Nurse K has an illustrative post about a real patient so entangled in red tape that she can’t get urgently needed treatment:
A patient with a military insurance plan calls up and says that she had a foreign body removed from her eye and was instructed to see an eye doctor the day after discharge …
The patient, in a good faith attempt to follow proper protocol, notified the people who manage her coverage (presumably Tricare/Champus). But in the world of government coverage, no good deed goes unpunished:
The insurance will pay nothing unless the ER doctor who referred her to the clinic fills out Form X and faxes it to the claims office. It will then take Y days for it to be reviewed and approved.
The patient is understandably upset by this protracted paper chase:
But this was an emergency visit, and I can’t wait that many days for a review. My eye is patched up, and I need an exam.
Oh, well. C’est la vie:
It doesn’t matter, you must have the emergency doctor sign the form and fax it back.
And still she waits:
This poor girl had already gone a week with no eye exam. Maybe he’ll sign the form next week, maybe not.
One can certainly see why left-leaning politicians and cocktail party progressives want everyone to have the benefit of such a system.