Painful, needless delay

October 16, 2012 

TROY WAECHTER, West Richland

My wife suffers from rheumatoid arthritis. She often wakes up in so much pain, she cannot even open her fingers all the way. We have been trying to get her some relief for more than three months now.

The new and archaic federal privacy laws have made even sharing chart notes between doctors illegal unless the patient fills out a raft of forms. Meanwhile, this has resulted in my wife suffering greatly.

Then we found out that one doctor is out of town and could not be reached for several days. And because he did not document in my wife's chart that it was OK for her primary care provider to give her something for her rheumatoid arthritis, we have to wait until the other doctor returns before anything can be done.

So, here I sit waiting for her to wake up, wondering how bad her pain will be today and ready to stroke her hair and whisper to her as she cries from the pain. Meanwhile, I silently rage inside at the health care system and feel useless while the absolute love of my life suffers. All because some self-important doctor didn't take 10 seconds to chart. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act sucks.

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