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A smartass response after being switched to Medicaid

February 5, 2014

I have retinopathy, which requires Avastin injections – sticking a needle in my eye. I used to have private insurance. Now I have Medicaid. My former surgeon does not take Medicaid, so I had to switch to a new one further away. All my research suggested that he was as skilled as my old surgeon and indeed he turned out to be very skilled indeed – in a way.

When I was treated previously, my doctor used an assistant. That assistant placed an eyelid spreader in my eye so I did not involuntarily blink, then braced my head with both hands so I did not involuntarily move. The doctor then held the needle with one hand and as she stuck it in my eye hit the plunger (or whatever it is called) with the other. Including preparation the doctor had to spend five or ten minutes with me, though a great deal of prep was done before I ever saw the doctor.

With this new doctor the prep before he enters the room is similar to the old one. But when he comes in to do the treatment  he has no assistant with him. He braces my head with one hand and plunges the needle in my eye with the other. Not only does he save the cost of having an assistant with him when he does this, but he only spends a minute or so with me, which means he can treat many more patients in a day.  It definitely takes more skill to perform the treatment with one hand, and since that is what he does I’m grateful that he has as much skill as he does. I’m even more grateful that operating with one hand is the only special skill he uses that the other doctor did not and that there are no efficiency gains to made from plunging the needle in my eye while riding  roller skates, blindfolded.

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