I never thought I would be ‘that’ guy…….
I’ve worked for years in an industry that sees people seriously injured and go on living years in pain. Many of these same people are stuck with paying their own bills for continued visits to the doctor in order to ‘maintain’ their pain and quality of living.
I can remember a few years ago, a woman by the name of Marlene. She was a young, active and delightful woman that was often referred to as a “tough cookie” and “the busy bee” by her closest friends and family. Marlene wouldn’t even dream of complaining of even the harshest of headaches or joint pain prior to her accident.
Marlene’s life changed, and not for the good, but for the worse! It wasn’t only the pain, which she grew accustomed to, but also to the pain it put on her pocketbook! She was in Pain, Depressed, and Broke!
Marlene first visited our office after her primary care physician would not see her because he ‘Did Not’ see patients if they were involved in a car accident. She was complaining of major neck and back pain as well as pounding headaches. She had scheduled an appointment with our office, not knowing that we also ‘Did Not’ see patients involved in car accidents.
I, like many other practitioners, did not want to see patients involved in accidents, because of the ‘ugly stigma’ that seemed to follow with it. I did not want to be seen as an ‘ambulance chaser’, as the saying goes. I guess I felt that I was ‘above’ that!
Knowledge is Power!
Now back to Marlene. She was holding back tears upon getting the news that we did not accept patients involved in accidents. I had entered the front office at the same time Marlene was showing her emotion, while walking an existing patient up to check out and reschedule her next appointment. I couldn’t help to ‘feel’ her anguish. I didn’t get into the field of healthcare without empathy.
It was at this moment, for the first time, I questioned myself for Not seeing patients injured from a car accident, regardless of who was the at fault party. What kind of person am I to choose who I decide to help and who I decide to let suffer? It was at this moment that I told my office manager Cyndi to let her know we would see her and fit her into our already busy schedule.
I didn’t know how auto insurance paid, or that if we were even going to get compensated for her initial visit. I didn’t Care! I was going to help Marlene!
The story moves on and we treated Marlene at our office for almost 3 months in getting her pain managed to a degree which she could go about her activities of daily living. When we released her she was still complaining of residual pain, but manageable. We had referred her out to specialists to get second opinions and to attempt to see what else could be done outside of our scope of practice. Marlene was adamant that the best relief she received was through the care at our facility.
The problem in which Marlene had now was in figuring out how she was going to continue to pay for continued treatment in order to manage her overall pain and discomfort. She had a difficult time making ends meet due to the ongoing pain and difficulty resuming her career as a hairdresser.
Act Now….. Don’t be a Victim!
During this entire process while treating Marlene for injuries she sustained as a direct result of a car accident, I learned the entire process of ‘What one should do when involved in an Accident’.
As I learned myself through my experience with Marlene, there are many things one should do in order to properly protect themselves and their family’s livelihood.
Today, I see patients in accidents as well as everyone else requiring our help, regardless of their insurance or reason for bringing them to our office.
I never want to see what happened to Marlene, happen to anyone else, especially in my own community!
I have learned a lot about how one can protect themselves and You Should Too!
There are things you Can Do in order to protect Your future Health Care Cost
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