Beware of the cost of care; an uninsured physicians assistant finds out the truth behind appendicitis.

Beware of the cost of care; an uninsured physicians assistant finds out the truth behind appendicitis.

Appendicitis, in the United States, an appendectomy can cost thousands, yet in Sweden, can cost $50. How many times have scare tactics been used on you or a loved one to submit to an expensive procedure, even though there was perhaps a more cost effective and safe alternative that was available. Often chiropractors feel the same way, after their patients spend thousands on back pain treatments that don’t work, only to find out safer and more cost effective chiropractic does.

Here is a story behind an uninsured physicians assistant to developed appendicitis, visited a hospital who insisted he would die without surgery, even when he asked about a study in Sweden that suggested it could be treated successfully with antibiotics. Since he was uninsured, he was most interested in keeping the cost down. Check out his story here in the Washington Post.

An uninsured physician assistant learns first hand the cost of care

By Andrew T. Gray, Published: September 16

The doctor was adamant. “This is America, not Sweden,” he told me. “We operate.”

How did this happen to me, I wondered, looking at him across the ER exam room. How could I, a health-care provider, not have insurance?

I had awakened that morning with a mildly upset stomach. Nonetheless, I’d gone to my job (begun only six weeks earlier) as a physician assistant at a clinic in Beverly Hills. I’d seen patients until lunchtime, then attended a research meeting.

Despite crampy stomach pain, I continued to see patients until 3 p.m., when the pain became steady: on a 10-point scale, I gave it a 6. I left work early.

I hoped to go home and relax, maybe take a nap. Crawling into bed, however, I realized that my pain had coalesced in the right lower quadrant of my abdomen. Could it be appendicitis?

Panic flooded me. After six weeks at my new job, I now qualified for health insurance, but I’d neglected to fill out the necessary paperwork.

read more