On Health Care

I hate the term “Health Care”. Health is a complex issue. It includes diet, lifestyle, medications, age, and many other factors. I do not provide health care to my patients. I am not their parent. I am not in charge of their diet. I can’t make them take their meds. I cannot reverse aging. I provide nursing care. The doc provides medical care. The patient is in charge of their health care. I will do everything I can to support them in making healthy decisions, and to help them with tasks they cannot complete on their own. But they will leave the hospital, and go back to their lives, and then I have absolutely zero control over their health.

The rules on patients readmitting to the hospital within 30 days of discharge are an example of the flawed notion of a “health care system”. If a patient discharges from the hospital, and readmits within 30 days, medicare/medicaid reduce their payments to the hospital, figuring we didn’t do a good enough job the first time. So if a patient comes in to the hospital with congestive heart failure, goes home, and resumes their past lifestyle, they are likely to be back in the hospital promptly! People are no longer expected to be responsible for their health, that’s OUR job now.

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