Friday, February 2, 2007

Greed vs Care

"First do no harm"
All doctors take that oath. It is supposed to be in their code of ethics. There are doctors and then there are DOCTORS.
There are the doctors you see once in a great while and are interchangeable and then there are the ones who have a special significance, they are there for the long haul--emotionally, medically and personally-- or are they?

One would think that an oncologist or a oncology breast surgeon would be in that category. If you are a survivor you have formed a bond with these people. They are part of your comfort zone and they are your special forces when it is time for battle. They know everything you went through and are there to keep you alive. They make a good living.

But imagine, suddenly, you are told that your support is no longer going to "accept you" because you have an insurance company that takes too long to pay them or their reimbursement rates are not "high enough" for them. They inform you that you are now out of network and must pay them out of your own pocket. The very same pocket you are paying monthly premiums to the insurance company. Easy fix? No. You are a cancer survivor. You have a pre-existing condition. NO OTHER INSURANCE COMPANY WILL TAKE YOU.

You are faced with a recurrance of your cancer. Where do you go? It would be so nice if you could return to your "team" but they won't accept you. So you must find an entirely new team and start from scratch. A new doctor who doesn't know that you reacted to that chemo in bad way or that you are allergic to regular tape but not paper tape.

What has happened to these doctors? They lost their focus. They lost the reason they are in their particular specialty-- to care for those who have life threatening diseases and to care for them forever....

They would prefer to get $15 more from Aetna than what Oxford will send them as a reimbursement. But what about the patient who is behind the health plan? What about the unspoken bond you made with them? The fifteen bucks wins out.

First do no harm?


UPDATE: Now that is has been confirmed that my cancer has returned- BOTH my Breast Surgeon and Oncologist are finding me new doctors to continue my care.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

thank you for this. My oncologist stopped taking my insurance too. I just completed treatments in July and feel lost.

I have felt like a victim but now i see I should be good and mad.