Doctor’s Diary: October 10, 2019
(Snippets from the frontline)
She is an 88-year old diabetic discharged from the hospital two days earlier after a three-day stay. Her admitting sugar was over 900 and she was confused because of the effects of “acidosis”, requiring an intravenous insulin drip. The etiology of her glucose elevation was thought to be an infection.
Upon release, she was given a prescription for an antibiotic and a new short-acting insulin neither of which she could afford. The antibiotic was over $400, and the insulin more than $300. Her family stated sugars were again high, and she was becoming confused.
Quickly, I got online and found a $30 coupon for the antibiotic, then called the insulin manufacturer getting her medication for free (it took 10 minutes to fill out the paperwork)!
The following week, she was back to normal.
Horror stories like this happen every day.
There is no safety net as fixed-income older adults are being nickel and dimed. If your doctor doesn’t have time or is unaware of resources, senior patient healthcare will be jeopardized.
We can do better.
Gene Uzawa Dorio, M.D.
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