Change!

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Change!

Post by Stephanie on Tue Oct 12, 2010 1:31 am

Greek Health System Opts for Amputation as Moneyy-Saver



This Saturday, one of Greeceís most respected newspapers, To Vima, reported that the nationís largest government health insurance provider would no longer pay for special footwear for diabetes patients. Amputation is cheaper, says the Benefits Division of the state insurance provider.

The new policy was announced in a letter to the Pan-Hellenic Federation of People with Diabetes. The Federation disputes the science behind the decision of the Benefits Division. In a statement, the group argues that the decision is contrary to evidence as presented in the international scientific literature.

Greeceís National Healthcare System was created in the early 1980s, during the tenure of Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou. Papandreou, an academic, won election under the slogan, Αλλαγή, which is the Greek word for Change.

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Re: Change!

Post by ziggy on Tue Oct 12, 2010 9:48 am

And U.S. health insurance companies don't make decisions about patient services based on costs?
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Re: Change!

Post by Stephanie on Tue Oct 12, 2010 9:57 am

At the present time none that I am aware of is paying for amputations to avoid paying for socks & shoes in order to save money. It remains to be seen what Hope & Change does for American's with diabetes.

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Re: Change!

Post by ziggy on Tue Oct 12, 2010 1:00 pm

A four-year-old girl ran a high fever following a five-hour hospital stay for a tonsillectomy(considered an outpatient operation by HMOs.) Her mother took the girl to her HMO pediatrician,who didn't take the girl's temperature, didn't examine her throat, and didn't refer the girl back to thesurgeon -- a routine procedure for post-operative problems. The girl died of a hemorrhage at thesurgical site.

(Sherman, William, "Tragic tonsillectomy for girl, 4," New York Post, Sept. 20, 1995.)
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A mother in Atlanta called her HMO at 3:30 a.m. to report that her 6-month-old boy had a feverof 104 and was panting and limp. The hotline nurse told the woman to take her child to the HMO'snetwork hospital 42 miles away,bypassing several closer hospitals. By the time the baby reachedthe hospital, he was in cardiac arrest and had already suffered severe damage to his limbs from anacute and often fatal disease, meningococcemia. Both his hands and legs had to be amputated. Acourt subsequently found the HMO at fault.

(Rabin, Roni, "In Case of Emergency," Long Island Newsday, Feb. 11, 1996.)
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A Texas woman with a disabled 11-year-old son was told that her managed care plan wasretroactively denying payment for all oxygen, nursing care, respirator supplies, speech therapy, andincontinence supplies because, the case manager said, "Your son costs too much money." The casemanager is then quoted as saying that the boy's parents should "put him in an institution in Wisconsin,and since your husband works for an airline, go fly to visit him." Of course, the managed care planwould not pay for the institutionalization.
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A 15-year-old girl with a serious knee injury was taken by her parents to a PPO orthopedicsurgeon. The surgeon said there are two kinds of surgery for such an injury, traditional scalpelsurgery and state-of-the-art laser surgery, which is considered the most effective method. Theinsurer would not pay for the more expensive laser surgery. A company claims supervisor wasquoted as saying, "We are not obligated contractually to provide Cadillac treatment, but only a treatment."

http://horror.kaiserpapers.org/shoddy.html

At all points on the pay for medical treatments road- from the individual self-paying patient, to the private health insurer, or to the government program, fiscal costs are a necessary consideration and constraint. Anyone who says otherwise is not being candid.

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Re: Change!

Post by Stephanie on Tue Oct 12, 2010 8:18 pm

You selected isolated cases from over a decade ago. Greece is on the verge of making amputation standard treatment for diabetics struggling with infections and circulatory problems in their feet.

You tell yourself whatever gets you through the night, Ziggy. It isn't a matter of malpractice, as clearly is the case in the first two examples. When there is socialized medicine and the goverment refuses to cover a procedure you're just shit out of luck, unless you're Barbara Striesand or Oprah Winfrey rich and can afford to pay for whatever is best.


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