In these several days since writing the blog titled Kensington Does Not Have an Opioid Crisis!, I've been thinking about 'Allison.' I wrote about her experience with the Medicaid level health care that she had in her first hour after a near-fatal overdose in this blog: Allison at Episcopal: A Story of Medicaid Vs. Private Insurance.
Here's a quick synopsis: On May 6, 2020, Allison overdosed and was saved by Narcan. She was transported to Episcopal Hospital. The registered nurse told her to "Get out of my emergency room."
Allison remains street-bound, addicted, and increasingly traumatized by life on the streets. Her children remain without their mother and her family without their loved one.
This Registered Nurse does not hold the blame for all the ills of the Medicaid system of health care provision for patients of Substance Use Disorder who are financially reliant on it for their health care. She does serve as a painful and all too common example of the faults within the system.
Would Allison's outcome that day have been one of healing if that Registered Nurse had demonstrated the care and compassion expected of her by the Hippocratic Oath upon which she had vowed her career years earlier?
From Allison's perspective, this Registered Nurse's lack of care and concern for her as a human being worthy of dignity and respect only echoed previous experiences of run-ins with other representatives of Hippocrates.
Any and all of the following accounts of Medicaid level shortfalls in the delivery of health care to patients of Substance Use Disorder could apply to Allison's street bound journey:
Read about the patient who was desperately seeking detox and needed to be admitted to a medical hospital for an infection. She was treated for that infection and not treated for her detox-related symptoms. She signed out AMA.
The good news is this:
There is a way to provide prompt, dignity and respect filled detox to patients of Substance Use Disorder!
The following link is a blog that compares the two models of health care. Let us, with a spirit of urgency, find a way to bridge the gap between these two models of health care. Let us plow down 'Medicaid Mountain', the heights of which and cliffside paths of which are far too high and far too narrow for any patient of any diagnosis to navigate on their own...
Let us find a way...
Let us find a way...