Tonight I took care of this patient who has been in my hospital since April 9th. He originally came in with a medication reaction and was intubated. He was trached and then de-trached. His kidneys failed at some point so he is on dialysis now. He was in ICU for quite awhile and then transferred out to a regular medical floor. Complains of chest pain for a few days and then has some questionable EKG changes so buys himself a bed in the CCU. Has a negative MIBI stress so I transfer him back to the medical floor.
He is an illegal alien from a S. American country. So, he doesn't work and has no insurance. No outpatient dialysis center will take him due to no insurance so he has to remain hospitalized. Apparently we cannot discharge a patient who has no outpatient dialysis set up. So instead he drains tax money by being hospitalized for 2 1/2 months only so he can have dialysis 3x a week.
I have no issues with someone not having insurance. I recently took care of another young man in his 30's who underwent 2 angioplasties in about a week's time (long story involving med noncompliance) who had no insurance. He also racked up a big bill but at least he works. He talked with a social worker and is applying for state insurance etc and will work out a payment plan with the hospital. He'll be paying for a long time but at least he'll pay.
We will see nothing, not one penny from this guy. I also have no problem with the fact that he got some medical care. Sure, we are the melting pot etc but he's getting care at tax payer expense (and his bill must be in the millions at this point) when other American citizens are scared to come to the doctor at all due to the cost of their copays. It's a sad situation that our healthcare system is in.
Oh and the other thing I wonder about.............why did we only stress test him and not just do a cardiac cath. I mean come on....aren't stress tests more inaccurate than caths? We already have the million dollar work up so why not just do it right??????
And for those of you that are shaking your heads at me right now thinking I'm horrible to be saying all this I have something for you to think about. If you or I moved to his S. American country and lived there illegally and didn't work or worked under the table and got this sick............would that country take care of us like we have taken care of this man? I seriously doubt it.