accupuncture, health care · altitude · healthcare · mountains · new experiences, travel

Healthcare in the US is like a Rodeo

Living in the USA without proper health coverage is an ongoing stress.  I have some travel coverage, but it only covers emergencies.  Recently I was having pain down my right side and feeling nausea and diarrhea after eating.  I also had severe shooting pain and was in bed for 5 days.

I took myself to the herbalist who told me it could be a bile blockage or gallstones. She treated me with anti-inflamatory herbs such as turmeric, black pepper, calunda flowers, milk thistle and cleavers.  I also found a remedy on the internet of Apple cider vinegar and organic apple cider.

Then I took myself to the accupuncturist who treated the gallbladder. I also found a chart of foods to illuminate when you are having a gallbladder attack, so I have eliminated my favourites, coffee, chocolate, beer, all pickled things, beef, bread, mayonnaise, egg yolks.  Whoever invented liquid egg whites in a carton needs to be spanked.  I could hardly eat the fried egg whites, even my two dogs picked at them and left them on the kitchen floor.

After this lifestyle adjustment my symptoms have subsided. My accupuncturist strongly encouraged me to see a doctor and get an ultrasound.  Sounds like solid advice.  The challenge is getting to see a doctor, when you have no health insurance.

My fiance found a doctor who will see me, his office is at the King Soper grocery store?  Ok unusual for me to see a doctor where you pick up your vegetables and meat.  But why not.  They have a variety of prices for the same service.  Ok so I check the box for no insurance, and the cost is $100.  If you do have insurance the cost is $250.  Strange system.

Then I need to find imaging centres.  It was recommended  not to go to the hospital up here in the mountain as everything is triple the cost-geared towards wealthy tourists who are in ski accidents.   I start an internet search for stand alone imaging centres in Denver two hours away, as they are the cheapest. I find a company online called health images, I fill in the online form.  I am told that all the health images centres in and around Denver will contact me within 24 hours with their bid.   Now I feel like I am at an auction, with my body as the item to be bid on.  True enough I get a series of competitive bids, on my phone with a quote on what an ultrasound will cost at their centre.

The Vegas of healthcare; go see the doctor, get a doctor’s order for the ultrasound, drive 2 hours down the mountain, pick the lowest bidder, get the ultrasound, and then hope the doctor two hours away gets the results, Giddyup!

What a crazy ass piecemeal system.  I miss Canada.  You may have to wait to see your doctor, but they will know you personally.   They will send you to an imaging centre in their building, and the results are sent back to your doctor the same day.

No Bidding or auctioning on the service, no driving for 2 hours…..Yes the Canadian system is slow and steady, predictable and reliable.  Good Ole Canada, bring it home!

2 thoughts on “Healthcare in the US is like a Rodeo

  1. It is wonderful to hear a perspective on the US healthcare system from someone from Canada. We Americans believe this is the greatest country in the world. Tragically, our healthcare system is one of the most expensive yet ranks 37th globally, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Recent back surgery cost me $16,000 out of pocket WITH insurance. We need a free healthcare system, like France, which WHO ranks #1. Canada ranks seven places ahead of us. Yes, it would be more in taxes but employers could pay their employees more because they wouldn’t have to provide health insurance for them.

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