Increasingly a complaint about awkward or goofy health-related services is met with “But that’s the law. We have to do it that way.”
For example, CVS Pharmacy has been revising their web site for prescription refills. It used to work just dandy, and was fairly easy to cope with. Now, however, everything is wrapped in military level security, i.e., enter your user name, your password, your plan number, your group number, a recent prescription number, your name, your birth date, the name of your cat, and if you are not so frustrated that you’ve quit, your shoe size. A complaint about this awkward and unnecessary level of security gets the answer: “The health care privacy laws require it.” Well, should they? Do they actually? Is it just an excuse for programmers going wild?
We see this everywhere. New intrusive health care questionnaires, invitations to have an “expert” examine our living quarters, invitations to consult health-plan nurses. This is health-care by push. I tell them “Don’t call me, I’ll call you,” but they call anyway. Any day now I expect Mrs. Obama to knock on my door and insist on inspecting the contents of my fridge.
I go to my dentist’s lab to have a repair on a broken denture. The lab techs say they can’t do the job without permission from the dentist. Hey guys, this is warranty service. What possible benefit does this have to me, to be told I can’t have someone fix my denture without permission? Maybe my barber will have to get permission to cut my hair next time.
This is insanity and it needs to be stopped and backed up right now. My own frustration is at the boiling point. Friends and family tell me I’m a grump, but I maintain that they’re blissfully ignorant of a trend that could some day deprive us of all of our freedoms.