Friday letters: Poor finding it tough to get care

June 14, 2013 

— In October of 2012, a friend was being treated at a local family and urgent-care facility for what the doctor thought was bronchitis. It turned out to be heart disease. She had all the symptoms of bronchitis — she was coughing, her breathing was hard and labored, and her blood pressure and pulse were elevated.

She was transported to the Providence Hospital Emergency Room, where she was later admitted and her cardiologist was consulted; the following day a stent was inserted into one of her heart valves. And three weeks later, she was having another two heart stents inserted.

Recently, she returned to the same family and urgent-care facility with cold and flu-like symptoms and was informed Medicaid was no longer accepted, nor was her secondary insurance, Care Improvement Plus. She ended up going to another facility and received excellent care.

She is currently unemployed and cannot afford the outrageous fees the initial facility quoted her. Before that, she had received superior care from that provider for many years when it accepted her Medicaid and Care Improvement Plus.

What is wrong with our health-care system? Now the poor, the disabled and the unemployed will be unable to receive proper medical care and attention. This is most upsetting.

And what can we do to fix this program looming so large over the heads of the poor, disabled and unemployed people who depend on Medicaid and, in some cases, secondary insurance for care?

Patricia R. Lewis

Columbia

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