Wednesday, March 28, 2007
Two patients limp into two different medical clinics with the same complaint:Says the man whose daughter is getting braces for a second time today. Because we pay 50% our of pocket (5% discount if paid in advance -- and the total is more than two house payments for the Scholar fam) Littlest is getting in within three weeks of diagnosis, and the dentist is very good. And paid out of pre-tax dollars in an health savings account (though it will have zero dollars the rest of the year.)
Both have trouble walking and appear to require a hip replacement.
The first patient is examined within the hour, is x-rayed the same day and has a time booked for surgery the following week.
The second sees his family doctor after waiting a week for an appointment, then waits eight weeks to see a specialist, then gets an x-ray, which isn't reviewed for another week, and finally has his surgery scheduled for six weeks from then.
Why the different treatment for the two patients?
The first is a golden retriever.
The second is a senior citizen.
As John notes, if Littlest were in Canada, she'd probably just have to deal with the underbite. Or wait six months for the system to let her go to a doctor and re-set her jaw. Yes, that's as painful as it sounds.