ATHENS, GA – “I can’t afford these meds!” hospitalized patient Jason Redmond told his medical team, as he folded closed his 13-inch MacBook Air. Redmond was hospitalized at Athens Regional for chest pain ultimately found due to poorly-controlled hypertension.
“Your blood pressure is controlled now, you’re no longer in chest pain, because of the lisinopril and HCTZ you’ve received here,” explained Melinda Dodson, the family medicine attending on service. “Both are on the $4 list.”
“Oooohhhh, you’re talking TWO medications?!” Redmond wasn’t happy. He calculated the math on his iPhone 6s Plus (gold finish). He was shocked when he hit the “equals” sign. “We’re talking, like, $8 a month! That’s OUTRAGEOUS!!! I can’t afford these $4 meds!”
“Actually, there’s a combination pill of lisinopril & HCTZ now that I think of it,” Dodson remembered. “So for just $4 a month, you can be chest pain free. What do you think?”
“See, you can just prescribe and prescribe, but I’m the one who has to pay for these medications,” said a flustered Redmond, looking for his limited edition LeBron James Nike shoes. “That’s $4!! Do you think I’m made of money?” Redmond was agitated, his dangling gold necklaces starting to make noise against his telemetry box. “Well?” he asked, slamming his fist onto the table, nearly scratching his large-faced watch that would make Cee Lo Green proud. “DO YOU?!”
Dodson and her team of residents and students stood in silence.
“Just discharge me,” said Redmond. He had heard enough. He drove the point home by putting on his wireless Beats by Dr. Dre headphones.
“As you wish,” replied Dodson. “We’ll give you the prescription anyway and we highly encourage that you fill it. But how you prioritize your spending and health, that’s up to you.” She locked eyes with Redmond before asking one last question. “Do you need a ride home?”
“Nahh, I’ll be fine,” Redmond replied, no longer making eye contact. “I’ll just Uber it.”