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Wait! Wait! - Blather. Rants. Repeat.
A Møøse once bit my sister ...
Wait! Wait!
There's a happy meaning to that, as well as an aggravating one.

The happy one refers to the NPR radio programme of that name. I was in and out of the office on Saturday, had WBFO on, and caught the start of the "Bluff the Listener" segment when I was first heading in.  When I got back to my car, they were finally revealing the true story among the three strange ones....

and I knew the source:)

SAGAL: Well, to bring you the correct answer, we spoke to someone intimately - and I mean intimately involved with the real story.

CLEA SIMON: There is a split between those who believe that cats should act simply like animals and those of us who believe that cats can talk.

SAGAL: That was Clea Simon. She is the author of four cat-related mystery series - not books, series - and she is a member in good standing of the Cat Writers' Association.

She is also East Meadow High School '79 (I'm '77), and we've remained friends for the too many years since.  I've read most of the books in each of those series, and a recent novel of hers about an outlier species is now Amazoning its way to us-


I also got to see a picture of another fellow East Meadow alum (my year) from back in her CNN days hanging out with Ronald and Nancy Reagan.  It's nice to be around such rarified air:)


Then there are those older than me, for whom "Wait Wait" means something far more annoying.

As we've both mentioned, our dear neighbor Betty is scheduled for surgery on a tumor next week.  The good news, it's been biopsied and appears to be non-carcinogenic.  It's also the size of a decent size orange and is weighing down a tiny, 81-year old body.  Nobody can understand why it's taken them so damn long to get her into surgery- and it took massive (sorry) efforts by her niece to get them to schedule it as soon as they did. (They'd originally scheduled just for her first consult at the end of March, before the niece shamed them into moving everything up.)

Then today, I heard the same story all over again. A very sweet friend-of-friend had me do her will a few years ago, and, bless her, she wants it updated.  I'd taken the notes but was waiting for some information from her about one thing before finalizing. Today, my one slow day of this week, I finally got back to her.  She, too, is awaiting surgery- eye problems. And she, too, got a massive runaround from the docs.  After doing the initial consult with her, the surgeon insisted she get pre-op clearance from her primary, which she did- only to have the surgeon almost put her at the back end of the queue, trying to schedule her for an initial consult appointment (WHICH SHE ALREADY HAD, ASSHOLES!) not until the end of this month.

Fortunately, she's a feisty old broad, too- and spoke up and got things scheduled faster. Yet how much of this goes on?  Is it everyone in the system, or are physicians indirectly scheduling their older patients out of their misery on account of some algorithm or inattention? I never believed the so-called Obamacare "death panel" claptrap for a second, but if the results are the same, then something is wrong, all the same.

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weebleswobble From: weebleswobble Date: March 8th, 2016 01:24 am (UTC) (Link)
surprisingly, it was the doctors who pressured my aunt and uncle into letting my 85 year old gramma have back surgery. my aunt and uncle figured she was 85, why put her thru that. the doctor talked them into it and gramma recovered quite well despite her age and despite being on blood thinners. gramma was in surgery within the week. and she's on medicare.

so its not all doctors. but yeah there are definitely those out there who turf medicare patients last.
glenmarshall From: glenmarshall Date: March 8th, 2016 03:11 am (UTC) (Link)
It depends on the definition of "urgent".

The MD often does not determine the schedule. It's the front-office people who do the scheduling, based on the diagnosis, availability of facilities, staff required, etc. Some are incompetent. And everyone who is sick is a special snowflake.

I do fear that payment is a factor. Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement does not allow for much profit, often a loss, so case-mix managers slot only a limited number of patient procedures.

And, of course, our government doing effectively nothing to alleviate the shortage of primary care physicians, whose limited time is still needed as a gateway for referrals to specialists.
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