Sunday, February 6, 2011

Health care becoming more commercial

I had to visit an opthalmologist this week. No. I don't have red eye. No. I don't have any pain. No itchiness. It all started with my visit to an optometrist about two weeks ago. I haven't been to one in like ages. And this one I just picked because a few of my coworkers went there.

The doctor was talkative but pretty attentive and helpful. The eye exams were pretty thorough which involved dilating pupil and looked into eye nerves etc. I didn't remember any of those done by my previous optometrist. But then again it was ages ago. Maybe the standard changed. Who knows.

Okay, so during the exam, my optometrist found out that my eye nerves looked different from each other. And beside that, my eyes pressure were pretty high. He put me as 'glaucoma suspect' category. He told me nothing serious and probably nothing at all but it's best to have it checked.

So here I found myself visiting an opthalmologist who told me after his exam that my eyes were normal. Nothing to worry about and the optometrist was most likely being overly conservative.

But then it brought me into thinking. Really ? Was he just overly conservative or did he actually see that as an opportunity to send me as a referral to his opthalmologist 'friend/partner' ? And that would have worked out if I were not with Kaiser. And had I still with United Health Care, that visit to Opthalmologist would have caused me about $100 or more.

A couple of months ago, I went to see a dentist because my tooth was hurting. The dentist took care of it for like a minute. Pretty much took it out right there right then. But my concern was actually a wisdom tooth that I think is due to come out (and I was pretty sure was the source of the pain). I told him that but he didn't seem to pay much attention to it. He was too busy trying to get me to change my crown. That's because my wisdom tooth would have to be taken care by a surgeon. And also from hubby's experience, the price of crown was pretty much negotiable. That gives my dentist a lot of room to work with.

Seriously. There's nothing wrong with trying to sell your product.  Yes, doctors should present the options for their patients. But leave it right there and be neutral about it.