Dealing with Healthcare-A patient perspective

First let me say that this is not a post to complain about my healthcare process, especially the process of getting my left hip replaced on June 23.  I have only the highest praise for those who helped me prepare for the surgery as well as those who provided care that day and in the days since.  What this post is about is the fractured nature of healthcare, the lack of transparency in some areas when it comes to cost/payment and my general thoughts about how fortunate I am in comparison to many who lack the access I take for granted often.

Having this surgery has been transformational thus far.  Before the surgery I had pain from the knee to the hip and also had a sore back every morning when I got up from bed.  My pain is less now and my back pain is gone.  We were considering a new mattress and now I know it was the hip, not the mattress.

hip-replacement.jpgRange of motion is already substantially better than before.  The slow degradation of motion, the ability to stand up from a sitting position, and the constant pain are slowly becoming distant memories.  For this I am extremely thankful.  The photo inserted gives you an idea of what my new hip is like.

Getting estimates for what this type of surgery is challenging.  The first challenge is that there are at least three entities involved, the surgery center, the physician and the anesthesia team.  I got fairly solid estimates from the surgery center and physician, but nebulous answers from the gas side (when I could get them to respond).  It is nice to have an idea regarding what something will cost before you incur the cost and doing this with healthcare services that are complex like this surgery is a challenge.  Imagine trying to buy a home or a car and not knowing what your cost would be before committing to move ahead.

My final thought upon reflection is that I am very blessed to have great healthcare insurance and great access to top flight services where I live.  If I lived 60 miles away in just about any direction that would change substantially.  I don't pretend to have all of the answers when it comes to providing and paying for healthcare services, but I can honestly say we need to find a more fair and consistent manner in which to make these services available in rural as well as suburban areas while making the costs available and manageable for all.

Those of you know know me understand I am pretty conservative in my beliefs, but I also have a heart and compassion when it comes to serving others.  A favorite scripture verse says this:

And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’  Matthew 25:40

I am on the mend and thankful for the recovery and the access to services at an affordable level.

I am also keenly empathetic to making this a more comprehensive opportunity for all.

Let me know your thoughts about my experience.