The Fish Bowl

bigstock-Gold-fishes-in-aquarium-17062952 - CopyMy mother possessed an aquarium filled with tropical fish. I recall she obtained her fish from a small store in the lazy town I grew up in. My twin brother and I accompanied her on one of excursions. After paying for the fish I insisted on carrying the plastic bag out of the store. She reluctantly complied with this request. What I can’t remember is what happened next. I either dropped the bag or became enraged at something my brother did and slammed the bag down. You can guess what happened. By the time my mother exited the store there was a bag full of fish belly up, dead. “Do not Tap On The Glass” signs are posted on fish tanks for a reason. The stress affects the health of the fish. Shock waves can even kill these small fish.
Working in primary care I often feel like a fish trapped in an aquarium. Everyone can see me. Insurance companies, government agencies, medical boards, and patients have full access to my charts, prescriptions statistics and even how many samples a drug company supplied to me. Someone is constantly tapping on the glass. The stress is sometimes unbearable and makes the job of providing compassionate care difficult.
I whole heartedly agree that transparency in medical care is necessary. However, when it takes me 30 minutes on the phone to get an MRI of the brain approved for someone with unusual headaches, or I have to fill a prior authorization form out because the insurance company has a preferred generic ace inhibitor I feel like a small fish beating up against the side of an aquarium. When will insurance companies and government run agencies have the same transparency?

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