Letter to the editor: Health care is obviously a business

By Trena Eiden, Big Piney
Posted 2/21/24

Health care is quite obviously a business. Here’s two stories in three days.

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Letter to the editor: Health care is obviously a business


Dear editor,

Health care is quite obviously a business. Heres two stories in three days.

First, Gar had reverse shoulder replacement surgery on Feb. 1, in Afton. Due to the nerve block in his neck and pain meds, his oxygen wasnt staying up, so the hospital sent him out the door with a Lincare portable oxygen tank to use for the ride home. They said the tank would be gifted to us by the hospital with no charge.
I didnt realize why until today when I called Lincare to see if we owed them. She said “no” because they dont let anyone use a tank if the patient doesnt have a home concentrator from Lincare. I said we have our own privately paid-for concentrator. She said that didnt count; it had to be purchased from Lincare. I asked if we could get another portable tank if need be to go back to the doctor. No, we couldnt. I asked if we could get this one refilled if need be. No, we couldnt. What kind of health care is that policy? Its not health care.

Second, my cholesterol-reducing statin was running low but the pharmacy couldnt refill it because it had expired. I called the clinic.

Me - Could a doctor refill the statin prescription?

Clinic - No, because Jason Ray was your primary care person who prescribed it, but he is no longer here.

Me - Can someone else refill it?

Clinic - No, not until you pick a new primary care provider who will have to see you.

Me - That makes no sense.

Clinic - You have to pick another primary care doctor in order to get it refilled and that doctor will have to see you first.

Me - Can I just get my yearly bloodwork done and that will tell everyone how Im doing and I can get a refill?

Clinic - No, youll have to see a new provider.

Me - Without bloodwork a doctor cant tell how my cholesterol is anyway.

Clinic - Youll have to be seen by your new primary care provider.

Me - How much just to have a doctor put his/her eyes on me?

Clinic - $150 up.

Me - So Im being forced to pay $150 to just see a doctor and another $200 for bloodwork?

Clinic - Yes.

Its maddening.


Trena Eiden, Big Piney