Creating a Better Healthcare Experience

Today’s Diabetes Blog Week prompt is all about the healthcare experience. Here it is:

Most people who live with a chronic illness end up with a lot of experience when it comes to dealing with healthcare. How would you improve or change your healthcare experience? What would you like to see happening during medical visits with your healthcare team? How about when dealing with your health insurance companies? What’s your Healthcare Wish List or Biggest Frustration? Today is the day to share it all!

I have to acknowledge that I’m in an excellent place when it comes to healthcare. I truly have access to world class medical care living in Cleveland. Overall I have a good team and I can’t relate to all of the horror stories that I hear from others, but my care is not perfect.

There are always areas to improve. In U.S. healthcare, the first area to improve is insurance. Somehow in our twisted system, the insurance companies started determining care, not doctors. Pharmacies will literally fill prescriptions differently than written if the insurance company pushes back. Even doctors will bow to the demands of insurance.

Once when my endocrinologist was on vacation, insurance denied my Apidra so the doctor filling in for her wrote me a script for Humalog without seeing me, contacting me and I assume reading my chart. When I asked why a doctor I didn’t know wrote me a prescription for an insulin I don’t take, the response I got was that insurance wouldn’t let me have Apidra and they didn’t see any reason I couldn’t be on Humalog. Never mind all the reasons why I take Apidra and all of the prior authorization paperwork that I know they have in my file.  This is my biggest complaint about healthcare.

I don’t think it should be up to actuaries and corporate agreements what kind of care people receive. I believe that it should be a determination between the person living with the medical condition and the people who actually went to medical school to determine healthcare. All medications and devices for diabetes care should have some kind of coverage by all healthcare plans. I don’t think it’d ever be possible to get away from the preferred brand model because in the U.S. it really is all business, but don’t make it so difficult and expensive for us to get non-preferred treatment.

I also wish that healthcare providers had more training to person-centered approaches to medicine. In my endocrinology visit, we don’t just talk about insulin, blood sugar and a1c, my doctor asks about me and has been able to help identify when something going on in my life may be impacting my diabetes management. All visits should be like that.

Finally, my experiences with this have nothing to do with diabetes, but I believe that all too often healthcare providers believe they know everything and don’t listen to patients or their families when they say something is wrong. We rushed to the ER when a family member was in a car accident last year. Not only did it take forever for him to get the stitches that he needed, my husband noticed that he was acting differently and told a nurse, “He’s acting like he has a concussion.” She actually snapped at my husband, “He doesn’t have a concussion,” and left the room. A couple of days after the accident when following up with his primary care physician, he was diagnosed with a concussion. We know when something is different or off about ourselves or our loved ones. We can’t always diagnose it like my husband did, but we need to be listened to when we say something isn’t normal.

I painted a picture of my ideal healthcare in a near perfect world last August. It was primarily a way to vent about my experiences, but I believe that it’s how things should work.

Healthcare in an Ideal World that For Some Reason Hasn’t Cured Diabetes

What do you think, what’s the biggest issue in healthcare today? What would you want your healthcare team to do differently?

4 thoughts on “Creating a Better Healthcare Experience

  1. Wow that is true Healthcare has yet to cure diabetes, I doubt it ever will. But I think science will, ill meet you at the end of that road someday.

    I referred your blog to the TUDiabetes blog page for the week of May 16, 2016.

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