I just got off the phone with Tom Polston, who sells medical equipment in Plano. The reason for the call: I (like every film critic in town) was forwarded by the local Weinstein Company representative a letter Polston sent to Michael Moore after he saw his health-care doc Sicko at the Angelika in Plano over the weekend. And why did Polston send Moore the missive? "Because I'm mad as hell," Polston told Unfair Park. "We see this on a daily basis. We have to fight for our patients, and we have to fight the insurance companies companies to get paid. It's incredible."
The text of Polston's letter is after the jump, but we talked for a while about why he felt compelled to send Moore the letter. As we pointed out yesterday, the movie is getting people to act -- even if they're just chatting in the john. So, Tom?
"Look, I know Michael Moore has a reputation, but I saw on him on Larry King last Thursday, and I told my wife we had so see it, and we did on Saturday," Polston says. "It was packed, and we came out of it just shaking our heads. There was a lady next to me crying. You walk out of there thinking, 'Whatever you think of Michael Moore, he's nailed it.' You have to get off your butt and start pushing against the envelope of the huge bureaucracy of managed health care and get this fixed. So I woke up at 4:30 in the morning on Sunday and whipped out this letter. It just galls the hell out of me." --Robert Wilonsky
From: tom polston [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Sunday, July 01, 2007 6:27 AM
Subject: I am Health Care
My wife and I saw the movie last night (yes, we stood in line) but worth the wait. It was like the middle-aged version of the iPhone. We laugh and we cried and I wonder how many are mad as hell and not going to take it any more.
I own a medical home care equipment/supply company and have been in healthcare for over 20 years. Our biggest problem is collecting from the insurance companies. We are at the bottom of the the food chain in terms of total expenditures. Yet we have to fight for our patients and our cash flow. Denials and delays are the tactics of the companies and our government in keeping us under control. Tell me what other business provides a service and then has to wait 90 or 120 days to get paid.
Now for piece of information you may not be aware of: Medicare is implementing Nationwide competitive bidding in the top 10 MSA's NOW. Yes, the folks at CMS under the MMA (2003 drug bill ). It is ironic that our government is bidding health care when they already set fees (frozen for last 3 yrs.) and say we are saving the tax payers $. They do not tell the American people of this, not one of our patients and or doctors are aware that in late 2007 their choice of a supplier will be eliminated. Medicare can't tell what the administrative cost will be and how much will be saved. If THEY can pull this off then doctors and hospitals will be next and that is when the people will realize that they have little or restrictive access to heath care system.
NOTE: Our Medicare folks (with the support of Congress) have passed a capped rental on OXYGEN and at the end of 36 months the patients will own the equipment and be responsible for maintenance etc. How nice. Again, the people are unaware of this surprise.
Tom Polston Plano, Texas (Bush Country, the wealthiest county in the state with no county hospital)
My office phone is 972-xxx-xxxx. We belong to a management group that is helping independent medical businesses lead the charge against Congress and Medicare on all these changes. Yes, call me.
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