Dood luck getting help at this office
Don’t know whether you heard about the closing of the Jenkintown 6RFiDO 6HFuUiWy $GPiniVWUDWiRn RIfiFH this week (Sept. 28). The government says it will be saving more than $2 million over the next 10 years by closing WKiV RIfiFH.
Clearly, customer convenience and service is not part of this equation.
But fear not, old people, you FDn VWiOO JR WR WKH RIfiFH in /iPerick (near the nuclear reactor) or the one in Norristown someplace. Both locations are not exactly handy for people in the lld York Road area, especially for those without cars. There DUH DOVR D FRuSOH RI RIfiFHV in Philadelphia if you care to send your elderly friends or relatives on a public transportation odyssey. But, wait a minute, where are our leaders on this? Why isn’t Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz standing up for her constituents? Talk about disenfranchising older people.
I have had several occasions to visit WKH -HnNinWRwn 6RFiDO 6HFuUiWy RIfiFH. My 89-year-old father-in-law lives with us and it took the crack clerical staff WKHUH DOPRVW WwR yHDUV WR fiJuUH RuW WKDW Vince wasn’t born in 1921, but rather 1923. We took all the required docuPHnWV HDFK WiPH wH YiViWHG WKH RIfiFH DnG each time we got to take a number (like at the deli) and then wait around while they did a Hekyl and Jekyll routine over who should handle his problem. Nobody really seemed to want to do it.
Do you know how we solved it? We went to PennDlT and straightened it out in one visit, and along the way, told us “that’s the laziest bunch of political hacks we ever saw, they do this all the time,” referring to our pals in Jenkintown.
Armed with his new PennDlT-isVuHG ,D WKH wizDUGV WKHUH finDOOy WRRN two years off his date of birth. He immediately felt younger!
What’s the difference, you ask? Who cares if you are 89 or 91? The difference was that Medicare was rejecting his bills because his date of birth (we happened to foolishly put the correct date on the forms) was the one that didn’t match their date (the wrong one). lne local pharmacist admitted that the dates of birth are often screwed up on older people’s records and so they, the GUuJ VWRUH, fiOO in WKH GDWH WKDW Medicare wants to see so that it can get paid. It’s called understanding how a really bad system works.
Each time I took Pop to WKH 6RFiDO 6HFuUiWy RIfiFH ,’G know I was in for a long wait. Though there were always a lot of staffers there, I was obviously missing the daily lottery where, apparently, low man (or woman) loses and has to actually work with people that come in. I never saw so many self-important folks wandering around behind enclosures as I did there. Well, maybe I did. The old Chestnut Hill Post lffiFH wKHUH ,’G JR wKHn , wRUNHG DW Spring Garden College was equally bad. They’d have 10 workers behind the counter and one open window. (7KDnNIuOOy WKH $EinJWRn 3RVW 2IfiFH, where I do my daily business, is a lot more customer friendly.)
I’d guess that over the two-plus years we were dancing around with Cindy’s Dad’s date-of-birth issue we visited Jenkintown a half dozen times. Now, were this to happen again, we’re looking at hour-long trips someplace and doing so on the off chance some political appointee will actually help us? I don’t like the odds. The system is broke, someone nHHGV WR fix iW DnG yRu GRn’W fix iW Ey VKuWWinJ GRwn FRnYHniHnW RIfiFHV.
And here’s an update on my recent column about the problems we encountered at Abington Hospital and how the %ODiU 0iOO 5RDG RIfiFH: (D.) GiGn’W VHHP WR EH DEOH WR finG D UHIHUUDO (nRW RnFH, but twice) and (b.) the people we encountered there treated us as nothing more than an inconvenience.
First of all, the reader response was staggering. Comments like, “It’s about time someone told it like it is,” to, “They needed to hear from the silent majority” and “Thanks for speaking uS” fiOOHG Py PDiOERx. 7R EH IDiU, RnH lady did accuse me of being “AntiAbington Hospital,” and I told her, no, I just have a hard time with stupidity.
We also heard from several Abington Hospital big wigs, including Chief of Staff John J. helly MD, all of whom were not at all happy about how patients were being treated and promised to do something about it at once. Dr. .HOOy VDiG: “WH’OO uVH WKiV DV D OHDUninJ experience; our patients are more than a name and a number.”
Note to the folks in Human ReVRuUFHV DW $EinJWRn HRVSiWDO: yRu really ought to try hiring more qualifiHG SHRSOH, nRW MuVW WKRVH WKDW “NnRw somebody.”
That situation is often discussed in healthcare circles and has lasted far too long (I understand there is a book in the works).
My wife, who currently works in WKH fiHOG DV D UHFUuiWHU, DnG EHIRUH WKDW an administrator for another healthFDUH fiUP, KDV KHDUG WKDW ODPHnW IURP FRunWOHVV wHOO TuDOifiHG SHRSOH wKR haven’t even gotten even a sniff at a job at AMH, not even so much as the courtesy of a reply to their resume, because they didn’t have the proper connections.
While all those that volunteer at the hospital do so to help people – and do a finH MRE – iW’V uVuDOOy WKH RnHV GUDwinJ a paycheck with the “not my job, man” attitude that are the problem. There’s trouble at the big local hospital and it EDGOy nHHGV fixinJ.
Ted Taylor can be reached at ted@ tedtaylor.com.