I expected culture shock to accompany my jump into the US medical system and feel Japan prepared me for embracing differences but I still have to say the US model of health care confuses (and irritates) me. Before I begin a tirade, though, let me say that I adore my new doctor; she's lovely and personable and informative--and (most importantly) listens beautifully (I get all my requests, including my specified migraine medicine, and more resources based on her referrals). She's fantastic. The medical system...not so much.
I *hate* the insurance policies and procedures, and I have great insurance. Prior to my appointment today I had to give my new medical provider all my insurance information, including mailing address for claims (because they can't presume even the most basic the information, like a billing address in the same city, due to the complexity of this very broken system), which is strange to me when I come from a here's-my-CareCard-number world.
I'm not a fan of the privacy policies and practices, either. I had the pleasure of signing away all sorts of privacy rights today that I didn't quite understand (nor could anyone explain it to me with any detail), though I had a good laugh over the brochure provided as it contained useful nuggets of information, like how I could make any number of requests regarding disclosure but they (the medical provider) are "not required to agree to your request." I realize the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) takes care of many of my concerns with regards to my protected health information, but this is one cultural hurdle I have a hard time jumping.
In other news, I made my first credit card purchase today--a uniquely nerdy (and obviously useful) item:
Note: this is why I love books. :)
I wrote a proper (read: longer than my usual) review of a mathematics book I read recently and a second, shorter review of a young adult novel I enjoyed. How productive I've been! Aside from that, I've been writing. Writing, writing, writing. Delicious writing.