I have had some VERY interesting discussions about patient compliance with some people in the medical profession.
These discussions started from an innocent remark that someone made to the effect that transplant patients are VERY compliant. While I am a very compliant patient, there are times I eat something “bad” or don’t drink as much as I should, etc. I was curious about how medical professionals see patients in regard to compliance (or lack thereof), on the whole, since transplant recipients are a tiny part of the big picture. So I asked a few close friends in the medical profession
The responses were quite astounding. Stories of totally clueless patients, total non-compliance, leaving hospitals with IV’s still in their arms, not taking medications, abusing medications, etc, etc. As these discussions continued, more than one person told me that if health insurance companies, Medicare and Medicaid would STOP paying for the non-compliant patients, there would be absolutely NO need to “reform” health care. They maintained that billions and billions of dollars are being wasted daily by the same patients returning for the same malady month after month, year after year, but refusing to do what they (the patient) MUST do to get better. (Change diet, stop smoking, stop excessive drinking, get more exercise, etc) They also said this non-compliance applied to all age groups, races, and social-economic backgrounds.
It really opened my eyes. Maybe I’ll ask one of my coordinators from my post heart transplant team and see how “we” (transplant recipients) do on compliance.