for Championing Care
Real Stories from Real People
patients & families having a voice, sharing experiences at the ground level
How dare you ask about co-pay
I went to the doctor, had a diagnosis that I needed a commonly done elective surgery - it was not urgent, emergent as in life threatening. The surgeon stated it needed to be delayed because of Covid. After elective surgeries were being scheduled again, the surgeon's office stated I needed to come back in and be assessed all over again before they could reschedule.
When I called the office, I asked if they were going to bill me for a second co-payment charge, when I was already diagnosed, and I am being told to come back in due to their cancelation; and was put on hold after the admin stated she had no idea.
Avoiding the doctor shuffle
A seven year old child relayed to his mother that his head constantly hurt. The mother had her child assessed by the Pediatrician, showing no neurological deficits/symptoms, only the headache. The mother went through an elimination process of having his eyes & ears assessed as possible cause. She continued to journal what made his headache worse such as running, with continuation of no other symptoms, eliminating any food allergies and misalignment of neck and spine with a Chiropractor. After continued week of head aching, she contacted her Pediatrician to determine if the next step CAT Scan or an MRI. The Pediatrician referred her to the Children's Hospital. The mother stated, "They have me scheduled with a Physician Assistant (PA) and a Behavioral Health Specialist (BHS).
The doctor was asking me if my son took pills. I stated, "No." He then continued to counsel me that I need to train my son about pill taking because it is important. He was coaching me to condition my son for taking pills "start with ice cream sprinkles, then swallowing mini-M&Ms and the full size M&Ms so he can take multiple pills at once."
Hospitals are classified as acute care centers for treatment of acute conditions, so I can go home and recoup/rehab. Emergency rooms (ERs) are part of Emergency Departments (EDs) as the point of entry to be stabilized for admission as an inpatient or go immediately to surgery. If it is not life threatening or severe, I should first go to an Urgent Care Center (UCC).
My dad was readmitted into the hospital. They needed to plug something? for a pleural effusion, first needing to get his blood work correct from his blood thinners (10?). They said his blood work was good Friday night but because it was a holiday weekend, they were not going to do the procedure until Monday. He was in the hospital for seven days.
My dad was in the hospital over Thanksgiving and we got so agitated and more stressed by the time the fifth person walked in not knowing why my dad was even there, asking the same questions over and over. I finally went home and came back with all his medications listed on a piece of paper and handed to them and said, "read it." People kept coming and going even a priest when my dad is Jewish.
My mom was in the hospital for kidney stones and they did a great job coming in regularly to ask how she was doing and managing her pain every few hours. Her only complaint was the ten pounds of fluid they put on her.
My mom has severe dementia in her 80s and fell in the long term facility where she was living. After the hospital, they took her to rehab for weeks.
A couple of months later my mother became unresponsive. The home called an ambulance and she was taken to the emergency room (ER) where she revived and was fine. The doctors speculated her heart rate went very low in the 30s-40s and then came back up on its own, no treatment.
An elderly woman with confusion, vomiting, weakness and malaise is taken to the ER, admitted for a three day hospital stay and discharged. She was given a patient experience survey with the response, "Oh, they took such good care of me, they were all so nice."
I wish I knew
a voice for the public to share & learn about healthcare experiences; because the universal response heard after healthcare struggles is,