Whose job is it to take care of this patient?
Her primary doctor
Does she have one?
So who gets to do the work?
I have had patients released from the hospital without follow up care. One patient was under the care of a hospitalist. These doctors only see patients while they are in the hospital. This was also in the next state. This becomes important because she has our state’s Medicaid. Most doctors don’t take Medicaid from another state because they don’t get paid. If you are on the border, sometimes you have to.
While she was in the hospital for her eyelid infection, she had a surgical procedure. The doctor used a suture that would have to be removed. She was discharged when the infection was controlled, but the suture was not ready to come out. No arrangements were made for follow up with the eye doctor. His office refused to schedule an appointment because she has out of state Medicaid. They did not refer her.
She came to my office for a regular visit with the stitch still in place long after it should have come out. She was starting to react to the suture. What am I going to do? What any good physician who has the appropriate equipment will do. I took the stitch out.
Then I arranged for follow up with a local ophthalmologist who would see her with her in state Medicaid card.
Not my job. Not my field.
It was just the right thing to do.