Thursday, November 19, 2009

Preventative Health Care doesn't pay

These are just two of the multiple problems I saw today, and keep in mind the fact that my specialty is women's preventative health care:

  • A patient early 20's, black woman, just left my office-she refused a trip to the E.R. via ambulance because she does not have health insurance; so she is out there driving on our freeways in rush hour traffic with a blood pressure of 185/115. She was covered under her parents insurance-until last month, now she is uninsurable. She will have to quit her job to qualify for Medicaid so she can get the health care she needs.
  • A 38 year old black woman with blood pressure 169/88, has never had the medical work-up she needs because she is unemployed and has no insurance. Yes, she knows that black women have higher rate of hypertension, stroke, heart attacks and renal failure.

But hey, from a Republican “we can’t afford preventative health care for everyone because it might cut into the profits of a few if we don't have enough sick people” standpoint, the good news is that DaVita stock is at a 52 week high with earnings of $110.9 million this quarter up from $93.9 million the same quarter last year. Yes, that is earnings. DaVita’s net operating revenue for the second quarter was $1.52 billion. DaVita's profits are getting ready to jump higher as the above two patients will likely need dialysis soon, and they will qualify for Medicare to pay for it.

All I can do in the meantime is send them to get fregmented care and stand in lines in the Free Clinics, give them self-help information and try to get them to tell their stories themselves. Minority women: you must demand your seat in the front of this healthcare bus!

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