Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Ah, the VA.

Just a quick note typed while on the phone with the VA. I get all my prescriptions from the VA as I have a service-connected disability. I got through to their automated phone service then waited five minutes to get the phone to ring to speak with a human. I am now at 340 rings with no answer... 360. I have dispositioned three patients and written orders for two others while waiting to talk with someone... 449 rings. Government health care. Free. 540 rings. Energizer bunny shit (and no this is not a wrong number... I already got the 'next available operator' message) 670 rings ago.

22 comments:

  1. I'll be curious to see how this one turns out.

    ReplyDelete
  2. 776 rings for a human. no shit.

    ReplyDelete
  3. 911, about that disability...Rocephin is really a cheap drug that will fix it...

    ReplyDelete
  4. At least you're a vet who will go see a doc--my ex-husband wouldn't, and his service-related disability went untreated and wrecked our marriage.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I lose count of things when I get to about 5. :-)

    Does your cubicle wall bear a resemblance to a prison cell wall, with the days marked off, only yours is a bunch of phone rings.

    OCD meds?

    ReplyDelete
  6. Gee, 911, I thought viagra was relatively cheap...ducking...

    ReplyDelete
  7. cheap but worth it's weight in gold i tell you!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Gentlemen: I just noticed that in the "Sponsored Merchants" section of this blog you have three new plastic surgery sites, specifically breast augmentation sites. Comments? I thought you loved us just the way we are *sniff*!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Actually, Viagra is pretty freaking expensive, depending on how much you use. I had to buy it for my son after he suffered a traumatic pelvic injury.

    ReplyDelete
  10. dev,
    well those sites were placed on our blog because dr adams is, in fact, the best there is. i met him at a conference and we have kept up a correspondence. he asked for placement, paid me scads of $$, so there you go.

    ReplyDelete
  11. In residency, we found out the operators were often simply out smoking and would answer the phone "all in good time". They would answer the phone out of wheezy breath, having come from the "smoking shack".

    I always found the VA mysterious in this way - all other hospitals have long since moved to "nonsmoking campuses". The VA spends our money to build smoking shelters (sometimes within the building) for vets to hang out in. Political expediency strikes again!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Semi-Retired ER Hack9:17 PM, May 27, 2008

    ...Never too late for 4.8

    ReplyDelete
  13. I'm sorry you had so much trouble refilling your prescriptions. My husband gets his meds through the VA, and can refill his scrips online, or automated call. The only one he has to request verbally is Ritalin. That one has to be called in monthly.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Took a patient to the VA the other day. Said he couldn't shit. Asked me to stick a fleet enema up his ass. I said no, pick a hospital. He says the VA.

    So I'm in the VA watching this supposed emergency room operate. The thing I love about the VA is nostalga you get for communist Russia. I never lived in a communist country. But when I'm in the VA, I think "wow, this is what it must have been like" so in that respect, I love the VA.

    But they have all these posters up on the wall. News clippings, etc.. things that tout how Tom Brokaw said in 2005 that the VA represented a shining star of medical improvement. And little graphs about how they can get a 12 lead done in under 8 minutes.

    I find the last one particular impressive since this facility has no interventional cath capabilities and no 24/7 cardiology coverage. So you can get the drop on a STEMI patient and? What? Hold them on a heparin and nitro drip for 3 days in the CCU until a bed opens in a hospital that actually does cardiac work? Fucking amazing.

    I'd like it a lot more if I could score with the hot tech in exchange for a pair of Levis and some Johnny Walker Black label. You know, like the old Lithuania hey days.

    ReplyDelete
  15. My first week in the Navy, during orientation, some Admin pogue came in and told a room full of doctors and dentists what a great deal the VA was, cause even if we didn't stay in for a career we could get free treatment for life..Yay!

    ReplyDelete
  16. he asked for placement, paid me scads of $$, so there you go.
    That's what I love about you...you're certainly no whore.

    ReplyDelete
  17. How come the VA gets to refuse patient (Veteran) after patient (Veteran) when the ambulance tries to bring them there? It's always some ancient sounding woman with a shrill, quivering voice..."What's the patients initials and last 4 of the social?"
    "Okay, please wait for the doctor."
    Brief pause, sometimes not so brief before the Dr. speaks.
    "I'm sorry, but we are unable to accept this patient."
    End of story, no explanation, no nothin'. Makes me ill every time I hear it. And only reinforces my lack of faith in the federal government's ability to run anything more complicated than a Bingo game with efficiency and compassion.
    Wow, was that a quasi-political rant!? So unlike me. The political part, not the ranting part....

    ReplyDelete
  18. I had to laugh at this. I got excellent care in a VA ED yesterday. Of course I was 1) having anaphylaxis to nuts; 2) a doctor; 3) an employee; and 4) not a veteran. Maybe 2 and 4 were key?

    Anyway, today I thank god for ED docs and epipens.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Freakin' shameful. If you were on Medicaid I wonder how quickly you could have gotten your needs taken care of...

    ReplyDelete
  20. MMT, have had similar experiences with VA docs. Your(technically their) patient is always too sick or not sick enough for their facility. If the patients "Just right" they don't have any beds or its Friday afternoon or whatever. Just for fun, try calling them up and pretend to be from a malpractice lawyers office. You don't even have to talk to them, in fact its better if you just leave a phone number, especially effective if you say you're the malpractice lawyer's office but leave the phone # from a nearby US Senator. Won't help your placement issues any, but will give the VA guy a dose of his own medicine.

    ReplyDelete
  21. MMT:

    You have no idea how frustrating it is on the prehospital side. Since the government only enforces rules (EMTALA) on other hospitals, they get to not enforce it on their own. So the VA might be open to all traffic, yet I tell a concerned family we're going to the VA, we start for the VA, and 3/4 of the way there they say, "Well, we're going to divert you." Divert me? Why? "Doctor X says we are diverting you." Why? "We are uncomfortable accepting this patient. VA clear."

    I don't even bother to take people there. Put that Tricare shit away. I don't give a fuck. We'll go to a real hospital that won't dick me and you and your family around.

    At the VA last time, I asked for a face sheet. "We can't give you that." I said, I brought them in. I wanted to double check the address. I think I got it wrong. "We can't tell you that without a signed waiver." But they just gave me their DOB, social, and all the demographic info. I don't want to bother the patient again since I know you have the info. "Privacy rules. You're not authorized to get that info."

    I wanted to strangle this stupid bitch. I feel like walking in there and being like, "Here's your patient. Due to privacy regulations, I cannot tell you who he is, his complaint or his DOB without a signed release form from the patient." W

    hat are his allergies? "I am not authorized to divulge that info." What's the last 4 of his social? "Policy dictates that I treat you assholes like shit because you insist on being bitches. Sorry, I must follow policy."

    I wouldn't take my cat there for rabies shots.

    ReplyDelete

ALL SPAM AND GRATUITOUS LINK POSTINGS WILL BE IMMEDIATELY DELETED.