Girls Write Out
Friday, January 04, 2013

Despite the fact that Pierce City Medical Clinic (our latest venture) is growing much more slowly than I would like, I've discovered that throughout Missouri and neighboring states, there is a huge shortage of physicians. I know that because in the past three days we've received at least ten calls from physician search services asking if Mel has any time to fill in at Missouri emergency departments or medical clinics, urgent care, and even medical care facilities on Indian Reservations (their choice of words, not mine.) For the most part, Mel doesn't have that time, because his former full-time employer is happy to keep him on the schedule every Saturday he's available until the clinic is filled with patients. The nurses and other medical staff entities who are still in the ER have recommended him for many of their ER patients.

So why is our beautiful new clinic not filled with all these patients searching for a doc? My take on it is this--too many people resist seeking health until they're near death. Emergency departments are bombarded with patients desperate for help because they waited too long to take care of themselves. Do you know how much it costs to go to an emergency department? Thousands. How much does it cost to find your way to health? I don't know...under a hundred, even for an extended visit to my favorite doc. Some good veggies and fruits and lean meats may be a little costly, but how valuable is good health? Exercise? Priceless.

Mel has been told by someone in the know at one of the local processing plants, which employs at least 600 people, that at least 65% of their employees don't have a family doc. And yet when they encounter illness or accident, they end up in the ER. Either insurance pays a high price, or the patient is stuck paying off a huge bill for how many years? If not that, the government ends up footing the bill. That means us, the taxpayers.

If you don't have a family doc, I suggest you establish one. Find someone more interested in helping you with your health, not someone simply interested in getting rich. Catch illness before it catches you. Your health can make a huge difference in your life.

Hannah Alexander  
posted at 9:37 PM  
  Comments (9)
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At 3:13 PM, Blogger jel said...

if we lived closer.

it's hard to find a Doc, here, cause ya get a good one, it's not to long before they run them out.

At 6:33 PM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

That's a shame, Jel. It's been forty years since we had a physician in our town, so I'm telling myself that's why it's taking longer to build a practice. I stopped changing doctors when we had to change insurance companies because I didn't like the docs our latest insurance company covered. That's one reason we decided to keep Mel's fees low so those without insurance could afford to see the doc.

At 12:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My husband is a home health physical therapist in a rural county in northern Pennsylvania. Right now, there is just him and another PT. In an 8 hour day, even with driving and paperwork, he often sees six patients a day. He always has paperwork to do in the evening.

I think there's a general shortage of healthcare providers. Each time my husband has put his resume online, he's always been contacted by at least one recruiter within a couple of hours. The one trade magazine always has pages of PT jobs.

I also believe that many providers are still waiting to see how the new healthcare law effects things. Will they have to see more patients at a lower reimbursement rate? Who knows?


At 2:42 PM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

That's why we're trying to do this alone, Sally. There are still enough people out there without insurance, or with such high deductibles, that we can at least be there for them--as long as they know we're here. I'm still trying to figure out how to best get the word out. I think once people find out the clinic's there, they will start coming, especially with our low fees.

At 3:01 AM, Blogger Cheri said...

I'm so thankful you and your husband are doing this for so many who need help. Since my divorce, I no longer have major medical insurance. I get no support and he squandered all the retirement we had saved. We were married for over 20 years. I live on a small disability check and the savings from my home.

I have chronic medical problems. Right now, I'm paying for Medicare and a catastrophic insurance with a high deductible. I have enough from the sale of my home to last me, maybe, two to three years. My medications alone are several hundred dollars a month.

I've found I no longer go to my doctor like I should. I wait until I know I can't deal with it, but still worry about the cost. I am thankful I was able to return to a doctor in Missouri I had seen 25 years ago so I could continue my meds, but of course he wants all tests repeated and for me to see several specialists. I had seen my doctors in Texas for over 15 years and miss them terribly.

Life can change so quickly. I praise God for those like you and your husband who give up so many things to help others. I'm praying your clinic will take off and those needing care will reach out before it gets to the point of needing emergency care. They will get a wonderful doctor!

At 8:44 AM, Blogger Sandie said...

I've tried to tell my kids this very thing. One hospital visit can wipe out your savings - if you even have any in this economy. My husband and I have a PCP as regulated by our insurance. I have to say I am like those people though. I hate going to the doctor mostly because you know as soon as I decide to go the symptoms will disappear or improve and I cannot prove I even had a problem. LOL

At 12:46 PM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

I'm with you, Sandie. We get people all the time who were sick all weekend. Mel isn't open on Mondays, but a lot of people come in when they see the cleaning lady and our assistant, Bonnie, working at the desk. We've almost decided we may have to accept appointments for patients who are sick late in the day, because Mondays are busy for a lot of docs, and people need someone. After the clinic gets cleaned, we could let them come.

At 1:21 PM, Blogger Sandie said...

You know if someone is going to get sick, it is going to be on Friday night!

At 8:39 PM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

Yes, Sandie, Friday night, or Friday evening at about 5:00 is my time to get sick. Ugh.


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The Authors
Kristin Billerbeck
Kristin Billerbeck is a proud Californian, wife, mother of four, and connoisseur of the irrelevant. She writes Christian Chick Lit; where she finds need for most of the useless facts lulling about in her head.

Colleen Coble

Colleen Coble writes romantic suspense with a strong atmospheric element. A lovable animal of some kind--usually a dog--always populates her novels. She can be bribed with DeBrand mocha truffles.

Denise Hunter

Denise Hunter writes women's fiction and love stories with a strong emotional element. Her husband says he provides her with all her romantic material, but Denise insists a good imagination helps too.

Diann Hunt

Diann Hunt writes romantic comedy and humorous women's fiction. She has been happily married forever, loves her family, chocolate, her friends, chocolate, her dog, and well, chocolate.

Hannah Alexander

Cheryl Hodde writes romantic medical suspense under the pen name of Hannah Alexander, using all the input she can get from her husband, Mel, for the medical expertise. For fun she hikes and reads. Out of guilt, she rescues discarded cats. She and Mel are presently taking orders from four pampered strays.

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