I blogged last week about my frustration in trying to get a couple of prescriptions filled. I called again my mail-order provider again and, after more inordinate time spent on hold, was told, "Everything is fine. There was a problem with your account, but it got straightened out on August 1st. Unfortunately, we returned your prescriptions to you on July 31st." To be fair, I was then transferred to someone who promised to contact my doctor's office directly and have the drugs sent to me right away. At least I didn't have to fill out the paperwork again and re-submit the prescriptions.
Nonetheless, this kind of problem—of which I am sure many thousands, if not millions, of Americans could give equally frustrating examples, many of them with much more extreme consequences—illustrates why the U.S. managed care system will inevitably wind up being completely overhauled, before too long and despite the special interests. It simply doesn't work well. And it costs too much, not only in dollars but also in patients' time, energy and wellness. Surely someone can come up with a new way of doing things that is better. Not perfect, but better.