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I am totally shocked! - Page 2

post #31 of 34
Originally Posted by jcat View Post
Here's a great article that really explains the system, and also why my German friend didn't have to pay anything in the U.K. hospital:
Thankyou for posting! That was a very helpful link!
post #32 of 34
I'm only guessing here, but as an uninsured asthmatic myself the triage nurse and doctor were doing what they are supposed to do- meaning triage. I'm actually suprised you got to see a doctor at all- that is unusual. So many people go to an ER for non-emergency issues, which of course makes the service to those with actual emergencies more difficult to provide. If they sent you away, you went to a pharamacy instead of another ER, didn't need to call 911, and they gave you mucinex- you were not in an emergency situation. If it is a true emergency they have to treat you by law, it's listed under JCAHO (Joint Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations) as a patient right. If it were an emergency they can't deny you, if it is not an emergency they have every right to have you go to another hospital for care.

I don't at all want to minimize what you went through or to even what they did was ok, because in a decent moral world we would all have access to good medical care. I just say this as an uninsured asthmatic. I wanted to explain how the system works.
post #33 of 34
That is terrible, and the story of the woman who died waiting to be seen is horrible. But not all medical care in the US stinks. I work at a psych office where we see people with or without insurance. With county funding, many people are seen at not cost to them, and others only pay $10-20 per visit. We have lots of clients with Medicaid. There is a medical clinic nearby who sees uninsured and underinsured people on a sliding scale based on their income.

And the local hospitals are pretty good about seeing people quickly in the ER, but it is partly because it is such a quiet area. When I lived in a big city, you would never be seen at the ER with c/o coughing spasms. They simply had too many heart attacks, knife or gunshot wounds, and other immediate life threatening emergencies. Here, even with a minor injury, we get seen within an hour.

We also have lots of urgent care clinics. I don't know if they take Medicaid for the full fee, but I'm guessing it would cost less that $126 to be seen. Maybe you can call your Medicaid office and ask which local docs or urgent care clinics accept Medicaid. One of the problems is that Medicaid often pays less than it costs the doctors to see the patients. So lots of doctors refuse to see Medicaid patients, or limit the numbers.

I have a nasty chest cold, and am fortunate to be able to see the doc and get meds. Even so, with the kids sick, and with co-pays, I've already spent over $110 this week on docs and medicines.
post #34 of 34
I had a friend who's apendix nearly burst waiting in the ER. My FFIL was having a heart attack and the only reason he got in right away because they had a cancelation at the last minute. Both could have died in the waiting room. It's insane. I havn't had the pleasure of going to the emergency room and I hope I never do.
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