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Access to health care services: perspectives from patients with mental health illnesses. Ioana Staiculescu, MPH Center for Health Policy St Louis Regional Meeting October 19, 2012. Nationwide. The burden and prevalence of mental health disease is enormous
Ioana Staiculescu, MPH
Center for Health Policy
St Louis Regional Meeting
October 19, 2012
Compared with the general population, persons with major mental illness
lose 25-30 years of normal life span8
The purpose of the study was to:
“ I had impacted teeth when I first moved here and my sister got me into her dentist, he pulled it and then he told me it was going to be $1,200 just to replace this one tooth with a temp and I couldn’t afford to go back though. I could pay $400 and that was it.
….. I still owe them $1,200. How am I going to pay that, I don’t have that. It’s like the dentist, he wanted me to pay him $400 a month and I told him what my income was and he didn’t care. I said I can pay $100 a month and he said no that’s not good enough. He won’t do this unless, and the teeth are going bad bad, but what do you do? Anyway, I feel bad that I owe people money. “
“ I don’t go to the doctor when I have something wrong. I didn’t go, I was sick last November; vomiting, diarrhea had it for four days and would not go because I didn’t have any money and I ended up with kidney failure….. If it was available somewhere, you know I didn’t even have a ride to get there.”
“ People look down kind of look down on you, oh you can wait when you have Medicaid, because Medicaid don’t pay all their bills. Medicaid only pays a portion…..”
“ One of my pills alone each month is $670. I pay two bucks. I mean there are good things on Medicaid and then there other things that aren’t so good.”
“ There are certain things Medicaid will not cover, like oral surgery. No dentistry what so ever …. I’ve three teeth that are so bad in my mouth. Diabetic, that stuff is poisonous going into my system and Medicaid won’t pay for it. No matter how much my doctors call and be like look this has to be done.
I got to…have two toenails that have to be removed. They’re covering the surgery to cut the lumps out of my feet, why not take my nails the same time. They are causing pain, they are causing infection. I am a diabetic, your feet are very important. “
“…when I was younger, they had me on medicine for ADD. It was Ritalin and it ate the enamel off my teeth. So they’re all gone, so…and I haven’t found anybody that takes Medicaid.”
“You have a problem. I think most people rely on neighbors and friends and relatives. I think that’s the system they are relying on. Friends and relatives to get to places something like that. To rely on the system itself would be dangerous. You could get stuck somewhere.”
“I’ve got that through Medicaid, but I just, I mean, I have a car, but I just use it to my, all my doctor’s are in like Festus and Crystal, so... I can drive my truck there, but I don’t trust driving it all the way up to the city, you know. And so uh, when I do that I have to give Medicaid a ten days notice and what they’ll do is set up a ride for me and somebody will take me up there and bring me back for my doctor appointments.”
“I missed an important surgery for my hip replacement because transportation didn’t pick me up on the appointment date the time they set to pick me up. “
“For everyone’s sake … I wish there was there was some kind of crisis line you can call for transportation. “
“ I knew that there was something seriously wrong with my right side. I had to push the fact that there is something wrong with my side. I was told they thought it was a bruise. It turned out it was cancer, a tumor, and it wasn’t fully diagnosed until June, and I started getting chemo in August. Now, a year ago, October is when I was feeling this pain, that’s how long it took me to get a diagnosis.“
Library Index. “The Health of the Homeless – The Mental Health of Homeless People.” 2009. Available from http://www.libraryindex.com.
Findings may help policy makers, providers, and researchers understand that people with mental illness need a integrated approach to care management that deals with both the medical needs and the mental health needs—giving each equal priority.
The study provides patients an opportunity to express concerns about the current state of health care in the United States and in Missouri.