have it, I think the treatment might be just what you need.
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Re: HealthCare Horror Show- Thoughts?

Unread postby peeker643 » Fri Feb 18, 2011 4:23 pm

motherscratcher wrote:Have they checked you for glaucoma Peek? Even if you don't have it, I think the treatment might be just what you need.


;-) ;) :wink:

When they couldn't tell me what's going on I went to the ophthalmologist as well as the ENT. Those guys were awesome. Unfortunately (or fortunately) they found nothing. Not an ear, nose or throat issue and nothing wrong with my eyes. Eyes actually were better than last visit probably because I went outside of allergy season.

But yeah, you know, half jokingly, I haven't used glaucoma medicine in a decade or so. But I'm not adverse to an herbal answer (however temporary) to the headache problems and the anxiety they've caused. I just have no pharmacist.
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Re: HealthCare Horror Show- Thoughts?

Unread postby Ziner » Fri Feb 18, 2011 4:32 pm

peeker643 wrote:But yeah, you know, half jokingly, I haven't used glaucoma medicine in a decade or so. But I'm not adverse to an herbal answer (however temporary) to the headache problems and the anxiety they've caused. I just have no pharmacist.


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Re: HealthCare Horror Show- Thoughts?

Unread postby RickNashEquilibrium » Fri Feb 18, 2011 4:56 pm

Most of these problems in our health care system are caused by the same thing that f#$ks up everything else: greed. Insurance companies aren't the only people to blame in this mess, its also the lawsuits stemming from malpractice in which victims are awarded ridiculous amounts of money, sometimes frivolously. Not saying they don't deserve some type of compensation, but there has to be some boundaries on both sides that make health care cost efficient.

My brother has worked for Metro Health and now the CC and his biggest beef is with nurses/nurse practitioners who get a degree/past a test and still don't now their head from their ass. From his POV, a lot problems are caused by hospital staff (non-doctors) and administrators not doing their damn job. Want to puke, read this story below. Should have never #$%#king happened.

http://www.sacbee.com/2010/12/31/329027 ... tions.html
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Re: HealthCare Horror Show- Thoughts?

Unread postby peeker643 » Fri Feb 18, 2011 5:09 pm

Ziner wrote:
peeker643 wrote:But yeah, you know, half jokingly, I haven't used glaucoma medicine in a decade or so. But I'm not adverse to an herbal answer (however temporary) to the headache problems and the anxiety they've caused. I just have no pharmacist.


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:lmfao: :lmfao:

He lives a long way away. The Rx cost is ridiculous when you drive all that way to Walgreen's.
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Re: HealthCare Horror Show- Thoughts?

Unread postby Orenthal » Fri Feb 18, 2011 6:13 pm

peeker643 wrote:
motherscratcher wrote:Have they checked you for glaucoma Peek? Even if you don't have it, I think the treatment might be just what you need.


;-) ;) :wink:

When they couldn't tell me what's going on I went to the ophthalmologist as well as the ENT. Those guys were awesome. Unfortunately (or fortunately) they found nothing. Not an ear, nose or throat issue and nothing wrong with my eyes. Eyes actually were better than last visit probably because I went outside of allergy season.

But yeah, you know, half jokingly, I haven't used glaucoma medicine in a decade or so. But I'm not adverse to an herbal answer (however temporary) to the headache problems and the anxiety they've caused. I just have no pharmacist.


Ha ha ha when I told my ENT that having no solution was great but didn't help with my anxiety he wrote me a fast perscription of Xanax. Great stuff.
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Re: HealthCare Horror Show- Thoughts?

Unread postby Erie Warrior » Sat Feb 19, 2011 12:21 am

This all sounds awful, and is really killing my post-class buzz. Any wonder why no one wants to go to a doctor?
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Re: HealthCare Horror Show- Thoughts?

Unread postby Ziner » Sat Feb 19, 2011 12:35 am

Erie Warrior wrote:This all sounds awful, and is really killing my post-class buzz. Any wonder why no one wants to go to a doctor?



Cause being a teacher doesnt pay well enough

:dingle: ;-) ;) :wink: :cheers:
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Re: HealthCare Horror Show- Thoughts?

Unread postby Erie Warrior » Sat Feb 19, 2011 1:07 am

Education is a journey, not a destination.
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Re: HealthCare Horror Show- Thoughts?

Unread postby Cerebral_DownTime » Sat Feb 19, 2011 4:28 pm

peeker643 wrote:
Ziner wrote:
peeker643 wrote:But yeah, you know, half jokingly, I haven't used glaucoma medicine in a decade or so. But I'm not adverse to an herbal answer (however temporary) to the headache problems and the anxiety they've caused. I just have no pharmacist.


index.php?mode=viewprofile&u=1478&rb_v=memberlist



:lmfao: :lmfao:

He lives a long way away. The Rx cost is ridiculous when you drive all that way to Walgreen's.


Oh yeah. I got the medicine for you..... it has "Craftsman" written on the handle, and you only need one dose. I can get you "an herbal answer" to(o).
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Re: HealthCare Horror Show- Thoughts?

Unread postby Fire Marshall Bill » Sat Feb 19, 2011 6:47 pm

peeker643 wrote:
motherscratcher wrote:Have they checked you for glaucoma Peek? Even if you don't have it, I think the treatment might be just what you need.


;-) ;) :wink:

When they couldn't tell me what's going on I went to the ophthalmologist as well as the ENT. Those guys were awesome. Unfortunately (or fortunately) they found nothing. Not an ear, nose or throat issue and nothing wrong with my eyes. Eyes actually were better than last visit probably because I went outside of allergy season.

But yeah, you know, half jokingly, I haven't used glaucoma medicine in a decade or so. But I'm not adverse to an herbal answer (however temporary) to the headache problems and the anxiety they've caused. I just have no pharmacist.



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Re: HealthCare Horror Show- Thoughts?

Unread postby Spin » Sun Feb 20, 2011 4:13 pm

I've never been impressed with either of the "World Class" hospitals in Cleveland, or one in Akron either. If you need something highly specialized, that they're famous for, it's great. If you're on a regular floor, the nurses and doctors are just nasty. They hate their jobs, hate their lives.

Everyone asks me if I'm going to work for Cleveland Clinic when I graduate in December. They're always surprised when I say "HELL NO!!!!! I'd rather work in a nursing home than be a floor nurse there." They've never been there, all they hear is the hype.

I'm going to Akron Children's, the VA, one of the rural hospitals, or Summa or Metro. And even there there are good floors and bad floors.

Back on topic, my mom went to Wadsworth Hospital ER. They decided to admit her. Her physician doesn't go to Wadsworth, so she decided to go to Barberton. BOTH ARE SUMMA. When she got to Barberton they spent the next two days running the same tests they already ran in Wadsworth, in the SAME SYSTEM.

They could have looked in the computer, or had the results sent with her in the ambulance, but instead decided to soak the insurance company for the same tests twice, and cost her at least one more day in the hospital.

Did I mention they were the SAME SYSTEM? Nine miles apart? ::doh::
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