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BP and Innovation

October 20, 2012

If you are friends with me on Facebook, you may have seen my recent bout with high blood pressure.  For months I’ve been having horrible headaches but every time I go to the store, some huge guy is sweating in the BP kiosk sleeve.  Yuck.  This time it was free and clean.  The last recorded BP was 131 over 82.  So I gave it a shot.  When it had to re-pump three times, I should have gotten a clue.  219/107.  Time for a trip to the doctor.  The point was driven home when I walked as and the fat guy came in behind me and shouted, “holy cow!”

That was Saturday.  Sunday was headsplitting time.

I like my doctor.  The got me in on Monday.  After a two-hour wait, my BP is taken a couple times.  I wait 29 minutes more for the doctor.  A good guy.  He didn’t take my BP, but he did prescribe two daily pills.  And he took some notes.

$25 co-pay, $100 the insurance covers and three hours after I left, I’m back at work.

It’s good to have insurance.  Really it is.  But it strikes me that a) my BP was taken with a machine, b) I knew what I needed prescribed, and c) the really costly electronic record keeping would make my history available to anyone.

So.  Instead of 3 hours at the doctor, why not have a Nurse Practitioner sponsored by WalMart or Walgreens or CVS who only handles BP?  A little room, no clothes come off, access to the records.  BP can be taken at the machine minutes before the appointment.  Five minutes to prescribe the meds, and BOOM, you’re done.

Hypertension is extremely common.  The uninsured guy I waited with (who paid $100 bucks to wait) also had high BP.  I pay a $25 copay anyway, which seems like a more than fair price for the NP service.  No insurance necessary.

Cheap solution, yes?  Better than what we have now, better than Obamacare…

I’m supposed to go in for a fully physical in 6 weeks.  I probably won’t because this medication seems to have fixed all the problems I listed and several more personal ones I didn’t.  With no indications, no physical necessary, right?

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