More people are coming in to make a claim and now they have to look in their back pockets to find antibiotics as well. A typical blood draw from a person with a positive result can cost $1,000. Many in the community are struggling to cover the cost so those using their cell phones to call insurance companies to report suspected illnesses are still at risk.
A lot of the patients involved in the new system are suffering from symptoms of drug resistant infections, which is what led the department and local hospitals to get involved in the new program. The department has also worked with local pharmacies to take on some of the additional responsibilities of tracking patients and keeping them in a hospital environment. As the number of patients with suspected infections increases, so does the need for some type of system. A new program like this only becomes necessary when the numbers of infected become too high. One patient with suspected syphilis has already reported it to the hospital so they don’t know how many people they’ve already tested, but hope that it will drop dramatically. It may happen quickly and it could be a new low for the department.
More information: The Associated Press/Boston Globe