Saturday, March 12, 2005

911!! Help!!! I am being robbed along, with the rest of you!!

911!! Help!!! I am being robbed along, with the rest of you!!
I work in the medical field in the pre-hospital area. I am a paramedic in NJ. Everyday I see the waste of my tax dollars. I work in the County that has the nation’s most dangerous city, Camden.

Abuse of the 911 system is unbelievable. No one here seems to have a family doctor. If the people who were sick went to their doctor, instead of calling 911, Medicare & Medicaid could save millions of dollars. Just in NJ alone!!

What does a doctor’s visit cost? $50 to $100 bucks? What does an ER visit cost? $1000 or more?

Everyday we get calls, through 911, my baby has a runny nose, we need to go to the ER. I have a tooth ache, I need to go to the ER. I have athlete’s foot, I need to go to the ER. I’ve got the clap, I need to go to the ER. I ran out of my medicine, I need to go to the ER. I have a sore throat, I need to go to the ER.

Of course most of these people don’t have insurance, they have Medicare & Medicaid. So when they call 911, not only is there a bill generated for the ER visit, there is a bill issued for the ambulance transport.

This abuse is also affecting the ER’s here. Almost on a daily basis, our ER’s are on divert or bypass, meaning they want ambulances to go elsewhere. The waits in the ER before seeing a doctor are approaching 6 hours.

While the ambulances are tied up with this bull crap, the people with the true emergencies have to wait for an ambulance to free up. God help you if you are having a heart attack and there is no ambulance available for you. You will lose heart muscle, because time makes a difference in this case.

Many times a day, on the Camden EMS channel you will here the dispatchers telling the chief that they are holding “X” amount of calls with “X” amount being life threats (serious calls).

Something needs to be done!! EMS needs the power to say NO to the bull shit transports. But as soon as this happens, the lawyers will come out of the woodwork. NJ has like 3 lawyers per person. Doctors need to see their patients, not tell them to go to the ER. The doctors are afraid of being sued, so they say let me take myself out of the loop and send everyone who calls to the ER.

I got into this field because I wanted to help people, but now I need the peoples help changing the system!!

Thanx for visiting!!
Dave

5 Comments:

Blogger EM said...

I totally agree!! I can really sense your frustration..you said this so well! Hopefully someone, someday can respond to this so that it stops happening! Hang in there, though! We need people like you in the field!!

Mon Mar 14, 09:44:00 AM AST  
Blogger Medicegg said...

I totally agree with you on this one. I to am a Paramedic and work as an EMT in South Jersey with a fire dept. I also workin in Philadelphia at one of the most hoppin trauma centers in that area.
I also used to work as an er tech in a south jersey hospital. An even though I was there for 4 years and am very well known and have many nurse friends at this south jersey hospital, every time I bring in a patient, its the same old thing "your back again' or "why did you bring that here" and of course they just happen to do it right over the patient. Im sure the patient now feels he will receive great care from this hospital. It pisses me off to the point of rage when this bull shit happens. I have a good mind to call this hospital administrator and let him/her know why they are loosing money. Its cause no one wants to hear that crap, and do you really this emt's and Paramedics alike are gonna want to take someone there. Not unless they can avoide it. Philly on the other hand is way different. Even if we are balls to the wall with trauma patients, talkin one gsw after another or if im helpin out in the emergency department and they are slammed as well, you never hear those words utterd from a nurse or medics mouth " why did you come here" "can't you see were busy" Of course you know that phrase is running through there minds all night. But they don't say a work. And we have a great relationship with fire/rescue and all the other medic and emt units in Pennsylvania. They suck it up, yell at doctors and get them to move their asses and get the patients up stairs. I think its high time the nurses in the south jersey hospitals step up to the plate. Not just to save us from hearing their mouths, but to save them selves. It can get dangerous with more patients in the hallways.
I took the tests and got in this field to help people and make some kind of a difference and these nurses are pushing us steps back. what do you think?

Thu Mar 17, 02:03:00 AM AST  
Anonymous Wen said...

How true. I work for both a transport company & a South Jersey fire dept., so I deal with both 911 calls & transport calls. I used to work in one of our local ER's, so I understand the feelings on both sides of the coin. However, the reason I do this job (like most of us) is to try & help those patients who need our services. & I totally agree with you & medicegg.... we are here to do a job, & we need the support of the system to help us do our jobs to the best of our ability.

Thu Mar 17, 03:12:00 AM AST  
Blogger B.C. said...

I agree to a point, But how do we fix it? More to follow.

Wed Mar 23, 02:02:00 AM AST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We have similar problems everywhere, and nothing short of a health care culture shift is going to change it. I am a paramedic in Raleigh, NC. I get called out more times than I can count for BS. I got so frustrated a few nights ago that I actually (not so nicely) asked a patient why their sore throat suddenly became an EMERGENCY after three days. I also explained to them that by calling 911 for it, they had taken a paramedic level ambulance out of service. If someone coded or had a heart attack they might die waiting for another ambulance to come from farther away, just because their sore throat at 11 o'clock at night had us tied up.
We are such a lawsuit happy culture that every healthcare provider is too afraid to say or do anything that might leave them with any sort of liability. And who could blame them? So unfortunately I can't tell the idiot that I am not taking him/her to the ED for a stuffy nose, sore throat, or what have you.
I work part time for a private ambulance service provider as well. Another HUGE waste of Medicare/Medicaid tax dollars I see comes with non-911 ambulance transports. A lot of EDs in this area send nursing home patients back in an ambulance,just because it is a quicker more convienent way to clear them out. It costs anywhere from $300 to over $1000 per trip. Most of these patients could very easily be transported back to their long term care facilities by wheelchair van or even by car.
Legally, it is the responsibility of the nursing homes to transport these patients, but most of them simply do not keep the staff on hand to do so, particularly at night. So rather than wait and actually coordinate it with the facility, the ED will BS the medical necessity for ambulance transport paper work and ship them out. I look at the amount of medicare/medicaid taxes taken out of my check every week and just want to vomit.

Mon Mar 26, 02:20:00 AM AST  

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