State of health care is a state of shock


People ask me all the all the time where do you get your story ideas for columns in The Xenia Gazette?

Well, some come from my bizarre mind others from readers, but most write themselves.

Case in point last week I came down with a cold.

Of course being a guy I let it go which wasn’t too smart as it got progressively worse.

So, finally called my doctor to make an appointment.

“Doctors office may I help you?” The voice on the end of the phone says.

“Yes hello Jim Bucher here I need to schedule a date with the doc and …”

“Date of birth please?”

They are no nonsense.

After providing the necessary information the conversation continues.”

“What seems to be the problem?” The voice asks.

“Coughing, congestion, fever and just not feeling well.” I said in a sympathetic and pathetic tone.

“Sounds like you’re pretty bad off.” She says.

“I have an 8:30 on November 12.”

After an uncomfortable 10 second pause I said, “I’ll be dead by then.”

“We can squeeze you in tomorrow.” The voice says.

I know what ‘squeeze you in’ means … Like somewhere between an entire morning to most of the day.

I take my chances with Urgent Care. After all I’ve heard good things about them, and can be seen most times within an hour instead my docs. Although it’s tempting to get caught up with all the gossip magazines from 2013.

Off to Urgent Care I go, comma but, of course with my luck I pick the day the place is packed with kids getting sports physicals.

Maybe I can try another location I thought.

And … jackpot! This one isn’t crowded, just a few cars in the parking lot.

Well, from check-in to seeing the doctor was out in an hour with three prescriptions.

Finally I can get to ‘feelin’ better.’

Off to the pharmacy I go.

The doctor called it in so I thought, shouldn’t be too long right?

I need to stop thinking.

Pulled into one of those drive-thru pharmacies and pushed the speaker button.

“Hello may I help you?” the voice asks which sounds like the same voice at my docs.

“Yes, I’m here to pick up some meds.”

You know the drill, name, rank, serial number, first born, blood sample and insurance card.

About five minutes later the voice comes back to inform me the pharmacist just got the order and my scripts would be ready in about an hour.

I thank her and head home to lay down, because laying down is good when you don’t feel well right?

It wasn’t 15 minutes later my phone rings and it’s the pharmacy.

“Oh joy!” I thought. “Finally I’m gonna’ get some help in feeling better.”

Again with the thinking…

“Sir, your insurance isn’t accepted here.” The voice says.

You have got to be kidding me? You couldn’t tell me that when I was there?

“What I can do is call another pharmacy and you can pick it up there.” She says.

Apparently my ‘Odd Lots” insurance company only contracts out with a few of the big chains and of course I pick the one it doesn’t

30 minutes later, I’m off to the correct pharmacy and their drive-thru.

SCORE! They have my meds and I’m ready to check out.

‘Hello sir.” The voice says which I swear is the same voice from the docs and the previous pharmacy.

Maybe it’s the fever.

“Ok that will be $95.” She says.

“Pardon.” I say with a nervous laugh. “Funny thought you said $95.”

“Yes sir, the inhaler is $75 and is the generic brand.” She says.

WOW, figure it breaks down to around six bucks a puff.

Begrudgingly I pay it and am on my merry way.

It wasn’t a day later my daughter gets sick, so we’re back to Urgent Care and the correct pharmacy.

“Hell sir.” Again I swear it’s the same voice. Are they cloning this person?

“Ok, I have three prescriptions for your daughter and the total is $65.” She says.

“What the flip? Why so much?” I say.

“Well, the cough medicine prescribed is $54.” The voice says.

So, I take two scripts and pass on the cough meds, but park the car and run in purchasing an off brand, over the counter liquid suppressant for $6.

Moral of the story … don’t get sick. It costs too much.

Cheers and time for another $6 puff.

By Jim Bucher

Jim Bucher is a guest columnist and area resident.

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