Doctors Know Little About Consumer-Directed Plans

2 Responses to “Doctors Know Little About Consumer-Directed Plans”

  1. Shannon Patrick says:

    I completely agree with the article. I have been a Pharmacy Technician for 11 years. I have taken it upon myself (at the pharmacy where I work) to be an advocate for the elderly. In the past recent years the elderly are now purchasing Medicare Part D prescription coverage.
    I often think of my grandparents, parents, auties, uncles, & my neighbors around me. I am fortunate to have the knowledge (and continually learning) when it comes to insurance verbage. However, the folks that I mentioned above do not.
    Think of your own family members and friends. What would you tell your auntie when you just got back from the pharmacy and the medications weren’t covered. Of course auntie is going to ask you, “Why not? Do you know how much I pay a month for that insurance?”. “Well, the lady behind the counter said you’re in the doughnut-hole.” Pause for a moment-think about it. Try and explain Doughnut-Hole!!!!!!(What if auntie has dementia, hearing loss, diabetes, or high blood pressure?) I could list a thousand more conditions.
    At this time in life, everything our elders do on a daily basis takes longer and might be harder for them to do. Why in Heaven’s Name, do We, as a society, intenionally make it so difficult for our elders? Isn’t this the stage of life when healthcare is accessed and needed the most? This in my book is a form of abuse.
    It should be mandated that when an elder gets Medicare D-Rx coverage, a real-life human being explain in very simple language what benefits they are getting. If they have a Doughnut-Hole, explain to them what this means.
    It might even be an exceptional idea to have their doctor and pharmacist review their medications. Medications could be changed to alternative or generic medications to keep costs down without giving the patient sub-standard care. It might help that patient from reaching the cap on their benefits only 4 months into the year.
    I think enough has been said. You get the point. What happened to compassion and treating our Elders with respect?
    Aloha from the Beautiful Garden Island of Kauai, Hawaii
    Shannon Patrick

  2. job security says:

    This issue reiterates the importance of relying on compitent office staff to be the financial liaison between the patient and the doctor. Having a well trained staff member who can explain medical charges and financial responsibility to the patient can help to ensure that patients are prepared to pay for their medical care up front and it takes the doctor out of the equation.
    What I don’t like about these new plans is that if a patient, after finding out how much he/she will owe out of pocket, decides they can’t afford the services and declines treatment, what happens next? Is the doctor still liable for that patient’s welfare? In the past, if a patient refused treatment the physician would write him/her off as non-complaint and would dismiss the patient from his/her care, but now what? Is that course of action still appropriate?
    Doctors deserve to get paid for services they provide and now that patients have greater and greater financial obligations doctors have to risk breaking most state’s laws and losing their licenses if they refuse to treat an established patient who owes them money.
    Bottom line, the amount of money a patient owes is between the patient, his/her employer, and the insurance company. The doctor is going to do what is in the patient’s best interest medically and having well trained administrative support ensures that the doctor is focusing on practicing medicine and not worrying about the patient’s financial issues.

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