Medical Tuesday Blog
Office Visit to obtain a prescription for Baby Aspirin
Mr. Yarrow came in for a prescription for his 81 mg tablets of baby aspirin which he used as prophylaxis for a coronary attack. He had Medicare and Medicaid coverage. He decided that since Medicare/Medicaid covered his prescription drugs, he would make the appointment for a medical visit to acquire the aspirin on his insurance. When asked why he didn’t just purchase this non- prescription item, he stated, “Why should I? It is covered under my health plan.” But it takes a lot of his time to make and keep a medical appointment. Yet he retorted, “I’m retired and so the time is irrelevant.” We mentioned that adding the cost of the office visit was an expensive way to save the cost of a $2 prescription “It’s no cost to me. Why should I deny myself this benefit of Medicare/Medicaid insurance?”
I decided not to respond since to do so would raise a complaint from him to Medicare/Medicaid, thereafter costing me considerable time to respond to the complaint as well as being targeted as opposing this government program. I had personally experienced this result as had a number of my colleagues.
Trading a $2 prescription and the cost of an office call to save $2, is at least a 50-fold unnecessary increase in cost. This is just another example of how Medicare/Medical causes gluttonous health care utilization. There has to be a deductible or co-payment on every item of insurance coverage to prevent this type of overutilization charge. A minimal $10 co-payment would have prevented this gluttonous utilization for a $2 prescription.
Preventing overutilization is a very simple process of co-payment or deductible for anyu usage, which the insurance carriers refuse to utilize. In fact, some programs brag about having no deductible and no co-payments. However, this type of gluttony cannot be control by post usage utilization review.
Control of costs is a very simple process of deductibles and co-payments on every usage.
However, control of costs is not in the insurance carrier’s interest.
Medical Gluttony thrives in Government and Health Insurance Programs.
It Disappears with Appropriate Deductibles and Co-payments on Every Service.