Stories

Actually, High-Tech Imaging Can Be High-Value Medicine

Posted by on Apr 14, 2014 in Blog, Stories | 1 comment

Actually, High-Tech Imaging Can Be High-Value Medicine

By Karan Chhabra “Can you hear it?” she asked with a smile. The thin, pleasant lady seemed as struck by her murmur as I was. She was calm, perhaps amused by the clumsy second-year medical student listening to her heart. “Yes, yes I can,” I replied, barely concealing my excitement. We had just learned about the heart sounds in class. This was my first time hearing anything abnormal on a patient, though it was impossible to miss—her heart was practically shouting at me. Her mitral valve prolapse—a fairly common, benign condition—had progressed into acute mitral regurgitation....

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I’ll Do It for $1,110

Posted by on Apr 7, 2014 in Blog, Stories | 1 comment

I’ll Do It for $1,110

By Robert Gray, MD Where I’m from, you can have someone killed for $5000.  I will do it for $1,110. I’m a hand surgeon. I practice (or practiced, by the time you read this) in an area that is what we often refer to as “underserved.”   Rather, the area isn’t, but the people I treat are.  I work in a large urban referral center that has a very high proportion of Medicaid  as well as unfunded patients.  No one else in town will touch them.  I am not blaming them–they are in private practice and they can’t cover their expenses if they are paid nothing or close to nothing...

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Labor and Delivery

Posted by on Mar 31, 2014 in Blog, Stories | 3 comments

Labor and Delivery

By Ashley Lane On December 31, 2011 right before midnight, I took the test of excitement and new beginnings and found out that I was pregnant. While this news was joyous in nature, it was soon marred by uncertainty and harsh reality. After my test, I followed up with a doctor’s visit a month later, as was expected, and soon learned that the cost for this bundle of joy would be around $12,000 to $15,000 plus. My husband was a student in school and while I did have insurance, I did not understand the terminology behind it. Speaking to Jill the financial advisor lady, I was told “Since you...

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Revealing Previously Unexposed Vulnerabilities

Posted by on Mar 24, 2014 in Blog, Stories | 0 comments

Revealing Previously Unexposed Vulnerabilities

By Laura Sander, MD MPH “I walked in a person, and out a cancer patient,” my Dad said as we filed home. Crossing this threshold, we found ourselves on the other side of medicine – the side on the exam table or gurney, as opposed to the one standing over it. As a physician I was used to the latter. This is my family’s story in our new position, and how the cost of medical care has impacted us. My father – an engineer – worked furiously. His “free time” was consumed with jogging, fixing household items, doing yard work – essentially anything to keep busy. As an American...

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Compassionate Strategies and the Costs of Care

Posted by on Mar 17, 2014 in Blog, Stories | 1 comment

Compassionate Strategies and the Costs of Care

By Narine Wandrey  Bewildered, panicked, and disheartened…I watched my mother’s eyes dart back and forth as she read the pharmacy’s prescription cash price list, knowing she could not possibly dig deep enough in her faded purse to pay for her monthly medicines. In her early fifties, she did not qualify for Medicare, nor could we afford the COBRA payments that would extend coverage for our family since my father’s recent lay off.  We drove home, not saying a word, but I knew she was deeply distraught.  Her remaining medications had been squirrelled away in a small metal box which...

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