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What's Up With Doctors and X-rays?

Posted by Gail R on 7/08/02 at 10:16 (089285)

Why are X-rays the property of the doctor when the patient pays for them? When you have to get a second opinion and have to pay 20 bucks for copys of your x-rays it sure hurts!! jUST WONDERING!!!!!!! Gail

Re: What's Up With Doctors and X-rays?

Joe S on 7/08/02 at 12:38 (089292)

Actually the image of your foot is yours. The physical film is the doctors. Xray film is very expensive. We usually loan our films out and have you sign a statement that you 'signed them out and will return them on __ date'. This kind of does two things. First, it protects the doctor (in a way). Who's to say that you came to him and he took xrays, you asked for the xrays later for a second opinion and never returned the xrays. You then filed a claim against him stating that he deviated from the standard of medical care by not taking xrays. You've got the xrays. It's your word against his. The rest is history (maybe I'm being paranoid). Second, xrays are part of your confidential medical record. Most docs will be happy to make you copies for the price of the film. Believe me, it's not a profit making endeavor. Xray film is expensive. I think I already said that earlier.

Re: What's Up With Doctors and X-rays?

Dr. Zuckerman on 7/08/02 at 14:44 (089298)

I can only tell you what we do. We give the patients the original x-rays so long as there as the x-ray is of a surgical procedure or a repair of a fracture . If so we then will copy the x-ray. In the majority of cases we give the patient the orginal x-ray with a signed release. This is the typical policy of hospitals and radiologist. Sorry you. In answer who owns the x-ray . The patients owns the diagnosis the doctor is responsible for the films.

Re: What's Up With Doctors and X-rays?

Pauline on 7/09/02 at 12:12 (089351)

No matter who takes the xrays they are never good enough for the next doctor copied or otherwise. I have found most copied xrays inadequate viewing for the next doctor to base the need of any surgical procedure. Rest assured no matter how many copies or originals are taken to another doctor they will always insist on their own.

They use them for comparison maybe, however they are covering themselves by taking and reading their own films.

Count the new films that are taken as part of your new examination fee and in some cases consider yourself lucky in case something was missed or misread.

Since possession is 9/10 of the law, if you get the originals keep them for your records, and see if they ever notice your films missing. You can always return them later if necessary. It has been my experience unless you visit that doctor again, he never knows your films have not been returned.

Re: What's Up With Doctors and X-rays?

Dr. Zuckerman on 7/09/02 at 12:18 (089352)

Usually the reason why the doctor takes new x-ray's is because the copied x-ray or the x-ray from the other doctor are at least six months to one year old. This is probaby the real reason the new doctor takes new x-rays because the old x-ray are old and we want to see the foot in its present state

Re: What's Up With Doctors and X-rays?

Pauline on 7/09/02 at 13:41 (089357)

My husband was misdiagnosed with an Aortic Aneurysm at a nearby hospital where he was taken by ambulance in severe pain. All diagnostic tests were 3 days old. After fighting with the admiting physician in order to secure a transfer to a Major Medical Center, one with a Cardiac Unit, we moved him by ambulance with a priest inside because I was told he would die on route.

The surgical team was waiting for us, and I was more than happy to hear the Aortic Specialist ordering new films and telling me he would perform additional tests even though I brought the old ones with me. He knew by by his experience and my husband's vital signs that he didn't have an Aortic Aneurysm, but told me following his additional tests he would tell me what was wrong.

Forty Five minutes later when I saw my husband was sitting up eating. He was being treated for pericarditis. The first Scans and MRI's were not very clear and read incorrectly. Today I always make second opinions part of any serious medical condition and am happy to see new test, and xrays performed.

Important lesson: Your in charge of the medical treatment you receive and if you are not able to take charge make sure you always have someone designated who will aggressively seek the best treatment for you.

Re: What's Up With Doctors and X-rays?

Gail R on 7/09/02 at 15:36 (089362)

Pauline,glad your hubby was in good hands! I do not have a problem with the doc ordering new x-rays. Many times they need the older x-rays for comparison to access changes or whatever. I have had many docs in past to have you sign off on them. Ii just seems like 20 bucks is pricy to pay for a copy when you have already paid a good bit for the originals to begin with. It is not the biggest problem I face, Joe cleared up some of the things I was wondering about. Thanks, Gail

Re: What's Up With Doctors and X-rays?

Joe S on 7/09/02 at 22:32 (089390)

Actually, our office does know if the xrays are missing. They are vital part of your medical record. Our office staff has a checklist of patients who have checked their xrays out. We have that individual check the list once a week to see if the xrays were returned. If not, the patient is called.

Re: What's Up With Doctors and X-rays?

Joe S on 7/09/02 at 22:34 (089392)

I agree with Dr. Z. If your xray is old to me it is no good. How would that stand up in court? It wouldn't. If the xrays were taken a month ago maybe but anything over 2-3 months and I get new ones.

Re: What's Up With Doctors and X-rays?

Joe S on 7/09/02 at 22:38 (089393)

A patient and I had a similar discussion today regarding this. She told me her grandson had a rare heart abnormality. He is 3 months old and has been in the hospital off and on since birth. She told me that the hospital bills, doctor bills have surpassed 200 thousand dollars. My response was so what. If it were my kid (I have 2) I wouldn't care what it costs. Do what it takes to fix the problem. You don't hear too many people complaining about the cable companies raising prices or the price of cereal going up. The public just takes it and pays.

Re: What's Up With Doctors and X-rays?

Joe S on 7/09/02 at 22:46 (089394)

Just to reset the issue, most Docs will copy your xrays because they are afraid you wont return them. We have a policy that you sign out your films and the date you will return them. We keep a log of this. Usually when you sign out your films it is because you have another appointment and want to take the films with you for a 2nd opinion. I see them all the time. Anyway, one of my nurses who is in charge of the 'xray book', checks the log weekly. We don't have many people to sign xrays out so there's not much that needs to be checked or called on. Well if that certain date has passed when you said they would be returned, she will call you with a reminder about returning the xrays. Prior to even letting the xrays go, she will usually ask you if you would like a copy of the films for the price of the xray film. I don't know what we charge but it's not that much. If you want the originals then you sign a release of medical records and they are signed out to you.

Re: What's Up With Doctors and X-rays?

Tonya on 7/10/02 at 08:54 (089404)

As a doctor i'm sure that the rising cost of health care is okay with you. I'm sure that the grandmother IS willing to do whatever it takes to see her grandson well, as i am sure the parents are. This however, does not stop the 'money worries' if you do not have $200,000 lying around for health care. I understand your point that no amount of money is too much to save a precious life(I have 3 children of my own and would give my own life for them), but to compare this person's worry about a medical bill to the rising cost of of cable or cereal is a bit insensitive don't you think? I can take the rising cost of cable or cereal a little better than paying $100 for the dixie cup that the hospital gives me water in to take the $250 Motrin. I understand that with the advancement of medical technology there will come a big price tag, and your expert medical advice also comes with a big price tag, but the fact is that too many people today have to put thier medical needs on hold because they cannot afford it. It would be easier to take if we weren't overcharged for the little things. Two years ago my husbands grandmother had a very lengthy stay in the hospital. She had a very substantial bill left to pay. She had not yet started receiving Medicare. She no sooner got home from the hospital, before they started calling for payment. The poor woman almost had a nerveous breakdown, as did the rest of the family worrying about what was going to happen to her. The hospital rep even went so far as to tell her that they would try to seize her home if she did not come up with a large portion of the bill. Yes, she had her life of which we were all greatful, but in the same turn, she was almost put back in the hospital due to complications the worry brought on. A few weeks ago she was back in the hospital. She almost died with a ruptured appendix. Spent several days in ICU. She fought her daughters about going to the hospital when she did. Would you say this is right? I would hope not.

Re: No Tonya, it is not okay. But, you need to assess blame correctly.

Ed Davis, DPM on 7/10/02 at 11:20 (089408)

Tonya:

There is no group of individuals whose job is made more difficult by the high cost of health care than doctors. The basic fact is that physicians fees account for approximately 10% of total healthcare expenses. If all doctors provided there servces for free, the cost of healthcare would decrease 10%.

My office probably spends about one hour of time dealing with insurance companies for every hour we spend treating patients. Patients will save money by selecting the cheapest insurance plans they can find then blame us when we cannot convince their insurers to pay for the treatment they need.

I cannot defend hospitals. They are necessary but many services that can be performed much more cheaply in physicians offices but insurance regulations or government regulations require that they be performed in hospitals at much higher costs.

Government created the high cost of healthcare via politically motivated regulations favoring insurance companies, hospitals , not to mention the trial lawyers. I could demonstrate an easy 60% (at the very least) reduction in costs via changes in government policies, regulations and legislation to deal with out of control legal costs. Where does your senator and congressman stand on these issues? Do you know? What have you done to contact your elected officials to make the needed changes?
Ed

Re: What's Up With Doctors and X-rays?

Pauline on 7/10/02 at 15:50 (089428)

How many patients who haven't returned your films have you taken to court or do you simply send thugs to pick them up if they don't return them?
Personally I don't think either happens.

Re: No Tonya, it is not okay. But, you need to assess blame correctly.

Tonya on 7/10/02 at 16:45 (089430)

I do not believe that I blamed you, Joe or any doctor for the price of healthcare. The post said that the comment to the grandmother's talking about $200,000 in bills was 'so what'. It was also commented that people are more willing to accept the rising cost of cable and cereal. I am just pointing out that I found the statement to be insensitive. My husband and I live on an income of around $30,000 annually and I could not fathom having a sick child and being faced with a medical bill that I know that I could not pay. As I said before I understand that your medical care, advice, diagnosis etc., comes to us as patients with a big price tag, and properly so. I would never think that the care you provide should be free. But, the issue is bigger than just you as a private health care provider. The whole healthcare industry needs some working. The fact is that unfortunately, alot of us have to choose between health care and every day needs. Most of us have no choice but to accept the insurance that is offered to us. Some is better than nothing. My apologies to you if you were offended by my post, but my thoughts are the same. I will return your question to you. Have you contacted your elected officials to make a change?

Re: What's Up With Doctors and X-rays?

Joe S on 7/10/02 at 18:32 (089437)

I have this guy named guido that breaks their knees. Just kidding. I've not taken anyone to court over xray films. Thats pretty stupid dont you think. I think so. We just hold you accountable. If you do not return the xrays in a timely fashion, we dismiss you from our clinic. Plain and simple.

Re: No Tonya, it is not okay. But, you need to assess blame correctly.

Joe S on 7/10/02 at 18:48 (089439)

Tonya,

In all honesty, I'm not an insensitive person. I have a very good relationship with my patients. There is very little wait time in my office. My point being is that many people don't care about the price of getting new tires or having their alternator replaced and paying what the mechanic or whoever charges. My wife gets her hair done once a month and pays 100 bucks for it. That's insane. I do not condone hospitals that charge patients out the wazoo for their care. That's not what I meant. I meant that there are certain things such as life that are far more valuable than money. If a hospital charged me 500 bucks for a pill then whatever. Whatever my insurance company pays is what they get. A hospital can charge whatever they want. The insurance companies have a contracted amount that they will accept for a certain service. The hospital takes this payment. The problem is for those individuals who do not have insurance. Most hospitals have to take some charity cases each year. I can personally tell you that I see alot of hospital patients. My reimbursement for seeing people in the hospital is less than it would be if I saw them in my office. That's a fact. I'm not getting paid a ton of money to see Ms. Jones in the hospital. As far as me contacting my local elected officials, yes. One spoke at our monthly meeting this past week. The cost of prescription drugs is astronomical. My mother who is 74 can't afford her monthly medicines. I get her samples from drug reps. I give more samples away to patients than I write prescriptions. I'm very cost conscious. You're right when you say some insurance is better than none. One problem with insurance companies is that they will refuse payment for just about any reason. I see it everyday. Actually our office manager see's it. I hear about it. What do you do? I treat patients like I want to be treated. Personally, I don't get offended by what people have to say. These forums open up a nice dialogue between patients and doctors. I don't criticize people. You have your opinion and I have mine. That's what's great here. We can somewhat disagree and still get along.

Re: What's Up With Doctors and X-rays?

Pauline on 7/10/02 at 21:22 (089445)

Most patients asking for and taking their films are seeking second opinions because they are frustrated and dissatisfied with their current treatment. They are really dismissing you when they go elsewhere so whether you keep track of checked out films or not it really doesn't matter to them. If they are your originals then it matters big time to you especially if they intend on seeing you in court. Thus copies are much prefered by physicians to be passed along to the patient requesting their films.

Some of the copies I've seen made would make you wonder if the originals were that bad how anything could have been determined from them in the first place.

Re: Sorry about all the duplicates

Pauline on 7/10/02 at 21:28 (089446)

Sorry about all the duplicates. Something must have gotten stuck. Only planned on one post. I really have no idea what happened.

Re: No Tonya, it is not okay. But, you need to assess blame correctly.

Tonya on 7/10/02 at 22:07 (089450)

Joe,

Thank you for your response to my post. Your points were well taken with me.

Re: Sorry about all the duplicates

scott r on 7/11/02 at 12:09 (089474)

test

Re: What's Up With Doctors and X-rays?

Joe S on 7/11/02 at 21:27 (089515)

As an aside, some insurance companies require second opinions before they will authorize a certain procedure (usually surgical). I see a fair amount of 2nd opinions. Usually it is not that people are dismissing their doctor. They just want to make sure that he or she is following a certain standard of care. If I feel a patient is unhappy with our service or our treatment course is not working I will make a referral to someone else or either let the patient see someone else. If the patient decides to stay with the other doctor, that's ok. I don't sweat it too much. I'm busy enough as it is. I just don't let it bother me personally. Some guys do. It's not worth stressing over. This is my job. That's it.

Re: No Tonya, it is not okay. But, you need to assess blame correctly.

Ed Davis on 7/12/02 at 11:04 (089550)

Keep in mind, as Dr. Joe pointed out, that we and our families are all patients and affected by the 'cost crisis' in healthcare. We feel, as providers in the 'front line' the highest degree of frustration when the 'system' prevents our patients from getting the treatment needed. We post this information here because we care and have tried not to be desensitized to the issues as a number of colleagues have.

We, as providers, often take the blame for the problems we have discussed. The full liability for the success or failure of patient care is often placed on us despite our very limited control of coverage issues, costs, compliance and patient choices. Government agencies and third parties have largely insulated themselves from the decisions they make on patient care. Yes, I regularly contact my legislators.

Individuals with limited incomes often face the greatest restriction of choices in medical care and have my sympathies. Nevertheless, we regularly provide services to patients of 'means' who have decided that healthcare spending is their lowest priority. A billionaire over the age of 65 still will have Medicare as his or her healthcare coverage -- the same restricted level of coverage and challenges to providers to provide services as a poor person over age 65. One can go to wealthy areas like Newport Beach, CA where the average home price is (who knows how high) but a significant portion of the population is in cut-rate HMO's. This relects the phenomenon that Dr. Joe is concerned with. An auto mechanic in Newport Beach will not fix one's Porsche without full payment. A doctor in the same area has a legal and moral obligation to render treatment, within reason, without regards to financial considerations and that obligation has been taken advantage of. Doctors, traditionally, would treat some at full fee, others at reduced fees and yet others for free. This is something we want to do. The people who really suffer now are the patients who need treatment but doctors cannot afford to provide it since doctors are coerced to treat the wealthy and/or people who can afford treatment at discounts that were previously offered to those eho really needed them.
Ed

Re: No Tonya, it is not okay. But, you need to assess blame correctly.

Joe S on 7/12/02 at 16:24 (089579)

Great explanation. It could not have been worded any better!

Re: What's Up With Doctors and X-rays?

Joe S on 7/08/02 at 12:38 (089292)

Actually the image of your foot is yours. The physical film is the doctors. Xray film is very expensive. We usually loan our films out and have you sign a statement that you 'signed them out and will return them on __ date'. This kind of does two things. First, it protects the doctor (in a way). Who's to say that you came to him and he took xrays, you asked for the xrays later for a second opinion and never returned the xrays. You then filed a claim against him stating that he deviated from the standard of medical care by not taking xrays. You've got the xrays. It's your word against his. The rest is history (maybe I'm being paranoid). Second, xrays are part of your confidential medical record. Most docs will be happy to make you copies for the price of the film. Believe me, it's not a profit making endeavor. Xray film is expensive. I think I already said that earlier.

Re: What's Up With Doctors and X-rays?

Dr. Zuckerman on 7/08/02 at 14:44 (089298)

I can only tell you what we do. We give the patients the original x-rays so long as there as the x-ray is of a surgical procedure or a repair of a fracture . If so we then will copy the x-ray. In the majority of cases we give the patient the orginal x-ray with a signed release. This is the typical policy of hospitals and radiologist. Sorry you. In answer who owns the x-ray . The patients owns the diagnosis the doctor is responsible for the films.

Re: What's Up With Doctors and X-rays?

Pauline on 7/09/02 at 12:12 (089351)

No matter who takes the xrays they are never good enough for the next doctor copied or otherwise. I have found most copied xrays inadequate viewing for the next doctor to base the need of any surgical procedure. Rest assured no matter how many copies or originals are taken to another doctor they will always insist on their own.

They use them for comparison maybe, however they are covering themselves by taking and reading their own films.

Count the new films that are taken as part of your new examination fee and in some cases consider yourself lucky in case something was missed or misread.

Since possession is 9/10 of the law, if you get the originals keep them for your records, and see if they ever notice your films missing. You can always return them later if necessary. It has been my experience unless you visit that doctor again, he never knows your films have not been returned.

Re: What's Up With Doctors and X-rays?

Dr. Zuckerman on 7/09/02 at 12:18 (089352)

Usually the reason why the doctor takes new x-ray's is because the copied x-ray or the x-ray from the other doctor are at least six months to one year old. This is probaby the real reason the new doctor takes new x-rays because the old x-ray are old and we want to see the foot in its present state

Re: What's Up With Doctors and X-rays?

Pauline on 7/09/02 at 13:41 (089357)

My husband was misdiagnosed with an Aortic Aneurysm at a nearby hospital where he was taken by ambulance in severe pain. All diagnostic tests were 3 days old. After fighting with the admiting physician in order to secure a transfer to a Major Medical Center, one with a Cardiac Unit, we moved him by ambulance with a priest inside because I was told he would die on route.

The surgical team was waiting for us, and I was more than happy to hear the Aortic Specialist ordering new films and telling me he would perform additional tests even though I brought the old ones with me. He knew by by his experience and my husband's vital signs that he didn't have an Aortic Aneurysm, but told me following his additional tests he would tell me what was wrong.

Forty Five minutes later when I saw my husband was sitting up eating. He was being treated for pericarditis. The first Scans and MRI's were not very clear and read incorrectly. Today I always make second opinions part of any serious medical condition and am happy to see new test, and xrays performed.

Important lesson: Your in charge of the medical treatment you receive and if you are not able to take charge make sure you always have someone designated who will aggressively seek the best treatment for you.

Re: What's Up With Doctors and X-rays?

Gail R on 7/09/02 at 15:36 (089362)

Pauline,glad your hubby was in good hands! I do not have a problem with the doc ordering new x-rays. Many times they need the older x-rays for comparison to access changes or whatever. I have had many docs in past to have you sign off on them. Ii just seems like 20 bucks is pricy to pay for a copy when you have already paid a good bit for the originals to begin with. It is not the biggest problem I face, Joe cleared up some of the things I was wondering about. Thanks, Gail

Re: What's Up With Doctors and X-rays?

Joe S on 7/09/02 at 22:32 (089390)

Actually, our office does know if the xrays are missing. They are vital part of your medical record. Our office staff has a checklist of patients who have checked their xrays out. We have that individual check the list once a week to see if the xrays were returned. If not, the patient is called.

Re: What's Up With Doctors and X-rays?

Joe S on 7/09/02 at 22:34 (089392)

I agree with Dr. Z. If your xray is old to me it is no good. How would that stand up in court? It wouldn't. If the xrays were taken a month ago maybe but anything over 2-3 months and I get new ones.

Re: What's Up With Doctors and X-rays?

Joe S on 7/09/02 at 22:38 (089393)

A patient and I had a similar discussion today regarding this. She told me her grandson had a rare heart abnormality. He is 3 months old and has been in the hospital off and on since birth. She told me that the hospital bills, doctor bills have surpassed 200 thousand dollars. My response was so what. If it were my kid (I have 2) I wouldn't care what it costs. Do what it takes to fix the problem. You don't hear too many people complaining about the cable companies raising prices or the price of cereal going up. The public just takes it and pays.

Re: What's Up With Doctors and X-rays?

Joe S on 7/09/02 at 22:46 (089394)

Just to reset the issue, most Docs will copy your xrays because they are afraid you wont return them. We have a policy that you sign out your films and the date you will return them. We keep a log of this. Usually when you sign out your films it is because you have another appointment and want to take the films with you for a 2nd opinion. I see them all the time. Anyway, one of my nurses who is in charge of the 'xray book', checks the log weekly. We don't have many people to sign xrays out so there's not much that needs to be checked or called on. Well if that certain date has passed when you said they would be returned, she will call you with a reminder about returning the xrays. Prior to even letting the xrays go, she will usually ask you if you would like a copy of the films for the price of the xray film. I don't know what we charge but it's not that much. If you want the originals then you sign a release of medical records and they are signed out to you.

Re: What's Up With Doctors and X-rays?

Tonya on 7/10/02 at 08:54 (089404)

As a doctor i'm sure that the rising cost of health care is okay with you. I'm sure that the grandmother IS willing to do whatever it takes to see her grandson well, as i am sure the parents are. This however, does not stop the 'money worries' if you do not have $200,000 lying around for health care. I understand your point that no amount of money is too much to save a precious life(I have 3 children of my own and would give my own life for them), but to compare this person's worry about a medical bill to the rising cost of of cable or cereal is a bit insensitive don't you think? I can take the rising cost of cable or cereal a little better than paying $100 for the dixie cup that the hospital gives me water in to take the $250 Motrin. I understand that with the advancement of medical technology there will come a big price tag, and your expert medical advice also comes with a big price tag, but the fact is that too many people today have to put thier medical needs on hold because they cannot afford it. It would be easier to take if we weren't overcharged for the little things. Two years ago my husbands grandmother had a very lengthy stay in the hospital. She had a very substantial bill left to pay. She had not yet started receiving Medicare. She no sooner got home from the hospital, before they started calling for payment. The poor woman almost had a nerveous breakdown, as did the rest of the family worrying about what was going to happen to her. The hospital rep even went so far as to tell her that they would try to seize her home if she did not come up with a large portion of the bill. Yes, she had her life of which we were all greatful, but in the same turn, she was almost put back in the hospital due to complications the worry brought on. A few weeks ago she was back in the hospital. She almost died with a ruptured appendix. Spent several days in ICU. She fought her daughters about going to the hospital when she did. Would you say this is right? I would hope not.

Re: No Tonya, it is not okay. But, you need to assess blame correctly.

Ed Davis, DPM on 7/10/02 at 11:20 (089408)

Tonya:

There is no group of individuals whose job is made more difficult by the high cost of health care than doctors. The basic fact is that physicians fees account for approximately 10% of total healthcare expenses. If all doctors provided there servces for free, the cost of healthcare would decrease 10%.

My office probably spends about one hour of time dealing with insurance companies for every hour we spend treating patients. Patients will save money by selecting the cheapest insurance plans they can find then blame us when we cannot convince their insurers to pay for the treatment they need.

I cannot defend hospitals. They are necessary but many services that can be performed much more cheaply in physicians offices but insurance regulations or government regulations require that they be performed in hospitals at much higher costs.

Government created the high cost of healthcare via politically motivated regulations favoring insurance companies, hospitals , not to mention the trial lawyers. I could demonstrate an easy 60% (at the very least) reduction in costs via changes in government policies, regulations and legislation to deal with out of control legal costs. Where does your senator and congressman stand on these issues? Do you know? What have you done to contact your elected officials to make the needed changes?
Ed

Re: What's Up With Doctors and X-rays?

Pauline on 7/10/02 at 15:50 (089428)

How many patients who haven't returned your films have you taken to court or do you simply send thugs to pick them up if they don't return them?
Personally I don't think either happens.

Re: No Tonya, it is not okay. But, you need to assess blame correctly.

Tonya on 7/10/02 at 16:45 (089430)

I do not believe that I blamed you, Joe or any doctor for the price of healthcare. The post said that the comment to the grandmother's talking about $200,000 in bills was 'so what'. It was also commented that people are more willing to accept the rising cost of cable and cereal. I am just pointing out that I found the statement to be insensitive. My husband and I live on an income of around $30,000 annually and I could not fathom having a sick child and being faced with a medical bill that I know that I could not pay. As I said before I understand that your medical care, advice, diagnosis etc., comes to us as patients with a big price tag, and properly so. I would never think that the care you provide should be free. But, the issue is bigger than just you as a private health care provider. The whole healthcare industry needs some working. The fact is that unfortunately, alot of us have to choose between health care and every day needs. Most of us have no choice but to accept the insurance that is offered to us. Some is better than nothing. My apologies to you if you were offended by my post, but my thoughts are the same. I will return your question to you. Have you contacted your elected officials to make a change?

Re: What's Up With Doctors and X-rays?

Joe S on 7/10/02 at 18:32 (089437)

I have this guy named guido that breaks their knees. Just kidding. I've not taken anyone to court over xray films. Thats pretty stupid dont you think. I think so. We just hold you accountable. If you do not return the xrays in a timely fashion, we dismiss you from our clinic. Plain and simple.

Re: No Tonya, it is not okay. But, you need to assess blame correctly.

Joe S on 7/10/02 at 18:48 (089439)

Tonya,

In all honesty, I'm not an insensitive person. I have a very good relationship with my patients. There is very little wait time in my office. My point being is that many people don't care about the price of getting new tires or having their alternator replaced and paying what the mechanic or whoever charges. My wife gets her hair done once a month and pays 100 bucks for it. That's insane. I do not condone hospitals that charge patients out the wazoo for their care. That's not what I meant. I meant that there are certain things such as life that are far more valuable than money. If a hospital charged me 500 bucks for a pill then whatever. Whatever my insurance company pays is what they get. A hospital can charge whatever they want. The insurance companies have a contracted amount that they will accept for a certain service. The hospital takes this payment. The problem is for those individuals who do not have insurance. Most hospitals have to take some charity cases each year. I can personally tell you that I see alot of hospital patients. My reimbursement for seeing people in the hospital is less than it would be if I saw them in my office. That's a fact. I'm not getting paid a ton of money to see Ms. Jones in the hospital. As far as me contacting my local elected officials, yes. One spoke at our monthly meeting this past week. The cost of prescription drugs is astronomical. My mother who is 74 can't afford her monthly medicines. I get her samples from drug reps. I give more samples away to patients than I write prescriptions. I'm very cost conscious. You're right when you say some insurance is better than none. One problem with insurance companies is that they will refuse payment for just about any reason. I see it everyday. Actually our office manager see's it. I hear about it. What do you do? I treat patients like I want to be treated. Personally, I don't get offended by what people have to say. These forums open up a nice dialogue between patients and doctors. I don't criticize people. You have your opinion and I have mine. That's what's great here. We can somewhat disagree and still get along.

Re: What's Up With Doctors and X-rays?

Pauline on 7/10/02 at 21:22 (089445)

Most patients asking for and taking their films are seeking second opinions because they are frustrated and dissatisfied with their current treatment. They are really dismissing you when they go elsewhere so whether you keep track of checked out films or not it really doesn't matter to them. If they are your originals then it matters big time to you especially if they intend on seeing you in court. Thus copies are much prefered by physicians to be passed along to the patient requesting their films.

Some of the copies I've seen made would make you wonder if the originals were that bad how anything could have been determined from them in the first place.

Re: Sorry about all the duplicates

Pauline on 7/10/02 at 21:28 (089446)

Sorry about all the duplicates. Something must have gotten stuck. Only planned on one post. I really have no idea what happened.

Re: No Tonya, it is not okay. But, you need to assess blame correctly.

Tonya on 7/10/02 at 22:07 (089450)

Joe,

Thank you for your response to my post. Your points were well taken with me.

Re: Sorry about all the duplicates

scott r on 7/11/02 at 12:09 (089474)

test

Re: What's Up With Doctors and X-rays?

Joe S on 7/11/02 at 21:27 (089515)

As an aside, some insurance companies require second opinions before they will authorize a certain procedure (usually surgical). I see a fair amount of 2nd opinions. Usually it is not that people are dismissing their doctor. They just want to make sure that he or she is following a certain standard of care. If I feel a patient is unhappy with our service or our treatment course is not working I will make a referral to someone else or either let the patient see someone else. If the patient decides to stay with the other doctor, that's ok. I don't sweat it too much. I'm busy enough as it is. I just don't let it bother me personally. Some guys do. It's not worth stressing over. This is my job. That's it.

Re: No Tonya, it is not okay. But, you need to assess blame correctly.

Ed Davis on 7/12/02 at 11:04 (089550)

Keep in mind, as Dr. Joe pointed out, that we and our families are all patients and affected by the 'cost crisis' in healthcare. We feel, as providers in the 'front line' the highest degree of frustration when the 'system' prevents our patients from getting the treatment needed. We post this information here because we care and have tried not to be desensitized to the issues as a number of colleagues have.

We, as providers, often take the blame for the problems we have discussed. The full liability for the success or failure of patient care is often placed on us despite our very limited control of coverage issues, costs, compliance and patient choices. Government agencies and third parties have largely insulated themselves from the decisions they make on patient care. Yes, I regularly contact my legislators.

Individuals with limited incomes often face the greatest restriction of choices in medical care and have my sympathies. Nevertheless, we regularly provide services to patients of 'means' who have decided that healthcare spending is their lowest priority. A billionaire over the age of 65 still will have Medicare as his or her healthcare coverage -- the same restricted level of coverage and challenges to providers to provide services as a poor person over age 65. One can go to wealthy areas like Newport Beach, CA where the average home price is (who knows how high) but a significant portion of the population is in cut-rate HMO's. This relects the phenomenon that Dr. Joe is concerned with. An auto mechanic in Newport Beach will not fix one's Porsche without full payment. A doctor in the same area has a legal and moral obligation to render treatment, within reason, without regards to financial considerations and that obligation has been taken advantage of. Doctors, traditionally, would treat some at full fee, others at reduced fees and yet others for free. This is something we want to do. The people who really suffer now are the patients who need treatment but doctors cannot afford to provide it since doctors are coerced to treat the wealthy and/or people who can afford treatment at discounts that were previously offered to those eho really needed them.
Ed

Re: No Tonya, it is not okay. But, you need to assess blame correctly.

Joe S on 7/12/02 at 16:24 (089579)

Great explanation. It could not have been worded any better!