Thursday, May 14, 2015

The "NEW" Medicine

I've had a couple of soapbox topics in the back of my mind for a while and it's time to step up on the box for a short rant!!  I'm sure I'm not alone in this problem ... or maybe I HOPE I'm not alone in these thoughts!!

Years ago I got migraines, for which the Doctor prescribed atenolol, a blood pressure medicine.  With no migraines in years, I tried to stop taking it.  That didn't work out so well since my heart decided it would skip a beat if it didn't have it, so the heart doctor said I should keep taking it forever!!

No problem, I'll have health insurance from the County to pay for it.  Little did I realize back then that my co-pay was $10.00 and the prescription only cost $4.00.  Something's wrong there!!  After I retired, the County decided to drop the additional coverage above Medicare (including prescriptions) as a budget cutting remedy.  That's how I found out the pills only cost $4.00.

With additional prescription coverage costing around $250.00 a month and my pills only $4.00, I chose to leave the prescription coverage in the dust!!  That was irritating enough, but now I have another problem.  I never can get in to see my Doctor to get the prescription filled.  Every time I call, it's a three month wait.

I got kind of testy with them last week, and finally got in to see her after three years.  It should have been a simple blood pressure, weight and once-over to get a prescription.  It wasn't!!  She started going on and on about all these tests she needed to do ... blood tests, chest x-rays, mammogram, bone density, etc. etc. .......

I asked a simple question .... why??  Oh gee she says .... we have had so many breast cancers with people your age .... thyroid cancer, lung cancer .... she named several more.  I thought I was pretty healthy, with nothing more than a cold.  Why in the world would I want to go through the expense of all these tests EVERY YEAR?  I understand preventative medicine, but this is crazy.  SOMEONE has pay for all that!!  "Oh don't worry, Medicare will pay" she says.  This is the NEW MEDICINE age.

I'm sorry, but doing lots of expensive tests for no reason isn't my idea of a good thing.  Don't you think Medicare might run out of money one day??  Besides, now they are saying that all those yearly x-rays aren't good for you.  It was then that it dawned on me ..... she's telling everyone ELSE to do all these tests too, which is one reason I'm paying through the nose for Medicare.  Yes ... my Medicare isn't free.  I have to pay $200+ a month for Medicare and another $150 a month for the Supplemental coverage and I have NO medication coverage.

If MY doctor is doing this, how many OTHER doctors are requiring a multitude of tests due to the NEW medicine??  Do you think most people just do whatever their doctor says, going through test after test when no symptoms exist?  I fully realize there are family histories involved here ... luckily for me my family was pretty healthy.  Maybe I'm in the 1% in that respect, but since my doctor is aware of that fact, I wouldn't think she would require all these tests!!

That's when it happened ... she slipped up during our conversation when she mentioned the House of Mammograms was trying to increase their patient load .... WAIT ..... did I just hear that right???

Needless to say, I'm NOT doing any more tests.  She can get the blood tests I had done at the Urgent Care facility I went to because I couldn't get in to see her, which will hopefully result in one more prescription refill.

I only have one solution to this problem ... from now on I'll be joining the masses in Mexico, filling my prescription myself!  I bet it's even cheaper than $4.00!!!  

Stepping down now .....................


  1. The cheapest Part D drug plan we found was at Humana, $15.70 a month. It keeps the Feds off our case. Kathy takes the same medicine you take I think. We get it at Costco and a 90 day supply is $5.04. But a whole tablet is too much and she has to cut them in half, so in reality she gets a 180 day suppy for 5 bucks.

    Please be careful on the road.

    1. Thank you Rex ... Costco and Walmart seem to have the best prices. I'll check into Humana!!

  2. Nancy, you be surprised what Medicare pays for under 'preventive healthcare.' I had a mammogram x-ray, bone density and a colonosopy performed late last year and did not have to pay. We changed health care plans in 2015 to Humana and now paying less than with UnitedHealthcare plan. Also, like Rex, we pay $15.70 each for prescriptions and some medications are in a 'tier' that I do not pay. I pay $104.90/month for Medicare as well as David. If you cannot see our primary doctor, perhaps it is time to change. Good luck.

    1. I know that Medicare will pay for all those tests Lynn, and I appreciate that. However, I just don't think in my case they are warranted, so I have a problem with ANYONE paying for them. I think the doctors ... at least in my area ... are padding their own bank accounts by ordering so many unnecessary tests!! Maybe you wouldn't have to pay ANY extra for Medicare if there were fewer expenses for them to pay!

  3. Nancy, please go to Home Depot with your big truck and buy lots of lumber to expand that Soap Box or it's going to get very crowded up there. Great post (or rant). The medical profession has no respect for our time or our money. I also believe they do not like questions from their patients who they expect to simply nod and do anything they say. I am sure your doctor just shook her head as you left and just couldn't understand why you weren't simply stepping into line like you were supposed to. If you saw your doctor flushing thousands of dollars of cash down the toilet you would think they were crazy and would not have very much respect for that doctor. Yet that doctor was flushing thousands of dollars of Medicare money down the toilet. It sounds like you justifiably lost respect for that doctor. With the majority of doctors thinking that way and the majority of their patients thinking that that is the right way to do things it guarantees just one thing. Medicare will run out of money sooner. It is not a bottomless pit. Medicare funds are a precious commodity and should be respected, yet it seems that you and I are in a very small group that sees the big picture and are disgusted with the waste that the medical profession is doing. How are you doing with that construction job on the soap box. Me thinks this thread could go on for several more days. I suggest you consult with the Escapades staff to see if maybe there could be a focus session at the next Escapade to better educate our members on the problem and try to get people to focus on making the process better. I almost said to myself, that it couldn't get worse but then realized that statement might not be true. I like the Nancy with all those Phd's. Jim

    1. I'm building bigger as I type Jim!!! I just see it as a BIG waste of OUR money! If Doctors are ordering all these tests for me, imagine how much that amounts to when you multiply it by the millions of people over 65!!! It's crazy ... and although my pittance won't make a different in the big picture, I'm sticking to my guns!!!

  4. Replies
    1. Thank you Jan. I must say I've tried to find another doctor, but this area has become such a welfare and property value depressed part of the State, no one wants to move here. Doctors are at an all time low. Those that are here are so overwhelmed, they aren't taking any new patients!! I'll have to look out of the area I suppose!!