Elimination Of “Why Do They Do It? Because They Can!”

When a consent is slid across the receptionist’s desk with the words “sign this; it let’s us take care of you”, read every word of it. Scratch out every word you do not understand. Remember the stories relayed on this blog.

Only medical bills, half the cable television bill and half the telephone bill are paid before you receive the goods. If a defective product is sold on the Internet, the seller must replace it or issue a credit. If he does not and if you call your credit card company, it will immediately issue a temporary refund to your account; a written review takes a couple of months’ time.

With a medical bill, the conversation is likely to go something like this:

Patient: “Why was Dr. Noname’s charge $500?”
Healthcare provider business office: “He did these subsystems.”
Patient: “No he didn’t.”
Healthcare provider: “That is what it says.”

There is no refund.

This consent says the institution can “file a claim with your insurance company and be paid directly”. After the “care” that was paid for that I did not receive at AMC, I scratch those words out. I sign a second one before I leave.

The consent does not state that you consent to conduct outside that detailed on the policies and procedures of the facility. I can assure you that medical record fraud is not condoned.

Before you depart the parking lot of the doctor’s office, make a written record of what you know happened–the ROS subdivisions you told the doctor and the questions he/she asked, the PE subdivisions the doctor examined and his diagnosis and treatment plan. Call the next day and request a copy of yesterday’s office visit note. If your record and the doctor’s do not match, call the office and get it corrected.

What I know suggests record fraud involves up to 50 percent of office visit and hospital visit notes. That volume costs up to $100 billion a year. That is $300 apiece for each and every one of 300 million Americans; that money will buy a lot of McDonald’s hamburgers, Starbucks coffee, big screen movies, NB shoes, etc.

Call and write your state and congressional representatives. “I want to assign benefits after the medical care, not before. I want transparency about physician or hospital unprofessional conduct reported to medical regulatory agencies. I want my written record of the bluebook to have the validity of the physician’s.”

Unprofessional conduct needs a Bernie Sanders-type grassroots response. My government representatives do not want to understand. I’ve been hassling them for more than four years, one of my senators as recently as last month.

3 thoughts on “Elimination Of “Why Do They Do It? Because They Can!””

  1. With regard to consent forms, I have become a more informed consumer and made a personal commitment to literally read every word when the forms are presented to me. Recently within the pre-op process for an outpatient surgery I was presented with the forms. The representative handed the clipboard to me and waited for me to quickly sign. I indicated that I would be reading the document and would let her know when I was finished. She seemed surprised. When reading the document there were several components I wanted to ask questions about, such as “when and where” would I speak to the anesthesiologist prior to the procedure. I wrote the question down on the form. The form also identified a procedure within the surgery that I didn’t remember discussing. I wrote down on the form, “what is this procedure”. When the office representative returned for the form I indicated that I didn’t want to sign the form until I discussed my questions with the doctor. The doctor came in and did an excellent job of answering the questions. I then signed the form. It felt really good, and I believe that the office representative and the doctor did not experience this consumer behavior very often. Imagine the patient actually wanting to read the consent form word for word and “not sign” until fully understanding its contents. At no time did I distrust my providers or assume there was intent to deceive me, rather I was intent on modifying my behavior to be an informed and proactive consumer of medical services. In addition to this new consumer behavior for consent forms, I recently emailed a physician and pointed out some discrepancies in my records and asked for clarification and consistency so I could be clear on the status of my condition. This also felt good to seek information and confirm with my physician that I actually do read the information about me in records.

    1. If only 5 or 10 percent of patients read and make notes on medical consents, all sorts of health care entities and individual providers will be forced to become much more transparent in the content of the consent. Hooray for “anonymous!

      I will make a new chapter of recent consent stories.

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