Baldies' Blog began originally in the UK by a 26 year old journalist with a blood cancer on a mission to inform the world about bone marrow donation.

He has since died, and I took on the cause of making cancer care more transparent for everybody.

Cancer is a disease that will touch everybody through diagnosis or affiliation: 1 in 2 men will be diagnosed and 1 in 3 woman will hear those words, "You Have Cancer."

I invite you to read how I feel along my journey and
how I am continuing to live a full life alongside my Hodgkin's lymphoma, with me controlling my cancer, not my cancer controlling me.

I hope that "Baldies' Blog" will prepare you to handle whatever life sends you, but especially if it's the message, "You Have Cancer."

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Tuesday, March 10, 2009


I just had the pleasure of speaking with Frank McDougal regarding Dartmouth Hitchcock’s specific difficulties as a result of NH’s Medicaid.
In July 2008, Children’s Hospital of Boston stated they would no longer accept NH Medicaid.
This action caused a sudden increase in volume at CHAD (Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth), as children who were referred to Children’s previously were no longer being accepted.
As I’ve written in previous postings regarding my experiences as a patient, CHAD is experiencing the same problem en masse.
Volume is going up, payment is going down.
CHAD remains “Mission driven and payer blind,” refusing to DISCRIMATE based on ability to pay.
However, reimbursement payment is serving as a barrier for sick children to receive the care they deserve.
To simplify a very complicated, diffuse, problem: Chad won’t slam and lock the door in the face of a child who will die without their care.
They are still forced to absorb the costs of treatment.
Absorbing these costs may manifest itself by compromising patient care due to hiring freezes, which are all ready occurring in Maine, and unsafe patient:provider ratios.
The sick will still need to be treated.
For those of us as individuals, providers, and hospital’s looking to provide the very best care this is devastating.
The insurance/repayment system in place is serving as a barrier for people to provide the care we would like to, the care we dreamed about giving when we said we wanted to be a doctor/nurse in grade school, or the care and idealisms we held onto while working the night shift and taking days classes to obtain our degrees.
Most health care providers withstand the personnal strain of education due to the dream that they will one day have the ability to ease the pain of others.
When graduation has passed, and our job has started, these dreams and ideations are often squashed and silence with politics, processes, and red tape that impede the mutual goal of cures and patient needs.
Could you imagine being the parent of a child who has suffered trauma due to a car/ski/soccer accident, only to be told that your child will NOT be flown to Children’s, where they have the best hope of survival, because you do not have the money?
Or imagine the shock of finding out your child has leukemia and is in need of a life saving stem cell transplant only to have the news followed with “The hospital with the most experience and the best survival rates will not accept you due to your insurance status. Your options are to pay upfront or take second best.”
CHAD provides wonderful quality care.
However, I do not know a single parent who would accept a runner-up when the stake is the life or death of their child.
It is not something I am personally willing to gamble, but not all of us have the means to make the choice.
Just because RIGHT NOW I’m referring to other people, who you may not know, and I am not referring to your child, does not mean you’re safe.
Life is fragile. One in two males and 1 in 3 females will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their life.
Cancer does not discriminate.
Stand up for the Sick who can’t, just in case sometime you need others to stand up for you.
There will be an article in The Valley News tomorrow quoting Frank McDougal. I encourage everybody to read it.

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