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The Patient: The Most Important Member Of The Healthcare Team

Do you feel patients are the most important part of the medical (healthcare) team?

In a recent post on Health in 30, “When Doctors and Nurses Work Together,” I wrote about the team-based approach for caring and treating patients, and it addressed the relationship between nurses, doctors, patients and the importance of a multidisciplinary, team-based approach to patient care.

The healthcare team is comprised of a diverse group of specialized professionals, and the most important part of the medical team is the patient.

Subsequent to publishing this post, I received an email from an author and patient advocate stating that patients are not the most important member of the medical team. I value and respect this comment, however I politely and passionately disagree. As a registered nurse and consumer health advocate, I emphatically say that patients are the most important part of the medical team. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Health in 30*

Newborn Denied Care For “Pre-Existing Condition”

Thanks to reader “m.scott” for alerting me to the latest Corporate Hall of Shame award. Blue Cross and Blue Shield (BCBS) of Texas is the winner for it’s egregious denial of care for a 10-day-old baby who was born with a congenital heart defect. Coverage for surgery to treat transposition of the great arteries was denied for — are you ready for this — a “pre-existing condition.” The baby’s parents had previously purchased coverage for their two other children, but were denied coverage for their newborn baby.

Denial of care for children will not be allowed when the new healthcare reform laws go into effect. Until then, it’s business as usual for the likes of BCBS of Texas.

*This blog post was originally published at EverythingHealth*

Grace-Marie Turner: Should Congress Expand Health Insurance To Cover All Children? No

Some thoughts to chew on from Grace-Marie Turner:

But expanding SCHIP to cover all children would be a mistake, for four reasons:

1. First, Congress should make sure poorer, uninsured children are covered first. At least two-thirds of uninsured children already are eligible for SCHIP or Medicaid but aren’t enrolled. If SCHIP were expanded to cover children in higher-income families, their parents would rush to the head of the line to get the taxpayer-subsidized coverage. When a “free” government plan is offered, it’s nearly impossible to resist. Poorer children would be left behind as states focus on enrolling higher-income kids.

2. Second, expanding the program would “crowd out” the private insurance many higher-income kids already have. Hawaii offers proof. Earlier this year, the state created a new taxpayer-financed program to fill the gap between private and public insurance in an effort to provide universal coverage for children. But state officials found families were dropping private coverage to enroll their children in the government plan. When Gov. Linda Lingle saw the data, she pulled the plug on funding. With Hawaii facing budget shortfalls, she said it was unwise to spend public money to replace private coverage children already had.

3. Third, putting many millions of children on a government program will quickly lead to restrictions on access to care. A young boy died in Baltimore not long ago from an untreated tooth infection, even though he was enrolled in SCHIP. Few dentists can afford to take SCHIP patients because the program’s reimbursement rates are so low. The boy’s mother couldn’t find a dentist to see him. In Massachusetts’ move toward universal health coverage, more people have insurance, but they are finding that physicians’ practices are often filled, with waiting lists for a new patient appointment at 100 days and counting. Putting more children on SCHIP will add to the program’s financial pressures, making it harder for poorer kids to get care.

 

4. Finally, government insurance means that politicians and bureaucrats, not parents, make decisions about the care children receive and about what services will or will not be covered.




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