My wife is about 35 weeks pregnant, so we’ve had our fair amount of doctor visits recently.
Along with doctor visits comes a large amount of time waiting…. and waiting… and waiting..
This time, I helped pass some of the time by spinning in the doctors chair.
This particular appointment was in the morning, so I knew that we would have to wait for a little while. But one hr and 15 minutes?
I’m tempted to send the medical practice a letter and invoice for the amount of time I spent sitting around. I know that our healthcare system isn’t in the best shape, but this seems excessive. Keeping a bunch of pregnant women sitting around that long is a recipe for disaster. Plus, where is the respect for the patients time? I know that they already overlap appointments, but maybe they had a lower than usual cancellation or missed appointment rate that day.
In the US, the Harvard Medical School and the Canadian Institute for Health Information determined that 31 percent of U.S. health care dollars go to administrative overhead.
There are big strides being made in automating some of the processes by companies such as Cerner, headquartered here in Kansas City, but I think we have a way to go before we will see a reduction in overhead costs.
I have friends in the medical industry and I understand there is intense pressure to see as many patients as possible, and there is always insurance companies putting pressure on fees (even though insurance companies make off with a stack full of money).
There is also significant healthcare regulation, with it being one of the most regulated industries in the US. A Cato Institute study suggests that this regulation provides benefits in the amount of $170 billion but costs the public up to $340 billion. That sure doesn’t sound like a positive ROI, but there needs to be a balance there.
There is still a sizable population in the US that is either uninsured or under-insured. No quick solution there, either.
Do I have a quick solution? Of course not, because I don’t think there is one.
Would I be willing to pay significantly more for better service, fees that would most likely not be covered by insurance? Well, I feel we are paying enough, with U.S. healthcare spending at approximately 15% of GDP, the world’s highest. I’m already paying more for a PPO vs. the HMO.
Would you pay more for better or expedited service? If so, how much, knowing that it would be on top of what you are already paying?