Robertson Wants Revolution Over Medical Records

Pat Robertson complained on the 700 Club about a doctor visit taking longer than he wanted because the nurse had to enter information into a computer. He was so upset by this that he said it’s time for a revolution before this “socialism” destroys the country.

“We need a revolution in this country to change this stuff,” Robertson lamented. “You know, I had a little procedure or something done. And I’m sitting there, and this nurse is saying, ‘Well, tell us about this.’ And she’s accessing in her computer, ‘Well, how many vitamins do you take? How about something else? When did you have…?’ She spent forever and forever logging stuff into the computer because that’s what they want to do!”

“Well how about me? I’m sick! Help me! Well, that’s too bad. We’ve got to get the records fixed.”

The CBN co-host argued that it was an example of “socialism.”

“It isn’t right,” Robertson agreed. “Ladies and gentlemen, we need a revolution to stop these so-called progressives from destroying this country anymore. But they’re getting pretty close to the tipping point. It is not a pleasant scenario.”

Yeah, because that’s not totally unhinged or anything.

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  • John Pieret

    Well how about me? I’m sick! Help me!

    Well, OK. We’ll make a guess based on incomplete information and give you something that may work, may not work or outright kill you. As long as we don’t kill too many people (that people find out about) we should be able to keep making money in the good ol’ capitalist way!

  • Erk12

    Someone should explain to this dullard that’s part of “taking a history” so the doctor is less likely to give bad advice or diagnosis. Nurses can ask questions like “what kind of medication are you currently taking?” too, it doesn’t require an M.D.

  • otrame

    Yeah. Lets make doctors not take a thorough history on a patient. I mean look at all the questions they ask. That stuff is none of their business. Who do they think they are?

    Are you taking any over-the-counter supplements? (Because some of those can cause excessive bleeding. It is a truism that all bleeding stops eventually but… )

    Have you ever had a bad reaction to a drug? (Because we might be giving you something that is great for most people but will kill you)

    What kinds of drugs do you take? (Because you should never lie to your anesthesiologist. Ever. About anything.)

  • Sir Dr Duncan Mortlock

    “Well how about me? I’m sick!…”

    I feel we all can agree with you there Pat.

  • richardelguru

    Anyway, shouldn’t he be using prayer instead?

  • Larry

    This is a definition of socialism of which I was formerly unaware. I’d have just considered it an important part of one’s healthcare. Who could have guessed it had political implications.

  • Childermass

    Mister Robertson, Name me one industry where keeping computer records is not standard. Oh. Oh. Oh.

  • sugarfrosted

    Charting usually would take a fair bit of time without computers. It’s selection bias and he’s forgetting the time before computers. Additionally, he’s not forward thinking enough to realize that it will save time in the long run. He also ignores that 5 minutes isn’t going to make much of a difference under non life threatening circumstances.

  • fmitchell

    Doctors should be able to get all your medical information from a central computer with the medical records of every current or former resident of the United States. That’s not socialist at all, especially if it’s owned by anonymous private companies.

  • moarscienceplz

    Dear Pat,

    I totally agree! The medical profession is just a big ol’ scam nowadays, what with their new-fangled computers and their fancy-sounding pills that were made in some lab. They don’t even give you medicines that work. Why don’t they bring back leeches and castor oil? I think you should boycott all doctors. If you get real sick, just pray real hard. That’ll solve any medical problem … one way or another.

  • D. C. Sessions

    Well, he’s right about one thing. They never took an HX back when Davis was President.

  • Doug Little

    No, No Pat refuse to give them information about the medications you are taking, just ignore the bit about allergies as well. Actually how about you boycott the doctors office altogether no matter how you are feeling.

  • anubisprime

    Sounds like Pat would be happiest with a ju ju man muttering scripture and waving a thurible around or the equivalent and nothing but a bible in his hand!

  • magistramarla

    The idea of doctors being able to access a patient’s records so that they can actually work together to coordinate patient care is an idea that was suggested by the ACA. Of course, the conservatives must be suspicious of it.

  • eric

    Methinks what he’s really upset about is the nurse said “are you still taking Viagra on a weekly basis?” loud enough to be overheard.

  • peterh

    Just when you thought Pat couldn’t become more unhinged another screw comes loose.

  • dugglebogey

    I work in medical IT. There are very specific laws that prevent your personal health information from being shared with anybody, including the government.

    There are also helpful diagnostic tools within the software, and safeguards to make sure you don’t have dangerous drug interactions. Only your specific health care providers can use the software, and while it takes more time to enter your health information into the system, the benefits of doing it is very valuable to your health.

  • Doug Little

    There are also helpful diagnostic tools within the software, and safeguards to make sure you don’t have dangerous drug interactions.

    Shhhhhhhhhh don’t tell Pat, OK.

  • smrnda

    ‘I had a little procedure or something done.’

    So, Pat can’t even tell us the name or even a description of this ‘procedure or something’ ? He should be happy that the medical establishment is a bit more concerned with getting details right.

    For doctors, the more information the better. Some of the questions might not appear relevant but hey, I’m not a doctor, so I’m not going to automatically know what’s relevant or what is not. So if I get asked a question, and I don’t understand why they need to know, I sometimes ask if I figure it’s helpful to know.

    And yeah, he seems ignorant of HIPPAA, which the idea that Christian employers can prescribe birth control for not birth control reasons (meaning they get to ask) would be a blatant violation of.

  • wildbill

    Why is Pat going to the doctor, can’t he just heal himself? Oh, right, he just plays a healer on tv.

  • sceptinurse

    He seems oblivious to the fact that prior to entering all information into the computer they wrote it all down on paper. The questions have always been there only the format for recording the answers has changed.

  • anubisprime

    Obviously does not pray hard enough to insure his health!

  • Chiroptera

    The CBN co-host argued that it was an example of “socialism.”

    lol wut?

    It’s bad enough that Robertson doesn’t realize that taking the patient’s medical history is import.

    But in addition Robertson seems to think that socialism just means mildly inconvenient bureaucracy?

  • zendruid

    Robertson has no business visiting a clinic. He should go to some storefront church and have hands laid on for healing.

  • felidae

    I guess Paddy was pissed because it took longer than he expected for his diagnosis of senile dementia

  • D. C. Sessions

    I guess Paddy was pissed because it took longer than he expected for his diagnosis of senile dementia

    He should have known by now, after all of the previous times.

  • AsqJames

    The real irony is that a real socialist health care system (like our beloved NHS or really that of any other industrialised country) requires much less form filling. For a start it eliminates every single form related to applying for, renewing/changing, or making a claim on, health insurance. I’ve lived with the NHS all my life so have nothing to compare it with, but I’m interested:

    On average, what % of medical related paperwork would USAians say relates to insurance/payment as opposed to actual health data?

    This is obviously not the most important criteria which could be used to compare any two systems, but since it’s the subject of Pat’s complaint…

  • tacitus

    On average, what % of medical related paperwork would USAians say relates to insurance/payment as opposed to actual health data?

    As someone who’s spent decades in both the US and UK, the amount of paperwork you have (in the US) depends.

    When I was working for a major corporation, you had to review and select from a few health insurance plans once per year, which was easy enough as a single guy. Other than that I had to review and pay the bills for medical care as they came in.

    But now I am no longer employed, I have to buy my own healthcare insurance, which necessitates a lot more research into plan coverages, exclusions, deductibles, and premiums (because the costs are much higher relative to income). Comparing more than a couple of them typically requires you to build a spreadsheet to keep track of all the differences and to work out what your out-of-pocket maximums could be. This is a pain in the neck and is likely beyond a lot of people.

    However, this has nothing to do with Obamacare. You had to do that anyway (if you wanted to make sure you got a good deal). Obamacare is more of a pain for me only because I qualify for subsidies, and they require you to submit supporting information relating to your income. Given the break I’m getting (worth several thousand dollars) I don’t mind doing that. Still, it wouldn’t be necessary at all if we had a system like the NHS.

    In once important way, through, Obamacare has greatly reduced the paperwork burden — pre-existing conditions no longer disqualify you from getting an insurance plan, so insurance companies no longer request your medical history as part of the application since they can no longer use it to reject your application. For many people with long medical histories, this has saved hours, and perhaps even days of paperwork and phone calls (and multiple applications because of the rejections.)

    As for the paperwork at the doctor’s office, that has very little to do with Obamacare either. US doctors routinely ask new patients (and even old ones who haven’t been for a couple of years) to fill in questionnaires about their current health. It’s usually about a 10 minute chore you do when you go for the appointment.

    A few years back I got sick when I was visiting the UK and made an appointment to see my sister’s doctor. I told the receptionist that I would have to pay since I’m not a UK resident, and she said she would look into it. After seeing the doctor, I went back to her to settle up, but she had no idea how to charge me anything, so she didn’t! (I suspect that’s probably changed more recently, given all the additional services many UK practices offer these days.)

    But the extra worry and stress over the paperwork is the least of the problems with the US healthcare system. It’s the extra worry and stress over paying for it. Medical bill related bankruptcy affects over a million Americans every year, and all the financial and economic fallout that incurs. People are stuck in jobs because they don’t want to lose their medical insurance, others have to leave jobs they love because they don’t have good enough medical insurance, and many simply gamble with their health and go without altogether. I have had friends in all three positions. None of my UK friends or family have had to face such choices.

    Last month, a US friend of mine almost died from a perforated colon. Two surgeries, three days in intensive care, and three weeks in hospital later (with another surgery to come), his total bill will be around $200,000. He has no health insurance because he had never been seriously sick before and believes health insurance is a scam (yeah, I know, he’s an idiot). He is fortunate that the hospital and doctors only want him to pay about $50,000 of that bill (i.e. something similar to the rates insurance companies would pay) but that’s still a lot of money, and all the stress and worry that comes with it at a time when he should be focusing on getting well again, not how he’s going to have to pay the bills.

    Compared with all this, the extra paperwork involved is merely an afterthought.

  • tacitus

    On average, what % of medical related paperwork would USAians say relates to insurance/payment as opposed to actual health data?

    Whoops — went off on a very long tangent there (it’s a subject I feel passionate about).

    The shorter answer is — much less now, thanks to Obamacare banning pre-existing conditions as an excuse to reject a health insurance application.

    If the ACA website is working properly, it’s no more of a burden than it was when you had to apply directly to an insurance company (or use one of the third-party comparison sites on the web). And additional paperwork is linked directly to applications for subsidies, which I think is fair enough.

    Pat Robertson is talking through his ass, as usual.

  • lorn

    I think he has it backward.

    Socialized medicine, particularly single payer systems, tend to need far less information of a non-medical nature. It is insurance companies that need to know about niggling details so they can accurately define how much you are going to cost them. In a single payer system, from personal experience, the gate keeping is pretty much limited to making sure you are eligible. Usually a matter confirming identity. Then it is a not-so-simple matter of determining the best treatment options.

  • AsqJames

    Thanks tacitus. That was a very, erm, “comprehensive” reply ;-)!

    I guess any change like the ACA is going to result in some people finding things easier and others (like you) facing extra work, even if in your case you think that extra effort is worth it. I’m sure a very few patients (and quite a few businesses) would be better off if we scrapped the NHS too, I just hope we never find out.

  • jnorris

    I am sure others have posted this, but… Rev Robertson is blaming Pres Obama for his (Robertson) having to go to a hospital because his (Robertson) healing prayers to Jesus failed. That is the only conclusion one can draw, right?

  • lorn

    A friend who maintains his British citizenship, and pays a fee to maintain his status to the NHS, points out that while bagging on the NHS is a near universal pastime most people he knows wouldn’t even consider going back to the way it was before the NHS or to a insurance based model.

    At least once a year he flies into England and gets all his healthcare needs taken care of. When his appendix blew up a few years ago he was in enough pain to go to a hospital in the US. When it was determined what it was, and that he was unlikely to die from it for a few days he bolted to England and had it taken out by the NHS. He claimed he spent more time in the US filling out forms so he could get a diagnosis than it took in England to remove the offending organ.

  • whheydt

    Re: dugglebogey @ #17…

    Back when I was working as a programmer for a drug store chain, all of us working on the pharmacy systems had to get lectured on HIPPAA. The “take away” memory was that every rule ended with the penalty for a violation, “$250,000 and 5 years”.

    Closer to the general topic…

    My “favorite” question from a medical history is, “Is there any family history of tuberculosis?” To which I answer, “Yes, but you don’t care.” This gets me a puzzled look and request to explain, so at that point I tell them that my grandfather died of it…in 1917. At which point they rather sheepishly say, “You’re right. We don’t care.”

    The problem is…the questions need to be structured better.

  • Pierce R. Butler

    C’mon now, folks – how many nosy personal questions does Pat Robertson need to ask before he stares into the camera and announces he feels God™ healing somebody RIGHT NOW in Oklahoma?

  • tacitus

    A friend who maintains his British citizenship, and pays a fee to maintain his status to the NHS

    A fee? Never heard of such a thing, and the NHS web site concerning living abroad permanently doesn’t seem to have either. More likely, the NHS just doesn’t know he’s not a resident.

    As a British ex-pat myself, I’ve always had in the back of my mind that should I ever reach the stage where I can no longer afford US health care, I can always move back to the UK permanently, at which point I would be eligible for NHS care again.

    Fortunately, with the ACA, that’s less likely to happen, but you never know what mess the Republicans might make of it all should they ever manage to pass legislation to repeal the current law.

  • lorn

    I don’t know the details but, as explained a few years ago, he maintained dual citizenship, was resident in the US most of the year but returned once or twice a year to maintain some sort of status. As understood it he paid some portion of what he would in taxes in the UK and maintained access to the NHS. Being just a drinking buddy, and him being a prodigious drinker, I was never clear on all the ins and outs.

  • Ichthyic

    he said it’s time for a revolution before this “socialism” destroys the country.

    the only thing it’s time for is Pat’s retirement.

    well past time, in fact.

  • Ichthyic

    When did you have…?’


    fuck me.. but that fill in the blank now has me ill myself.