One of the most dangerous medicines physicians prescribe is the blood thinner, Coumadin (also known as warfarin). That’s right. It isn’t a narcotic or other dangerous drug unknown to most of the people in the world. In fact, almost everyone knows someone who is on a “blood thinner” and it’s most likely this drug. Its common usage is mostly associated with those patients who are at an increased risk forÂ deep venous thrombosis and intracardiac blood clots.Â Â If these blood clotsÂ form in the legsÂ they may eventually break off, travel to the lungs and cause a pulmonary embolism.Â Otherwise, they tend to form in cardiac patients who suffer from atrial fibrillation(an abnormal heart arrythmia) and create clots in the heart that lead to strokes.Â Â
Patients on coumadin need to have their blood tested on a routine basis to be sure that their blood is not too thin–leading to a hemorrhagic stroke, and not too thick–leading to an embolic stroke. Amazingly, the Medicare program doesn’t pay for the routine checking of this test. Yet a physician would be liable for malpractice if they failed to monitor their patients who need this medicine.Â One is forced to ask why the test is not covered.
BECAUSE THE GOVERNMENT DOESN”T CARE! Why do people continue to put their trust in a supposedly caring entity that nobody knows personally, nobody can ask a question to (try any .gov web site), and one that has a reputation already of not caring. Have you ever visited the post office or court house in your own town? Is there any attempt by the government offices to provide customer service?
It is time for physicians to discontinue caring for those patients who have accepted the governmentÂ programs for their “insurance carrier.” Unfortunately, this includes wonderful patients who are forced to use Medicare due to age and the poor who choose to use the state funded Medicaid systems.