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The NSPA Blog

Modern Healthcare: We are in “Quite a Pickle”….Especially Our Seniors

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Posted on April 18th, 2017 by Teri Dreher, under Healthcare Reform, Patient Advocacy

Tired of hearing all the hoopla about President Trump’s goal to “Repeal and Replace” Obamacare?

Fear, anxiety and concern over what the future holds for US healthcare is evident at industry gatherings and in private homes.  Grappling with the reality of what US healthcare has become is evident everywhere. And I totally get your concern…things Healthcare is in a Picklelook very gloomy with the rising costs of US healthcare and insurance premiums.  

We face a growing “senior orphan” issue in America–ie. elderly people with no families to help them.  We’re also dealing with a growing number of people who outlive their savings and are unable to pay for long term care.

Let’s face it: Medicaid beds in skilled nursing facilities are not something any of us look forward to. This is what our RN patient advocates grapple with on a daily basis. I look into the eye of the storm every single day.  These are questions that keep me up at night:  

  • What will happen to us?
  • What value will our country place in the future on our senior population in the future?
  • What are we willing to do as a nation to protect them and make sure their future is safe and secure?

Our healthcare system in America is broken!  Our RN advocates make a difference one client at a time.

This past week a church asked me to help a long time parishioner.  This individual was out of funds, in a rehab unit and was given only two days to select a long term facility. No one communicated with her about the quality of the options available. Our approach to a solution started with untangling the mess.  We sought placement in a quality facility that would accommodate her Medicaid status.   Next we selected a new physician for her at the facility. Bless these doctors who still accept Medicaid patients even with minimal reimbursement!  These doctors are my heroes. 

Margaret MeadWhat can we do to stand up and help seniors who struggle?  Margaret Meade said: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.  Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” 

What will the future hold? No one really knows for sure.  I do know that it behooves all of us to rise up and help seniors we know to seek the help that they need. We will be nursing homes and wheelchairs sometime, too, so pay it forward!! 


With over 36 years of clinical experience in Critical Care nursing, home based health care and expertise as a cardiovascular nurse clinician, Teri is well acquainted with the complexities of the modern healthcare system. She has served as a nursing leader, mentor, educator, and consistent patient advocate throughout her career in some of the best hospitals across the country. Her passion to keep the patient at the center of the model of nursing care led her to incorporate NShore Patient Advocates, LLC in 2011, serving clients throughout the northern suburbs of Chicago.

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