Tuesday, November 29, 2011

A good idea that doesn't work for cancer

Something else that works for everything but cancer. As yet another effort to control health insurance costs, in the past year tiered health insurance options have been introduced in Massachusetts. The point of them is to redirect patients to lower cost medical centers, thus reducing premiums for employers and patients. If you pay higher premiums you can have access to more hospitals and doctors. It kind of makes sense - send people for routine care to cheaper places.

People do complain with changes in health insurance particularly when it causes them to change doctors. And one of the biggest complaints with tiered health insurance is that people are forced to change doctors. I can understand that but I am not entirely sympathetic. If you have the same doctor for years you build a relationship with them and trust and like them. But we have to allow for change in our lives. We can't assume anything will last forever.

In the past four and a half years I have had my oncologist retire, fired my GI doctor and got a new one, found a new eye doctor, endocrinologist and primary care, had my long time dentist retire, and my dermatologist moved to another medical facility. I have also acquired an elbow doctor, an ankle doctor, therapist and meds therapist.. In fact the only doctors I have kept in the past four and a half years are my radiation oncologist, knee doctor, breast surgeon (and I only see his nurse practitioner these days). I may have stressed a little at the time of these changes but I am doing okay with all this. Change happens.

But the problem is with cancer and probably some other ailments, you quickly need to get to a specialist at an expensive place that specializes in cancer. This isn't a time to shop around for medical care. Yes you have a little time but if you need an oncologist don't sit there waiting to find the right one. You need to get an oncologist and a diagnosis so you have a basic idea of how aggressively you need treatment. If you don't like your oncologist you can find a new one at that point and then do some looking around if you want. But you don't want your insurance company telling you that you can't go to the specialized cancer center that could save your life.

2 comments:

Susie said...

I totally agree! You need complete confidence in your doctors. Its your life!

Jack Kavin said...

No one can calculate the Medical Insurance cost because it is the matter of life, many people do not gives importance to this but this is the most important decision of the entire life of health cost not only to decide the care that we get be supposed to our health take a wrong turn