It is important for everyone to have doctors they feel comfortable with. For those of us dealing with chronic conditions, it is especially important that we have a medical team we trust and who respects us.
Sometimes I think about leaving the Boston area (the climate here is horrible for me) and it saddens me to think about leaving my family and friends. But then I think about having to get new doctors, and that terrifies me. It took me many years to get doctors I like. In the past year I have had to find a new PCP twice and that has been a horrible experience. I can not imagine having to start over with a new rheumatologist, a new endocrinologist, etc. Still, when/if I move, I know that I will have to build up a new medical team. But that will be my choice, based on my actions.
What upsets me is being forced to change doctors! To be clear, this is not happening to me personally, but it may be happening to a lot of people in my community soon, and that is very disturbing.
The current health care system is broken on many levels, in many ways. I would like to say this is an isolated issue, but sadly, it’s not. According to this article and other reports, a lot of people may have to find new doctors because of a breakdown of negotiations between an insurance company and a hospital. Corporate negotiations will force people to get new doctors! How horrible is that? Now, to be fair, I’m sure patients will be more than welcome to stay with their current doctors if they pay for the costs themselves, but realistically, how many people can do that?
I’m not saying I have all the answers (though I certainly have a few suggestions), but I do know that the system needs to change so that when negotiations break down, patients aren’t the ones being harmed. It is hard enough to be sick, then to find good doctors, and to negotiate the maze of insurance rules and medical terms and tests and procedures. To then have that all taken away and be forced to start over, that is criminal. The Blue Cross and Tufts Medical negotiators must work this out and they must do it now. There is simply no excuse.
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