About Coulee Medical Center…
Letters to the Editor
There have been several articles in the newspaper lately about Coulee Medical Center, and I feel it is time for me to voice my concerns.
We all are expected to choose a primary health care provider. That health care provider gets to know you as a person and knows your medical history. When a health issue arises you shouldn’t have to wait a month or more to get in to see your primary care provider. If you end up seeing someone else, they usually know nothing about you or your medical history. We need more health care providers, not less, in order for our primary care providers to be able to see us when needed.
Billing is another issue I want to bring up. When you receive a bill it shows only the balance due, so you don’t know what you are being charged for. Who would pay any bill without knowing what you are being charged for? Wenatchee Valley Clinic sends a detailed itemized bill.
Next is the pricing issue. In one of the articles, it mentioned the prices for our clinic/hospital was comparable to others in the area. I think we would all like to see the comparisons made by the hospital. Here are a couple examples of unfavorable pricing I have experienced myself. Routine blood tests at Coulee Medical range from $300 to $600 with co-pays ranging from $42 to $90. At the Rockwood Clinic in Spokane for the same routine blood tests it ranges from $50 to $107 with co-pays of $2.35 to $5.87. I was quoted $3,984 with copay of $598 for a knee MRI here at Coulee Medical. I went to Moses Lake Clinic and had the knee MRI done for $1,046.66 with a co-pay of $151.76.
The primary focus of Coulee Medical Center should be providing quality health care for the people in the community at a reasonable price. With long waiting times for appointments and with over-pricing of services, it will drive even more people to go elsewhere. We have a beautiful new clinic and hospital with very professional and caring people working there. The administrator is not only responsible for the operation of the hospital, but also the working conditions, morale and stress imposed on the hospital staff. If the administrator isn’t responsive to the issues raised by the doctors, the hospital board needs to step in and resolve the issues.
The doctors are a great asset to the community and we want to keep them here! We keep calling it a community medical center, so let us make it just that, (one that fulfills the needs of the community).