I’ve said it many times, patients (and family members) are not consumers when health care is the issue. The experts insist that if only patients paid more of the cost of health care, they would be more prudent with their spending. These experts in economics need to take a few courses in human behavior and psychology. It’s not the patient that needs to change, it’s the health care delivery system.
Here is another interesting take on the subject:
Limited access has been a constant story line during my 35 years in emergency medicine. Patients are vulnerable—they get hurt; they are old; they are young; they are weak; they are bleeding; they have collapsed. Healthcare economists, administrators and process managers opine that patients without “true emergencies” should be directed to family doctors, urgent-care centers and outpatient clinics. Patients are chastised for “unneedessary” visits that can cost thousands of dollars. That might sound reasonable but ignores what patients experience and perceive. Remember: You can’t teach patients economics lessons when they don’t feel well…
For a patient, an emergency is when he or she doesn’t feel well, or for a caregiver who is responsible for someone who seems like he’s really in trouble. It’s when you don’t know what’s wrong, and you need reassurance. When that happens, you’re not thinking about finances. You don’t care how much it costs or who pays the bill.