Healthcare system is terrifying

Friday, October 25, 2013

I think that we are all so busy keeping our heads above water and trying to save what we spent our lifetimes creating that there has been no unity in stopping this disaster called competitive bidding. It is imperative that we form one voice and put an end to this government-backed coercive monopoly. Over the past decade, we have witnessed Medicare’s “mood” swings. They make up the rules and break them as easily—whenever they deem necessary.

I think a patient advocate is one of the most valuable tools in our healthcare system and improving outcomes. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand that increased communications between healthcare providers within our communities will aide in better patient outcomes, but Medicare never encouraged this practice. The gray within interpreting Medicare guidelines has made people and companies apprehensive.

Now Medicare is saying, “start talking,” but only through ACOs, which are overseen by none other than big brother Medicare. As unique as the name sounds now, “patient advocates” come in many shapes and sizes, but if it comes in the form of a company/facility, the “patient advocate” is for the company, not the patient. Most cannot afford health care, let alone hire a personal patient advocate, though the healthcare community can come together and increase healthcare improvement for all our local citizens.

Remember, any one of us could be the next victim in our terrifying healthcare system, helpless in the hands of overworked and underpaid or under-qualified providers. I would be frightened to end up in one of our local hospitals in this volatile environment of uncertainty and desperation. So are you going to just sit there and complain? Get up and be a voice. Together we stand, divided we fall.

—Elise Withall, owner, 

Home O2, Inc., Tampa Bay, Fla.