Sunday, August 23, 2009

Mary Kay: in Response to "the Cost Conundrum"

First, I wanted to express how thoughtful your comments are and that I agree with your comments on the discussions. I was thinking before you wrote your last piece how it would be so great if the intelligence of this family could be productive and constructive as well as entertaining and thought provoking.

I just finished reading "The Cost Conundrum" and was overwhelmed with thoughts. Visualizing my own health-care and how sometimes it's been like McAllen and some times Mayo depending on where I've gone. Also, my daughter, Kellie, is pre-med out in Colorado and the discussions we've had on medical ethics. She's found that UCC is much more focused on teaching empathy and compassion than USF or UNC. This is her third university because her husband is in the army. It has however given her great perspective. But they are finally settled for a while and bought a house. She will graduate in the Spring w/ a Masters in Biochemistry. I am going to forward this article to her as she will enjoy it also.

Teaching hospitals such as Johns Hopkins University Hospital can be much like McAllen. Same result, but different reasoning. I will not go back there with the exception of my eye doctor who is completely different from the three other specialists I've seen. But he has studied and teaches medical ethics. He has also been disgusted with my treatment from the other doctors there and doesn't recommend anyone anymore. He spends as much time as is necessary with his patients and told me years ago that I would not go blind on his watch. I only have to see him once a year now.

This article also caused a light-bulb moment for me regarding pain scales and how they ask you on a scale of 1-10 how bad is the pain? Sometimes this is evident like when I broke my arm, but most of the time pain scales are totally subjective and relative to the patient. I thought - a more appropriate question might be "On a scale of 1-10 how much does this problem affect your productivity?" And maybe that's the question they ask at places like the Mayo Centers.

However, the issue that stood out the most to me was the horrible conflicts of interest. The Renaissance Hospital reminded me of the person/company cutting your grass also being the one to fertilize it. Blatant conflict of interest. But most homeowners don't know this. All they're thinking is that they only have to call one person and my grass is green. "caviat emptor"

So the bottom line for me is that I want to support the Mayos and Grand Junctions of health-care and what's the best way to do this? I am going to take it with me to visit Congressman Bartlett next week.

Thank you!

Mary Kay

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