I’ve been quiet for a while. Been doing my one-armed paper-hanger imitation – in a good way – which has taken up too much of my time and attention.

She’s baaaaaaaaack!

frustration reliefAnd she’s almost 4 months overdue for her annual mammogram. Yep, a breast cancer survivor is late for her mammo – but it isn’t due to lack of effort on her part.

Here’s the challenge: I have the money in hand for a diagnostic mammogram. However, there is *not* enough money in hand for a specialist visit to order said mammogram. And since your (not so) faithful correspondent here has no health insurance – thank you, cancer, you rat bastard – that’s a wrap.

My frustration is magnified by my certain knowledge that the reason the mammogram has to be *ordered* is that said order means that the insurance company will pay for it when it’s billed.

Of course, since I have no insurance, that’s why *I’m* paying for the mammogram. But I can’t get a mammogram, since there’s no order for said mammogram to ensure insurance payment for same.

Crazy yet? Yep, me too. I’m also totally steamed … which is why it’s warm in here.

We have created a healthcare payment system in the US that flies in the face of logic. I’m not the only one who thinks so, either. My buddy e-Patient Dave is banging away at some of the same issues as he tries to be a responsible healthcare customer. I’m on record with what I think are some valid health payment reform suggestions over on Disruptive Women in Health Care.

And then there’s the ever-epic Jonathan Rauch article in National Journal┬áthat became an also-epic YouTube video exploring the issue “If Air Travel Worked Like Health Care”. All I have to say is … GAH!

On both the get-a-mammogram issue, and on healthcare in general. As the Supremes hear oral arguments on what’s called either Obamacare or the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (depending on whether you think health insurance is something we all *should* buy for ourselves), it might be time for all of us to face some hard facts.

The most basic of which is: until we start acting like customers instead of meat puppets, the healthcare delivery system in this country will be stacked against access and transparency.

With me? Think I’m nuts? Spill your guts in a comment!

Is it warm in here?
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