Wasteful Healthcare Spending

To reiterate; I am opposed to government run healthcare because it would be facilitated by the government. There is no less efficient method for operating anything than that run by government employees who are always overburdened and rarely motivated to provide excellent service. However, I do believe we, as a free nation of contributing taxpayers, are entitled to a basic level of healthcare. I remain a fan of the theory of free enterprise where the company that provides the best product and service is the company with the most customers and the highest revenue. Let’s create an environment where that competition can flourish. Doing so will keep people employed in various positions and effectively lower insurance premiums.

My latest experience demonstrates huge waste within the healthcare system that, as always, translates to higher costs.

My half brother has Alzheimer’s Disease. He was diagnosed at a fairly young age (57) and has had some treatments and trials that have proven ineffective in slowing the progression of the disease. I am his closest blood relation, and I am his Power of Attorney and Health Care Proxy.

Centralized Medical database, sounds like a commonsense thing, right? Nope. As I have been trying to maintain his medical care and supervision, I find that I cannot access medical records of diagnoses or medical providers prior to my involvement. If my brother were able to recall his providers that would be great, but he cannot. Each provider that I am aware of has me go through hoops to access his records and then often neglects to actually provide them. It is impossible for me to discover who his past providers have been. This seems to be a result of HIPPA, intended to protect medical information from being released without authorization but it (as government bureaucracy often does) impedes medical providers and patient access as well.

Recently his current Neuropsychiatrist sent him for a multitude of testing, all of which was certainly done at the time of his diagnosis, but of which we have no records. MRI’s EKG’s, EEG’s duplicated. A recent stay in the hospital for dehydration generated 5 phone calls from various personnel who all asked the same questions about his health and personal history. Each time I asked them if the prior person had given them the info and they had no record of it. They did, however have that he was diabetic, which HE IS NOT.

This is one segment of the entire experience; what do you think the price tag for redundancy and inaccuracy was? Couldn’t it have easily been reduced? We must target the out of control costs of healthcare in order to make health care “affordable”.