It’s no secret that women make a lot of the “purchasing” decisions when it comes to health care. We tend to be the ones who decide if and when our various family members need to see a doctor, and we tend to be the ones who schedule those appointments. We give our husbands gentle reminders about annual physicals, and make sure our kids get their well-child checks on time. Glenna Crooks, writing at Disruptive Women in Health Care, has written an article about health care reform from a woman’s perspective, and it’s well worth reading.
One thing that caught my eye in her article was her description of trying to schedule a pap, finding a timeframe that would work for her, and then finding out that it was 2 weeks earlier in the year than her last pap had been, and thus would not be covered by her health insurance if she went ahead with that appointment date. So she’s putting off the visit until she can fit it in. She’s self employed, and taking time off work to go to the doctor makes a dent in her income. I know how she feels. I’ve had the same situation arise when I tried to schedule a dental cleaning (back when I had dental insurance), and also when I tried to schedule a well child check for our son. I know that wellness checks are designed to adhere to a specific schedule, and obviously health insurance (and dental insurance) companies don’t want to be paying for extra visits. But a little flexibility would go a long way. How about letting people schedule annual exams anytime within a one month window of when their prior exam was? Or even a couple weeks would help. It would be better than having people put off exams because of scheduling conflicts, and then forgetting to reschedule them.
Glenna’s article sheds light on what most of us (not just women) want when it comes to health care reform. We want something that is well-thought-out, focused on what works best for patients and health care professionals alike, and with a minimum of political grandstanding.