We, the chronically ill, have many, many health problems. A cold is not just a cold. The flu is dangerous. We must see specialists often. We need many medications, which are often very expensive. So, generally we are a pain in the ass for the health care system.
I think, though, we would be less a pain in the ass if we were able to get the care we need in a more efficient, and less complicated, manner. Case in point: I need to start physical therapy. So, after asking doctor for written referral, I looked online to see which physical therapists accept my insurance. Friday, I called, made an appointment and was told that their benefits person would check my coverage and call me back to explain what the coverage was. That was all fine.
Got a call this morning from benefits person. They no longer accept my insurance. Ok then. So, I call the insurance company to get a list of physical therapists in my area.
There were two.
Tried to look both up online to compare; no website for either of them, though one is associated with a very nice skilled nursing center. I pick one and call the number given to me. They no longer have a physical therapist at their location.
Which brings me down to one choice, the one housed with the senior home. I call them. She very nicely said maybe they could help but they have been having problems lately getting authorization from my insurance company because “we are listed wrong in their system.”
So I am down to maybe hopefully one?
Here’s the thing: I NEED physical therapy. I would assume everyone involved would like me to be able to function, to work, to do the things I need to do. Because then I am healthier and less costly to the health care system. Right?
Except I am having to scramble to find someone to help me. And how often do I hear stories of others with chronic illnesses who must fight for drug coverage or must fight to see a specialist or who must jump through hoops to get the necessary care. It’s insane.
Because here’s the truth of it: this fight to get health care, to get our bodies even just a little better, this fight makes us sicker. The stress and the worry and the energy we have to spend on the phone with insurance companies and doctors and pharmacies- all of that adds up to a drain our weakened bodies.
So yeah, the problem with the way our health care system is set up right now is that it makes us sicker. Instead of doing its job, which is to make us well.
Hopefully I will get good news about the PT. Otherwise, more fighting for me.