REVISED SPRING 2008 - STREETER
At some point in almost everyone’s life they will make a visit to the hospital at least once. There are many different reasons that people seek out a doctor. The most common reasons include to obtain professional help in specific areas such as ear, nose, and throat (ENT), or in baby delivery, obstetricians and gynecologists. The most common example would be if a person is sick. Most hospitals have walk-in clinics where people are able to see physicians for simpler problems like strep throat or a cold. Making a trip to the doctor involves a hospital where the doctor can perform their work along with a proper sterilized facility that the doctor will be able to use the proper tools for that patient. Doctors will need such tool like a stethoscope, blood pressure cuff, thermometer, and other necessary supplies depending on the profession the doctor specializes in. Most doctor offices have secretaries who answer the phones and book appointments for them. The purpose of having doctors is so that when people are sick they can find out what is wrong with them. Doctors are able to write prescriptions, perform surgeries, and many other things only they can do because they are certified and licensed by professionals.
What the Doctor’s Office needs
There are many juridic controls that apply to going to the doctor. First, a certain age requirement is placed upon the patients. To consent for medical treatment people must be capable of forming a reasonable judgment; excluding life-threatening emergencies. However, a doctor must get the patients consent for any medical treatment. Some doctors or hospitals may take a more traditional approach and require the agreement of your parents if the child is under the age of 18 and especially if the primary insurance holder is under the parents’ names. Along with the age requirements, there are some general principles to consider:
1. Minor medical treatment - like treatment for colds or acne. If you are mature enough to understand what the treatment is about, essentially you have the right to agree or refuse.
2. More complicated treatment - like abortion and contraceptive advice. You may still have the right to agree to or refuse treatment without your parents' consent. However, the doctor has to be satisfied that you understand the treatment and its consequences. The doctor must also believe that the procedure is in your best interest.
3. Some 'non-therapeutic' treatments (not involving illness) - like sterilization or gender changing operations. These may not be legal without court approval, even if you and your parents consent.
4. Complex treatment - like treatment of eating disorders or refusal of a blood transfusion on religious grounds. You may not have the right to refuse such treatment, even if you fully understand the treatment and its consequences.
Another important rule is confidentiality. Doctors are required to keep everything they discover confidential, but are able to release information under certain circumstances, such as whether they consider it under the patients best interest or if they think the person is not mature enough to understand the consequences of the decision. There are laws instated so that only certain people are able to view your records and other information.
The next important law is payment and insurance. Once the person is at the doctor they can set up a plan on how they will pay for the visit. Most common is being billed at their home. Insurance is important because it lowers the net price for procedures performed, depending on how much the insurance company is willing to cover. It still makes going to the doctor affordable for people. All doctors are required to have a degree of certification stating that they are able to perform practices on the public, otherwise there are major consequences that they will face. Possible one is the loss of their medical license for indefinitely, or even possible jail time, depending on how extreme the case is.
Complications for Seeing a Doctor
The qualitative measure of burdensomeness of this load in the Intermountain-high Prairie region is not as high as it would be in other regions. People in this area tend to be more laid back. The doctors however, follow the rules they are supposed to. It can be experienced at doctors offices when dealing with insurance policies. Many people seeking medical help may not have proper insurance or a way of paying for the visit there. If that comes up there is a possibility that they will be denied seeing a doctor. The forms that people are required to fill out will be all their personal information and a consent for. If someone fails to do so, they will also be unable to see a professional. When people are incapable of seeing a doctor they often overreact. This is usually because they need to see a doctor but do not meet the requirements and have no other way of relieving their individual problem.
How to get Help
The ways that people in the Intermountain-high Prairie west region get around these controls is by applying for insurance that accordingly fits they standards they have created for themselves due to certain classifications, or look for a new job where they where insurance is offered as a benefit. For elderly people who are 65 years and older or disabled people they are able to receive Medicare. Some doctors will continue to see a patient even in they know that they have at least filed for Medicaid.