Thursday, March 01, 2007

Dr. Big Bucks $$$$$

Yesterday I went to a doctors’ office that I haven’t been to before. Once inside the huge building that their offices take up the entire building I felt I was in the office of a big business rather than a doctor’s office. I wondered where its priorities were: to serve the medical needs of the community or to make money like a big corporation? That is a stupid question after looking around, to make money of course!

But they just can’t sit around and make money. They need a service or product. They offer a service, which is a medical service. And they also have a product – they pretty much demand you the medicine you are prescribed there from their in-house pharmacy.

I doubt if they will be lobbying for socialize medicine anytime soon.

My appointment was at 10:45, which means 10:15, If you are new you to report 30 minutes early to fill out the forms. I arrived about 10:10, I have a curse of always being early, I can’t help it.

I filled out the pages and pages of questionnaires. Several times I on different sheets I was asked the same question – were they testing to see if I was consistent? One of the forms was I had to read a long statement of the rules and regulations of their In-House Pharmacy and answer some questions. One of the questions was: Do you have to have your prescription filled someplace else? And I said yes. And the question below said “Explain”. Which I left blank, I prefer to shop around for the best price, which I don’t feel I am obligated to “explain” that.

As I said, my appointment was at 10:45. I was finally called back almost at 11;45, almost an hour later. Business must be good.

The nurse that called me back looked almost exactly like the receptionist at the sign-in desk – slim with bottled blond hair… in fact, the other receptionist at another sign in desk just 25 feet away had the same look. Do they make clones here?

First, the nurse took me to the X-Ray department and a female technician took 6 pictures of my shoulder from ever possible angle. While she was doing this and running back and forth from the shield and the machine that processed the X-Rays she was talking to another lady not in my view who apparently very recently had a fierce knock down drag out word-fight with another bitch. The x-ray tech, who was not too much beyond a teenager herself, was giving her some mature motherly advice. She told her she was working in an environment with other people and she was going have to learn to get along with people and the girl out of view said, “Well, she started it, she needs to hear what you are saying too.” And the tech said, yes, and she was going to tell her the same thing.

I was hoping maybe the tech would go get the other fighter and try to get them to shake hands and they start bad mouthing each other again and maybe this time have a full blow-out fight pulling hair, tearing nurses colorful printed uniform-shirts and all.

The X-Ray technician carried me to a room and said the doctor would be alone soon.

The room was decorated in Indiana University décor. Three framed pictures of activities of the UI were on the wall. On the counter was a coffee-table book about the Indiana University Sports Department. On the inside page it said “this book belongs to Dr. William Big Bucks

Dr Big Bucks honored me with his brief presence. After all, time is money, and since I said I would not be using their pharmacy I wasn’t exactly a team player was I?

He briefly looked at my shoulder and said there was a little inflammation. He said he would prescribed anti-inflammation pill but some other medicine I take (Plavax) was not compatible with the other. But, he would suggest I use ice packs and he said the nurse would give me a prescription for physical therapy…. And zoom! Out the door! Time is money, 40 patients an hour or maybe more!

I think I could have held my breath the whole time he was there, or at least close, before I had to breath.

The nurse came in with a prescription for physical therapy. She said Medicare will pay for it all (why would a nurse know that?) and I could go to any listed on the back page of the prescription. There are about 20 or so physical therapy places listed on the back, all owned by them.

Money heals.

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Blogger kenju said...

Yes! I've been to similar medicine mills.

1:42 PM  
Blogger ET said...

That is what they are: :Medicine Mills"

1:47 PM  
Blogger Suzanne said...

Wow, don't you feel cared for? This is why I hate doctors.

7:45 PM  
Blogger Steve said...

I had a dr once who used to keep me waiting for half an hour, then it became one, then 1 1/2. The last time i went to this particular guy, he didnt even know I was in for a check up and I didnt have anything to eat and it was 1 PM. Then he was sort of like "Oh yeah, sorry about that." Lets reschedule.

I think the big drug cos are ruining docs.

1:50 AM  
Blogger ET said...

Suzanne & Steve,
Anna has a gyn doctor who is always running behind. Why? Because she spends as much time as needed with each patient. That is way I think all doctors should be.

4:43 AM  

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