Alex (yakshaver) wrote,
Alex
yakshaver

Health Care Mess

One of my disappointments with President Obama is that, while the US has now sort-of joined the first world in terms of taking care its citizens' health-care needs, we have done so through what is essentially an enormous welfare system for insurance executives. What incentives there are for efficiency remain based, not in a cost-benefit analysis of total costs over net health-care outcomes, but in terms of insurer profits. And there remain few if any incentives for the consumer to find efficiencies. Not even a basis for the we're-all-in-this-together sentiment that leads me to occasionally pick up litter on the street or put a knocked-over traffic cone back where I think it belongs.

I broke my right big toe on Thursday. After deciding it would be a bad idea to to put shoes on and a worse idea to drive barefoot, I called 911, and the Arlington FD took me to Mt. Auburn. A few hours later, I took an Uber home, grateful for an option that would allow me lots of room to maneuver without bashing into anything with my toe. Getting to sleep was a pain: my foot would twitch a little, which would then hurt like hell, and I'd involuntarily kick. But I had oxycodone, so all was well.

Around 02:00 I woke up in a lot of pain, and noticed that the splint was now pointing at roughly a 30-degree angle off where it should have been — the same angle my toe had been pointing in after the fall, clueing me in that there was something seriously wrong.

So, back to the ER. It feels ridiculous to call 911 for this, so Uber again. Get to the ER, show them my ID bracelet from earlier. (Which they take off in order to give me a new one and admit me afresh.) 04:30 I take another Uber home, in a fresh, higher-tech splint.

So at this point I'm out of pocket $35 for the second Uber, and BCBS is ahead the price of one ambulance trip. I am, in short, out $35 because waste makes me feel bad. Some executive at BCBS gets a Havana because I'm an idiot.

Fast forward to this morning: I wake up, and discover that I have managed to kick the splint off in my sleep. But hey, it's daylight, so I can go to the walk-in clinic instead of the ER. Thereby saving BCBS a few $hundred. But then I remember how far a walk the walk-in clinic at MAH is from the nearest door (a walk that in present circumstances will take me probably half an hour and hurt like hell), and decide BCBS guy will have to get by with one fewer cigars.

So now to decide how to get there. One thing for sure: saving BCBS money is not going to be the driving factor in that decision.
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