MSNBC Live Chat...What's with doctors?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by baybe, May 15, 2003.

  1. baybe

    baybe New Member

    I like Kerry feel that our biggest problem is not whether or not there is treatment out there for our illness, but with how the Medical, Judicial and Insurance world sees us.
    I noticed how the gal just slipped in the fact that doctors can only see us for seven minutes. That is the biggest con going, the truth is doctors can charge full freight for 7 minutes and do so and hopefully if they fill up every 7 minutes they can max out their earning potential for the day. This 7 minute rule is all about how much a physician can make in a day it is only about the doctors desire to cash out big at the end of the day. I can't believe how this comment is dropped in medical conversation all the time. Somehow, leaving the feeling that the doctors are doing us a favor, but unfortunately can only spend 7 minutes with us. That's his job and if the insurance companies and gov't would let them they would probably try to get it down to 3 minutes think how much they could earn in a day. It's a little like the race track and the examining rooms are the pit, we are the car and if a doc has a well oiled machine he can fill up the pits, prepare us all with nurses and basics and then he slides in like a well tuned mechanic works his magic, hopefully, in as close to 7 minutes as he can. Please, don't buy into this concept that he can only spend 7 minutes, he can spend as long as he wishes. He choses to maximize his daily earnings with our lives as his bounty.
  2. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    Thank you, for telling it like it is.

    Remember how few people it used to take to run a doc's office? There was usually the doc, a nurse, a receptionist, and a back office person who handled all the financial aspects.

    With all the paperwork required today (have y'all been receiving the new govt.-mandated privacy HIPPA material?) it is impossible to run an office with so few people. In some offices it take one person just to get approvals for referrals and procedures from the managed-care ins. companies.

    The cost of rent, utilities, malpractice insurance, etc. have skyrocketed while reimbursements from insurance companies and govt. entitlement programs continues to stay the same or even shrink.

    If things keep up at this pace, even more docs will leave medicine and eventually we will end up with a one-payer system as inefficient and costly as Medicare and Medicaid. Do y'all really want the government running our healthcare while taxing us to the hilt for it's inefficiencies? We desperately need healthcare reform, but as usual, it's not just a case of doctor greed.

    Insurance companies are passing on the lack of profit they make on their investments. The government has money for everything but helping us find better healthcare solutions. Docs are squeezed by everyone. And finally, Americans are sitting on their butts, eating junk food, not exercising, and indulging in all kinds of unhealthy habits. They claim it's their right to ruin their health if they want to, but the ugly truth is that you and I are paying for it. This is just the tip of the iceberg of the complexity of this issue.

    Love, Mikie

  3. sujay

    sujay New Member

    Amen to what Madwolf and Mikie have already posted. Sad but true, we can't see ANY patients if we can't afford to keep the doors open.

    Talk to your doctor about tort reform, and see what you might be able to do to help. It won't solve all our problems, but it could go a long way towards maintaining accessibility for patients. You'd be surprised to find how many patients have to travel miles and miles to find a doctor who can afford to take their insurance and still cover overhead costs. I've actually been surprised to see how much work physicians are willing to do pro bono, but we can't give it all away for free.

    That being said, Baybe, keep looking until you find someone who's willing to listen to you long enough to at least identify all your problems. Then you'll have a fighting chance.

    Good luck,
  4. Takesha

    Takesha New Member

    It is the Insurances and HMO's that regulate the doctors and the treatment and in some cases even the medications we receive. After working in a hospital and having to get approvals I am too familiar with how it works. When I first went back to school I thought I would become a Medical Coder, but after just one class dealing with Insurances I said no way...If the class makes me mad, what would the job do. True, there may be some Drs. who are not totally righteous but I think they are in the minority. This, however is just may opinion
  5. kar1953

    kar1953 New Member

    I sure am thankful for my doctors. There is not one of them that does not spend as much time with me as I need. Every one from my family dr. to my gyno to my gastro to my fms doc always make sure my questions are all answered. They do not make me feel like I am just another dollar in their pocket. Maybe it's because most are not in a big city. Maybe that's the difference. In the rural communities people are not rushed like in the big cities. If nothing else this post makes me thankful for who I have for my medical team.

    I do understand exactly what madwolf is saying about the overhead & being buried in paperwork. I can't imagine. I know the ins. paperwork I personally have - it's a pain in the you know what! Malpractice ins. drove my long time gyno out of private practice. He just couldn't afford the outrageous premiums anymore. It's a shame that docs have to leave their practice of so many years because of the ins. rates.

    Well, I said my piece!

    Take care.......Kathi
  6. baybe

    baybe New Member

    I've worked for Insurance companies and doctors and rehabs and sorry, I'm not buying any poor doctor stories. I see what I am charged and I realize malpractice is high, but that is a problem for doctors,jurors and legislators. Personally, I have seen alot of malpractice go unpunished because people are frightened of the shunning type behavior doctors practice. It seems to me the only lawsuits that really make it are the Class Action ones which to me seem crimnal, but it's the system we use in this country. But I am not buying the poor doctor. I have known several and seen many and these people are making a darn good living. I'm here for my health and if I need to push for better health care I can hardly leave the poor doctors out of the loop.
  7. baybe

    baybe New Member

    I live in an area where there is a doctor shortage and as far as I'm concerned I am receiving second rate treatment at top rate dollars. For a time I went to a physician who does the trigger point injections, he had no secretary or nurse, he ran the whole place on his own, he hates to part with a buck. I was charged $200. per injection of lidocaine which he maxed out at 3 this took him a total of 15 to 20 minutes, the insurance company pays him in full. these are the facts.
  8. outraged

    outraged New Member

    Hi all!

    Quite frankly, after several years of suffering from excrutiating pain, losing three houses, several jobs, my identity, my life, the list goes on and on, I am no longer interested in all of the "whys"...why I have to suffer, why I cannot get the medications I need to live a fully functional life. I shouldn't have to figure out how to fix the healthcare system, the financial difficulties of running a doctor's office/practice, etc.!
    All I want is to be treated with respect, hopefully for longer than 7 minutes, be believed when I advise the doctor(s) of the horrendous pain I suffer from (instead of treated like some drug abuser) and have my pain assessed properly, and, to be provided with medication(s) that will relieve my suffering, thus allowing me to live the life I once did, with the same freedoms and opportunities as every other American.
    I hope I haven't offended anyone here but I'm so tired of hearing reasons why I/we can't be helped.

    God Bless,

  9. Dara

    Dara New Member

    to have a doctor who spends as much time as I need with me. My previous doc, who retired, was absolutely wonderful. He would sit down with me like we were having a friendly little chat, he'd ask questions, I'd end up telling him things that were bothering me (emotionally) that I didn't even know were bothering me. He did retire after moving his private practice in with a large HMO, he was never happy after that. He said he would not allow the insurance company to tell him how he would treat his patients. Anyway, he was great but so is the one I have now. I really can not complain about any lack of treatment or understanding from them.

  10. goingslowlycrazy

    goingslowlycrazy New Member

    You can come out after seeing a sympathetic doctor, who makes seven minutes feel like an hour
    after seven minutes of listening to utter rubbish and wanting to never see a doc again!

    I don't think it's the time factor - it all depends on the doc and how he or she is.
    Just my humble opinion...
    Mary x
  11. tansy

    tansy New Member

    A lot can be achieved in 7 minutes if the doc truly listens to what you have to say and asks the right questions.

    Recently had a long consultation with a haematologist, most of it spent with him giving me lectures about what he believed to be the facts.

    He made one vaguely useful recommendation, but didn't make the referral he'd said he'd make nor write to a genuine specialist regarding one problem.

    I came out exhausted and angry.

    The eye specialist I saw had far less time with me. But what a difference; an exchange of ideas, facts, questions, answers. Even though she feels unable to treat my problem she's arranged another test because she understands my need to know.

    I spent 30 minutes with the first specialist and no more than 5 minutes (folllowing eye exam)with the second.

    So time is not what matters.


    [This Message was Edited on 05/16/2003]
  12. AnnetClo

    AnnetClo New Member

    Hurray for you. Your doc probably manages because he got into medicine to help and not for the profits.

    To madwolf, as an RN, I know just how insurances have screwed up medical treatment and I know docs have to see so many patients to make it a good financial career. But you asked, "you don't want the second best treating you, do you?" I would answer "no, but I do want one that knows that some patients take 30 min, 45 min, etc and if I'm one of those patients, then I expect them to take that time to hear me". Besides, all of those times they are in and out in 2 minutes flat should help even out some of the longer visits.

    Another thing that I found when I worked in the ER is that some people want to draw out time with docs and nurses for reasons other than medical treatment. You can't imagine how many people we saw that I swear were just in the ER for the company. They wanted to tell you about the kids, the grandkids, the pets, operations Aunt Mary had, etc. You get the picture. So I make sure that I make a list before I go in to the doc. Especially now with this d**n fibrofog. That way we get right to the point of my visit. And if he can see me, hear me and treat me in 7 minutes, I'm completely satisfied. Hell, if he can do it in 3 minutes I'm satisfied. It's the ones who just keep repeating "um hm" "um hmm" or ask me a question and then interrupt me before I can answer that piss me off.

    However, since I've heard such great things about you, I know you don't do this. :)

  13. Bambi

    Bambi New Member

    charge for malpractice insurance according to a doctors record and the Medical Boards should get rid of the
    ones who DO the most malpractice! Doctors with clean or not their fault
    records should be rewarded with lower
    insuance fees--like nonsmokers are on
    health insurance and life insurance.
    My doctor would be making $64,000
    per week unless my addition is way off..and I stink at math, but I think
    that's right at 8 patients per hour.
    So deduct the sandwich he eats while
    he goes between rooms and the drug salesmen he sees now and then. Say you could reduce it to $55,000 a week
    but add Saturday half a day and that
    brings it back up considerably. WHEW!
    I love my doctor and most times I don't need more than seven minutes of
    his time, while at other times I need
    15 minutes..he charges the insurance
    company more for 15 than for 7. My husband works out in the hot Arizona
    sun as a foreman over 14 men for about $3,000 a week. Hmmm, I'll trade
    incomes for sure, in spite of the
    cost of malpractice insurance (many
    doctors here have quit carrying it
    anyway)and the front end lady who
    also takes your blood pressure and
    asks you what your visit is for. He
    owns the building where he's practiced for years but still has
    lights, air conditioning and a cleaning service. The equipment he
    has (basic like examining tables etc.
    were paid for years ago) and he doesn't have a lot of new equipment.
    He does travel to a lot of conferences and all but most of that
    is paid for by the people giving the
    conferences and if not it's tax
    deductible. He lives in a BIG home on
    the side of the most prestigious mountains in our valley, drives a
    new BMW, is in the Country Club and
    is paid well for speeches he gives on
    top of his office work. I do not for
    a minute say he doesn't deserve every
    thing he gets, or any perks he receives..but "poor doctor"...I don't
    think so. Somewhere you have to figure in the love of the work, which
    my doctor DOES have too. The younger
    ones that are paying off their college costs etc.have it rougher but
    their day will come too. If things
    were real fair my doctor would have
    reduced costs for malpractice insurance as he's never had one complaint. I'd vote for that if they
    put it on a ballot. Once again it's
    the Senators and Congress people who
    are owned by the insurance companies
    that make THAT the way it is! Bottom
    line~WE are not at fault for any of
    it. If we are injured we SHOULD be
    able to sue..if they cut off your left leg when it was supposed to be
    your right or something dire, we
    should be fairly compensated! All we
    do is get sick, or in pain or whatever sends us to the doctor in the first place, so we deserve the
    best service and care available. If we have insurance through employers
    we pay for that and so pay our own
    way. Those on Disability paid for the
    insurance when they worked, so they
    paid their way. The rest the government should take care of in the
    richest (or used to be) country in the world. (Of course as of today each and every family owes $69,800 for the national debt..but people haven't waked up to that yet!) I'm
    rambling but basically I don't feel
    sorry for most established doctors.
    Some of those who pay the highest
    malpractice insurance or can't get it
    are in that fix for GOOD reason.
    Hugs, Bambi
  14. Princessraye

    Princessraye New Member

    Hey for once my ability to be a fast talker may pay off. I can get in a lot of words in my part of the 7 minutes! LOL

    But seriously , the Dr.'s need their own lobbyist to go to Washington to fight against these insurance idiots who have lobbyists all over the place.
  15. baybe

    baybe New Member

    I did not mean to insult anyone personally, so I would expect that wishing me lousy medical service under the assumption that I am cheap is well a cheap shot. I merely bring up the question of medical care in general in the US, and my reason for bringing it up is because I hope with strength and the Good Graces of heaven above, I will be able to make a difference in my Countries Health Care Agenda, which includes all the problems discussed here not just aimed at physicians. My belief is until we become recognized by the Government and the Medical crunch is brought to the attention of our lawmakers this vicious cycle will continue, not just for us but for the Physicians that are under these restraints. I'm sure that the physicians that are on the Advisory Board here would agree, I heard Dr. Teiltelbaum speak and acknowledge the problem and told the audience to bypass the physician and order the test they needed on there own.
  16. clueless

    clueless New Member

    This is sad that doctoring has turned into such a business that people can not feel they are treated fairly. 7min---- ridiculous!!!! Einstein could not do it in that time frame.It leaves people like myself that does`nt trust any doctor because I am not so stupid as to think he can make a fair anaylis of my problems in 7 min. My primary DR. is on emergency medical leave (no one knows for how long). The last time I saw him he was tired, harried and rushing into the next examining room. Nothing good comes out of an appointment with a doctor in that shape.Give us a break!! The insurance companies have really made a mess of our care. The whole thing makes me angry!!! I hurt and would like to feel I have a doctor who gives a darn!!!!
  17. Bellesmom

    Bellesmom New Member

    I recently got up my courage and went to a "new" doctor because in my 7 minutes or whatever I could not get my original PCP to even look at me after the first couple of months of "treatment."

    This new female doctor's eyebrows went to her hairline when she saw that I was an "out of pocket" patient. She works in a clinic where you can pay on a scale if you qualify. We are not dirt poor but we have more bills than income and we still didn't qualify for a break. But the clinic is nearby so I got to pay $80 for her time (it WAS more than 7 minutes) and I thought it was well worth it. I can think of food, bills, etc., I could have paid with that $80 but since I have no health insurance and on and on, I paid it. Now I go back in a month for the "real" exam which will, no doubt, be triple or more than the initial $80. She is going to get paperwork from my other two doctors to try to see if I really have what they say I do (FMS/CFIDS).

    Problem is I need care and have nowhere to go. I have been sitting at home quietly suffering for the last almost 3 years. I am trying to get disability which I cannot hope to qualify for without paperwork. I would like to feel I deserve a "good" doctor who really cares about me. Who are we kidding here? I have to either keep my mouth shut and die with this dd or try with what little resources we have to get some help.

    What are we, the little people, supposed to do? For 7 minutes I would just like to have someone care about me, listen to me, and maybe offer to help me a little.

    I type up a little paper each time I go to the doctor describing current problems, how my illness started, etc. With my original doctor that is what I did, also. He seemed very indifferent and only wanted to write me prescriptions for anti-depressants. When I tried to tell him my body didn't react well to them he seemed slightly offended.

    All any of us on this board want is someone who will listen - so we have to figure out how to get their attention in whatever time they give us. I like Mikie's approach - that this is a game and we have to think about how to play it to benefit ourselves. At least that's what I've gotten from her wonderful input.

    So - get the game going by helping these 7-minute wonders in any way we can, I guess. I can't afford to shop for a doctor so I'm stuck but some of you can try for better and I sincerely wish you all the best.

    Bottom line - we need help and we're not getting it. Can we do anything to change that?

    I'm really excited that so many are making some sort an effort to attract media attention to our plight. Never give up, never!!!!!!! One day someone is going to connect with just the right person(s) who will say just the right thing at the right time and help will be on the way. Sadly I don't think it will be in time for me and those of my age.

    Sorry - didn't mean to ramble on. So much to say, don't get here often so I say it all at once. Probably no one will read this anyway. Thanks for letting me talk!!

    Spanaway, WA