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February 23rd, 2011


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08:14 am
Something odd happened at the office at lunchtime yesterday. It's not unusual for drug companies, medical equipment companies, home healthcare agencies, or nursing homes to feed my staff and I while they do some sort of a spiel to drum up business. I listen, ask questions to prove that I'm listening, and will consider whatever they're selling. Yesterday, though, a major medical center of the Greater Los Angeles Area sent a team out to feed us. Now, this medical center isn't close. There's others closer that are world-renowned. But they were trying to persuade me to send them patients with complex problems to bolster their patient loads. From Rancho Cucamonga? Most of our patients expect to be sent to Loma Linda, or possibly City of Hope. It just boggles my mind that they'd feel the need to get patients from our practice...things must be pretty bad!

(8 comments | Speak, or forever hold your peace)

Comments:


[User Picture]
From:realpestilence
Date:February 23rd, 2011 06:06 pm (UTC)
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I got laid off from my doctor's office job in September, and I can say we were definitely struggling; and a friend still there says it's gotten worse, with more layoffs. Regarding the reps, I know many of our regular reps lost their jobs, and the ones remaining have to cover much larger territories. Much fewer free drug samples are given out, and they stopped giving out the usual goodies (pens, staplers, etc). The home health care agencies were constantly hassling us for business, too.

So many people have lost their jobs, lost their insurance, and can't afford the copays and deductibles, that it's had a definite impact on every aspect of the medical business, top to bottom.
[User Picture]
From:mycroftca
Date:February 23rd, 2011 09:43 pm (UTC)
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The dearth of supporting materials from the drug companies occured because of other issues than cost, but as to the rest of what you said, I agree.

[User Picture]
From:realpestilence
Date:February 23rd, 2011 09:52 pm (UTC)
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Oh, yes-I should have worded that differently. The lack of free samples affects the patients more than our office, because of prescription costs. But the lack of all the other little things we got from the reps-it definitely affected our budget, because the manager had to buy things we used to get free. We really appreciated all the free pens and notepads, after we didn't have them!
[User Picture]
From:mycroftca
Date:February 24th, 2011 02:46 am (UTC)
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Absolutely.

[User Picture]
From:kyburg
Date:February 23rd, 2011 11:53 pm (UTC)
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I moved Cliff from Redlands to Cedars at one point - but not because they wanted to.

This...wow. And Kaiser just keeps building hospitals.
[User Picture]
From:mycroftca
Date:February 24th, 2011 02:47 am (UTC)
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Yup. One in our neighborhood.
[User Picture]
From:rince1wind
Date:February 24th, 2011 05:18 am (UTC)
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Mark says patient numbers are down here too -- apparently a result of the bad economy. People aren't getting less sick, but they have to be sicker before they go in for care. I guess that might mean more complicated cases, too.
[User Picture]
From:mycroftca
Date:February 24th, 2011 08:10 am (UTC)
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I'm afraid so...
This ain't no party, this ain't no disco...

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