Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Navigating the health care system- doctor shopping

A lot of people will go from hospital to hospital looking for the answer to their problem (or more drugs to treat their problem..) and never find it. They show up at one hospital with abdominal pain, have an evaluation, are discharged and don't followup with their primary care provider. Then the pain comes back so they show up at another hospital and the whole process is repeated.

A lot of people think that all medical records are available online and we can access any records from anywhere. This is not the case everywhere. (I don't even know if it's the case anywhere- let me know if it is where you live!) We can't even access the records of the pediatric clinic directly above us unless we go upstairs and get their paper chart. So if you show up at a hospital with a problem that has already been evaluated at another hospital you are likely to be back at square one and still not get any answers. Not to mention your insurance company gets a bill for more tests that you already had. Yes, the ineffieiency of our health care system. Unfortunately, that's just the way it is.

Bottom line here- if you go somewhere and you get treatment for a problem and it doesn't work then go back to your primary care provider for followup. If you show up at the ED over and over for the problem or go to a different hospital you will not get any closer to finding the answer to your problem.

Doctor shopping doesn't help you or anyone else.
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  1. great advice... and nicely said. not to mention the increased cost in medical insurance because of ED visits

  2. You shouldn't be going to the ED anyway, you should go to your primary care doctor/nurse practitioner. They know you and your history and should be the gatekeepers for your healthcare. What a waste to go to the ED if you aren't having a real emergency: heart attack, stroke, major injury, etc.
    See my post: http://fnp2011.wordpress.com/2010/11/28/saving-your-own-healthcare/