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The case of electronic records and war of the hospitals

Soup52's picture
Soup52
Posts: 888
Joined: Jan 2016

ok I’ve been awake since 3:00 am and this feel the need to vent. Yesterday I went to my gynechological oncologist at a new hospital for the first time. Since this was my first time at a new hospital I wasn’t given a CA 125 blood test. At the time I didn’t think much of it, but then after getting home I thought oh yes I didn’t have my port flushed and it’s been three months so how do I do this now. Long story short I can’t have it done at the cancer center 10 min away because my dr. Is no longer there; I must must make an appointment at the new hospital. I know maybe not that big a deal, but my main gripe is the disconnect between the two big hospitals in my town. They both use EPIC and yet they don’t share info. My records have been supposed to been transferred. Yet the doctor didn’t really have them all with him yet. My whole gripe is with the two hospitals and their ongoing war in trying to get patients exclusively! Who does this her well the patients of course! I must wait till Monday to call and set up an appointment and maybe I will ask for the CA 125also as I was on a 3 month cycle previously. I never really cared that much a bout that test before because my numbers were never high before. I’m sorry to be so long winded because I’m in general I’ve been lucky so far especially being 3C with clear cell. Any others had problems with a bit of a disconnect caused by hospitals?

MrsBerry
Posts: 102
Joined: Dec 2017

Ugh, this is something you really should not have to deal with!  Epic is pretty standard, you would think they could, and would share as a matter of course!

henhill's picture
henhill
Posts: 123
Joined: Aug 2016

I use several different providers due to distance.  I have a PCP, Onc, and treatment in different places and none of them use the same system.  One doesn't even bother to post at this point.  Fortunately, I don't really need to see any posts there, yet it frosts me that this is supposed to be done. Don't know what to say any more but that with the increase in premiums, the quality has plummeted, especially between health care providers, even insurance companies .   Not great for folks who are ill and in there all the time and makes for lots of frustration.

Northwoodsgirl
Posts: 499
Joined: Oct 2009

Soup52, you are right on about how fragmented the US medical system is! This lack of inter-connectivity drives up the cost of healthcare and lowers the overall health of the population and lowers the satisfaction of the consumer experience.

I totally understand and share your frustration. It really is a form of healthcare waste.  There are articles in major city’s newspapers about how a surgical procedure cost can vary from for example $4000 to $40,000. This variation has been risk adjusted so it is an “Apples to apples” comparison. Can you imagine that variance in any other consumer service?

Just think of what happens if your port is clotted off or isn’ t patent any more....as we know having a port placed is a surgical procedure that if the port is maintained as required remains patent or works.  I am fortunate in that the metropolitan area I live in has Epic EMR and the providers can access other institutions through a product called “ Care Anywhere”.  

The inter-connectivity capability / functionality can be purchased but the providers and hospitals are choosing not to make the financial investment neccesary to fix it. It is cheaper  for them to inconvenience you or in some cases to repeat procedures or tests to generate revenue to help their bottom line.

Oncology care is a high dollar business for providers and hospitals. At one time in the US an oncology practice generated about 80% of their practice revenue from chemotherapy. Then about 10 years ago some health insurance companies decided to try to drive down the costs of chemo through narrowing down what chemo would be reimbursed to the providers.  Hope you sleep better tonight! Thanks for sharing your experience. 

saltycandy13
Posts: 167
Joined: Dec 2017

So sorry to read about this mess.  Hospitals, doctors, etc., all bug the crap out of me.  There is a lack of communication.  Doesn't anyone talk to anyone else anymore?  There are so many brick walls to hit and the last thing anyone of us needs with our illness, is nonsense and yes, it is nonsense, because they should have more sense, than this!  Ugh

I have so many stories I could write a book about my experiences but I wouldn't want to turn this site into a book that is over 1,000 pages long.  I actually got kicked out of my neurological institute because of my stubborn primary care doctor.  Blue Cross and Blue Shield is full of .........and I fired them!  They just don't want to cover anything.  Not even toe nail fungus medicine.  So I switched to "YourCare"  New company and so far, am very happy with them. getting this straightedn outuyo

 

Soup52's picture
Soup52
Posts: 888
Joined: Jan 2016

Yes, blue cross is my secondary cover with Medicare primary. They created a big stir this year when they wer going to drop the hospital I use the most. Now they include both but I’m still not sure how that will all work.

Kaleena's picture
Kaleena
Posts: 1914
Joined: Nov 2009

None of my local hospitals would flush my port.  After 6 years of getting it flushed, but because several years earlier I went to Cleveland Clinic, (also covered by Blue Cross), all of my local facilities refused to flush my port.   They wanted me to drive 2 1/2 to 3 hours to get a 5 minute flush.    I didn't get my port flushed for over 6 months.   Finally, I was able to have my port removed.   (Apparently getting port removal from local facilities is ok).   So frustrating.

saltycandy13
Posts: 167
Joined: Dec 2017

I know it's easier said than done, but if you can dump Blue Cross, I would.  That's exactly what I did.  Even saved money on prescription drugs.  Their co pay was much more expensive.

Blue Cross has tried to dump over 10,000 AIDS Patients in the past because their premiums and funding came from AMFAR and the Ryan White Foundation.  I don't know if they were able to do it or not but the bottom line is insurance companies are in business to make money.  They don't give a rat's behind about the patient.  

Soup52's picture
Soup52
Posts: 888
Joined: Jan 2016

I just had to message the portal that my oncologist is a part of now. They have the incorrect blue cross info despite the fact that I gave the new place my card. Instead they have the prior one that I haven‘t had since last May. I had a feeling something like that would happen because I had the bad luck to have someone new....grrr. Can’t wait to hear a claim rejected......

saltycandy13
Posts: 167
Joined: Dec 2017

whoa, talk about anxiety.  They are all airheads, I am sure.  

When I dumped Blue Cross/Blue Shield, I applied for YourCare and got the essential plan.  Now everytime I go to a doctor, they make me fill out these forms and they have it down I am a Medicaid patient.  LOL!  I've had to correct them several times that I am not a Medicaid patient.  Some doctors here do not accept Medicaid.  What would I do then if my surgeon thought I was one and refused to operate?

I have become very pro active in my insurance.  I have to be.  Blue Cross wanted  $40 more for my HRT and Yourcare only has a co pay of $20!  Blue Cross refused to help me pay for my toe nail fungus med and that was $1,000 a bottle but just rejected it.  I haven't even tried yet with YourCare.  That is too much money so I can't say I would blame them if they did turn that one down.

But cancer patients should not have to go through all this red tape.  It's not good for their health and the stress that goes with it.

Good luck!

NoTimeForCancer's picture
NoTimeForCancer
Posts: 2528
Joined: Mar 2013

Soup, I understand the frustration but here is my concern:  Do ALL the hospitals protect your information the same?  I would suspect the answer to that is "no".  Heck BC/BS doesn't and all of us who have them got a year of monitoring because the provider couldn't protect client information.  (computer hacked)  Just this past week, here in Indiana, a hospital was held 'hostage' by a hacker and ended up paying the fine to get the patient information.  While I understand the convenience my concern would be ALL information could be hacked or held hostage by just one system.

 

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