When we talk about bad healthcare, we're normally talking about one of two things: price or quality.But Sarah Kliff, writing for Vox, identifies a third way the American health care system exploits and mistreats patients: by taking advantage of their time.Physicians, specialists, clinics, pharmacists, and hospitals in the US all tend to function independently of one another.
In part because of that de-centralized setup, they tend not to share patient data with one another very well.In other words, all the professionals you encounter as you move through the healthcare system aren t responsible for coordinating or communicating with one another.
That means each of us is burdened with the time-consuming and stressful task of coordinating our own care in a system that's often maddeningly complex.Kliff gives a personal example of the strife this can cause:Last December, a doctor told me to get an MRI and see him again three weeks later to go over the results.
I knew it would require his office putting together a justification for the scan and sending that to my insurance company.
That can be a full time job, and one they may not be very good at.What's more, doctors aren't measured on or held accountable for the amount of work their patients have to do.
Last Thursday I spent 90 minutes waiting to see my doctor, right in the middle of a workday, and my boss didn't bat an eye.Not everyone has this luxury.