Unpaid, stressed, and confused: patients are the health care system's free labor
over 1 year ago
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"I'm not talking about the work of managing one's health, the work that diabetics do to monitor their blood sugar or the healthy eating choices a doctor might recommend for an overweight patient. This can be a significant burden in its own right. What I didn't understand was the burden patients face in managing the health care system: a massive web of doctors, insurers, pharmacies, and other siloed actors that seem intent on not talking with one another. That unenviable task gets left to the patient, the secret glue that holds the system together. For me, this feels like a part-time job where the pay is lousy, the hours inconvenient, and the stakes incredibly high. It's up to me to ferry medical records between different providers, to track down a pharmacy that can fill my prescription, and to talk to my insurance when a treatment gets denied to find out why. I'm not alone."
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