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Old 12-06-2016, 04:16 PM   #1
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How Do You Handle Medical Emergencies?

Let me say up front my wife and I are not full-timers YET. We have been working toward cutting our home and personal ties for a few years. Still hoping to hit the road.

Here is what happened recently; the DW started having hip pain. The pain was severe enough that I took her to the ER and she was admitted to the hospital for 4 days. The docs found a stress fracture in her hip bone and a torn tendon. She was sent home with meds and told to take it easy. So far so good.

Do you carry your medical records with you (x-rays, etc) while full-timing? Is this needed or can all hospitals go online and find our records?

The medical people here would not let her leave until we had a family doctor for them to send copies of her medical report to. We always used a local medical clinic for flu shots, fevers, ear aches, that sort of general thing. We are now with a family clinic and a young doctor also.

I guess my question is: what do you do when something unexpected happens like this?
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Old 12-06-2016, 05:52 PM   #2
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How Do You Handle Medical Emergencies?

You cannot rely on hospitals being able to access each other's records on line.

My local hospital will save test results and CAT scans, etc. to a CD at no cost for the first copy. This useful if the results are an important part of your medical history.

In addition you and your spouse should notify your medical and insurance providers if you want to access each other's records before it is needed and set up a medical power of attorney.

We've never needed the power of attorney but I did have some problems dealing with my wife's claims at a time when she was not well enough to handle it.

Right now our on-line medical records are spread across portals for the insurance company, 2 hospitals, and another 3-4 portals for our GP and other specialists.

Talk to your GP in advance about what records you should have in case of emergency.

We are nowhere near being full-timers. This year we managed to get out twice for a total of 4 weeks.

If possible, stay healthy and stay out of hospitals.
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Old 12-06-2016, 06:00 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by City Boy View Post
Let me say up front my wife and I are not full-timers YET. We have been working toward cutting our home and personal ties for a few years. Still hoping to hit the road.

Here is what happened recently; the DW started having hip pain. The pain was severe enough that I took her to the ER and she was admitted to the hospital for 4 days. The docs found a stress fracture in her hip bone and a torn tendon. She was sent home with meds and told to take it easy. So far so good.

Do you carry your medical records with you (x-rays, etc) while full-timing? Is this needed or can all hospitals go online and find our records?

The medical people here would not let her leave until we had a family doctor for them to send copies of her medical report to. We always used a local medical clinic for flu shots, fevers, ear aches, that sort of general thing. We are now with a family clinic and a young doctor also.

I guess my question is: what do you do when something unexpected happens like this?
No law requires you to have a family doctor. They can SAY a LOT of things, but you can check yourself out of the hospital, and they are required to give you copies of your medical records and the medical report upon request. That should suffice for you. If they refuse, they can get in a substantial amount of trouble. Also, refusing to let you leave the hospital when you wish ie; illegally detaining you can be pretty serious! (It's called kidnapping). Obviously it doesn't need to get to that extreme, but you can insist that they release you, and they can't legally refuse.
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Old 12-06-2016, 06:12 PM   #4
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Medical records

Those are your medical records and you are legally entitled to them, though they may charge you to copy. Most imaging is placed on a CD rather than cut film. Be aware though if you check out of hospital AMA (against medical advice) most insurances will deny coverage.

Gary Snyder
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Old 12-06-2016, 07:09 PM   #5
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Thank you all for the encouragement. We had talked with friends who are snowbirds but of course they leave and come back so they have a home base here with doctors, family and friends for support.

Full-timing, we would be pretty much on our own wherever we happen to be parked.

Probably overthinking this situation.
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Old 12-06-2016, 09:16 PM   #6
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You can also dedicate a thumb drive for each of you that you request notes, films, and labs be saved on.
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Old 12-06-2016, 09:32 PM   #7
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We've full-timed for the past 6 years and although we now have doctors in our usual winter location (Corpus Christi TX), we've encountered urgent/emergency issues several times in our travels when we were far from any medical professionals we knew.. We've never had a particular issue getting the proper care regardless of where we were. The internet makes it pretty straightforward to find doctors and review ratings of them.

As for carrying records, the question I have would be "why" unless you have some significant medical condition where knowledge of prior history would be important. None of the issues that have come up over the past 6 years had any relationship to our prior conditions. Furthermore, all our recent laboratory results are accessible on the Quest Diagnostics website (whose labs we have used), so those would be available if a medical facility wanted to compare current test results with previous ones.
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Old 12-06-2016, 09:52 PM   #8
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We've full-timed for the past 6 years and although we now have doctors in our usual winter location (Corpus Christi TX), we've encountered urgent/emergency issues several times in our travels when we were far from any medical professionals we knew.. We've never had a particular issue getting the proper care regardless of where we were. The internet makes it pretty straightforward to find doctors and review ratings of them.

As for carrying records, the question I have would be "why" unless you have some significant medical condition where knowledge of prior history would be important. None of the issues that have come up over the past 6 years had any relationship to our prior conditions. Furthermore, all our recent laboratory results are accessible on the Quest Diagnostics website (whose labs we have used), so those would be available if a medical facility wanted to compare current test results with previous ones.
Totally agree on the above. We full-timed for 16 years and it never posed an issue. As stated, if you have a serious ongoing problem then carrying information might be a good idea. Other than that, just keep track of your last immunizations. If you need ongoing blood work then choose a universal place like Quest Diagnostics. They will give you a printout of the results.

We began full-timing and returned to our hometown physician for a couple years but that eventually became inconvenient. We wintered in the same area so then we chose a doctor there and he became our regular one. Since we were there for months if there were any problems they were easily taken care of during our winter season. We had joint replacements, other surgeries and dealt with cancer while full-timing. A RV is a easy place to recoup - not a lot of walking needed. We've also made fast runs to the local ER. It works out. Don't worry about it.
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Old 12-07-2016, 06:41 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by gsnyder4224 View Post
Those are your medical records and you are legally entitled to them, though they may charge you to copy. Most imaging is placed on a CD rather than cut film. Be aware though if you check out of hospital AMA (against medical advice) most insurances will deny coverage.

Gary Snyder
Gary, good point, and I should have clarified in my post. If I were to check out of a hospital against the staff's recommendation, I would require them to state, in writing, whether their recommendation was based on a MEDICAL requirement, or an ADMINISTRATIVE requirement.

The only time I ever did this, they told me at 0900 that there was no MEDICAL reason I couldn't leave, rather it was their POLICY not to discharge patients until after 2:00 pm. One of the RN's told me (quietly) that it allowed them to charge my insurance for another FULL day for the room! I didn't really want to hang around for another 5 hours just so the hospital could inflate the bill by another full day, so I left. Insurance payed just fine, but I had a written statement from the doctor (written on a prescription form) stating that there was no MEDICAL reason for me to stay until 1400.
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Old 12-07-2016, 10:28 AM   #10
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Why don't you have a regular physician that you see at least annually? We continued to see our internist in Tyler, TX once a year for 8 yrs after we started fulltiming. We have since changed to an internist here in the Mesa area since we spend each winter here - which means we can take our time getting things addressed during the winter. We get all of our records online, as well as lab results. Except for an accident, we never need to see anyone during the rest of the year as we travel, though we often have blood work done, results sent back to our internist and then medication dosages adjusted if needed. We get our maintenance meds through Express Scripts - 90 days at a time with 4 refills for the year. Short term meds filled as needed at Walgreen or Costco (depending upon what cost is with/wo insurance).
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Old 12-07-2016, 03:50 PM   #11
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Thanks again everyone. These are great points that you have brought up. We may keep our new doctor in Indiana and just plan to incorporate an annual check-up while we visit with family and friends that still live here.
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Old 12-07-2016, 03:59 PM   #12
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We carry a binder with all pertinent information (Chronic conditions, test and vaccination records, all current Rx and OTC meds.) Same for our dog.

Backup copy on USB drive in towed vehicle.
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Old 12-07-2016, 07:42 PM   #13
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I have an app Called My Medical on my iPhone where I have loaded in all meds, insurance info, physicians names/phone numbers that I carry at all times. In addition, I have the most recent routine blood test results for each of us. Usually in an emergency situation, prior flims aren't needed, but prior blood work can be a good baseline for the ER physicians to help determine if something has changed.

The only time we've been in an ER were for things like a bronchial infection and determining whether it was bacterial or not.
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Old 12-08-2016, 06:06 AM   #14
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We are going to make some templates and print them out that will have information on where our RV is etc. Emergency contact information of course.

If we are in an accident hopefully the paperwork will lead the folks to our RV to take care of our fur babies. Information on the hidden key will be included.

We have had EMS at the RV twice now there is no time to fuss over finding any records. If you have something specific you need a bracelet or necklace with that info.
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