More Government Meddling in Healthcare
That’s the number of healthcare institutions who have found themselves at the business end of new government rules. These new regulations come with a hefty price tag. No surprise there.
But there are bigger implications than just the cost alone. First, let’s take a closer look at the new rules themselves.
Healthcare System Unprepared for Disaster
These proposed regulations are meant to get our healthcare system ready to weather a natural disaster or other large-scale crisis. Bureaucrats began working on the new rules after Hurricane Katrina.
In the aftermath of Katrina, hospitals, nursing homes, and other facilities struggled to protect their patients against rising floodwaters, faltering power, and unsanitary conditions. They didn’t all succeed.
Katrina revealed a big weakness in our healthcare system.
Several years later, Hurricane Sandy underscored the continued need for improvements.
Federal officials want hospitals, nursing homes, home healthcare agencies, clinics, and psychiatric hospitals, among others, to develop plans for:
- Maintaining emergency lighting
- Ensuring a working fire safety system during a power loss
- Dealing with waste disposal and sewage during a power loss
- Maintaining safe temperatures for patients when HVAC systems fail
- Evacuation of patients to an alternative site
- Caring for patients at alternative sites
- Tracking displaced patients
This list just covers the basics. The rules get more specific based on each type of facility.
For example, now home healthcare agencies will be required to work out personalized disaster plans with each of their clients on an individual basis.
If that seems like a lot … well, it is.
And if you’re sitting there thinking that everything on that list is something that you hope your own hospital already has a plan for … well, they probably don’t.
These new government rules are important for you to know about for two reasons.
First, they reveal that during a large-scale crisis, hospitals are not safe places to be. They aren’t ready to handle the sudden influx of people in need of attention. And they especially aren’t ready to deal with a heavy patient load while also coping with a sudden drop (sometimes to zero) in resources.
Second, the federal government has picked maybe the worst time possible to impose costly, sweeping new rules on the healthcare system.
So what does this all mean for you?
In a Large-Scale Crisis,
You’re On Your Own
Obviously, during a disaster and right after a crisis, major traumas are still going to send you to a hospital. But because they aren’t safe places to be in a large-scale crisis, you should be ready to handle most minor injuries and illnesses on your own … at least temporarily.
What will you do in these situations?
If someone in your family needs medical equipment or prescription drugs for their health, make that part of your plan. Plan for power outages. Plan to be unable to get to a pharmacy for several days. Or for the pharmacy to be out of the drugs you need.
In the event that you and your family need to evacuate, don’t forget to take supplies with you to deal with health issues. You should travel with a basic first aid kit at the very least.
And again, make a contingency plan that accounts for the specific medical needs within your household.
Prepare for Medical Shortages
They just can’t help it. The government can’t stop meddling.
Even when healthcare resources are already strained, the government is demanding more, picking maybe the worst time possible to impose costly, sweeping new rules on the healthcare system. Obamacare will make healthcare more expensive.
But the government isn’t going to stop there. More new rules. More new regulations. It never stops.
The demand to adopt these new disaster preparedness rules may seem reasonable, but it will divert healthcare dollars away from patients.
We’re headed for healthcare shortages. Now is a good time to start looking for alternatives. Some things to consider include:
- Naturopathic medicine: Since naturopathic medicine is still largely outside the insurance system, Obamacare won’t impact it the same way. Sooner than you think, it may be easier to find a good naturopath than it is to get an appointment with your traditional family doctor.
- Concierge medicine: Concierge doctors provide an alternative to the traditional healthcare/insurance mess. You can get high quality care and you may find it costs much less than you’d guess.
- Medical tourism: Traveling out of the country when you need a major surgical procedure is becoming an attractive option. You can find U.S. trained doctors all over the world, often charging a small fraction of U.S. prices.
The U.S. healthcare system is undergoing big, unpredictable changes. Take steps to prepare now, and you’ll be better able to navigate these confusing waters when you have a healthcare issue that needs to be treated.
P.S. – I want you to avoid hospitals at all costs. These falsely labeled “safe havens” are more dangerous in crisis than you’d expect. This is why, for the next 36 hours, I want you to go on a quick shopping spree to guard against poor hospital management.
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