The Commander of Hill Air Force Base, Utah: Make reasonable allowances for medical clinic visits for families
  • Petitioned Col. Kathryn Kolbe

This petition was delivered to:

Commander of Hill Air Force Base, Utah
Col. Kathryn Kolbe
President of the United States

The Commander of Hill Air Force Base, Utah: Make reasonable allowances for medical clinic visits for families

    1. Alison Bazeley
    2. Petition by

      Alison Bazeley

      Seattle, WA

As of last year, there is a policy in place at Hill AFB in Utah that does not allow families to visit the medical clinic together.  In practice, this means that a parent/caregiver has to find child care (even for babes in arms) in order to attend a well or sick visit for herself.  It means that a parent cannot schedule consecutive well or sick visits for her children because siblings cannot come to the clinic together with only one parent.  If a parent has more than one sick child, she must find a babysitter for those sick children so they can see the doctor one at a time, thereby exposing the babysitter and her family to illness.  Because child care is not available at the medical clinic and other drop-in child care requires pre-registration and a two hour minimum charge, in addition to not allowing sick children to attend, and spouses have been discouraged from creating a child care co-op for liability reasons, frequently the active duty spouse must leave work to provide child care so that another member of this family can seek medical help.  Spouses of deployed soldiers have no options. 

 

This rule of not allowing families to visit the medical clinic together puts a terrible burden on young families, is inefficient, and causes lost work productivity in our armed forces when enlisted spouses are forced to take off work to provide superfluous child care.  This is not reflective of medical practice on other bases or in the civilian world. And, sadly, the reality of the situation is that many of young military families will have to go without the medical benefits and care to which they are entitled because they do not have a support network in place, unless they choose the costly option of going to the Emergency Room.  It is insulting to place this burden on the families of our enlisted, active duty men and women.  

While noting that finding childcare for non-patients is often the best option, we recognize that this is sometimes not possible for these families. We demand that policy changes be made so that families with children on Hill AFB can use the medical clinic with ease and efficiency, and we demand that no patient be turned away from non-invasive medical care because a child or sibling must accompany the patient to a clinic appointment.

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    1. Reached 100 signatures

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    Reasons for signing

    • Malia Bond OGDEN, UT
      • 4 months ago

      I was given a ticket because both my children had the flu and the staff would not see us, because of this policy, so one child waited in the car during the other childs appointment and the authorities were called. now I'm going to court on March 3, 2014 for Child Neglect! I was unable to properly care for my children s health because of this ridiculous policy, if anyone should be charged for neglect its the hospital.

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    • Kevin Hall MOUNTAIN GREEN, UT
      • 5 months ago

      - Stated reason for the policy (Benefit)

      o 15 minutes of uninterrupted attention by physician

      o Eliminate the risk of young child (under 10) incidents

      - Detrimental effect of policy (Cost)

      o Discrimination against parents with young children

       Particularly against Married couples with the wife as care giver

       Particularly against Mormons

      o Huge unaccounted cost in time, money & access to care

       Externalizes the cost of the implementation of this policy

      • Families must absorb the entire cost with no gain to them

       2 hours of child care cost per visit, per child * 100 visits/day *250 days/year

      • 50,000 hours of unnecessary child care per child per year!!!

      • $500,000-$2M cost directly and unnecessarily forced on patients

       Assume an Enlisted wife with 3 children needs 20 appointments / year

      • 5 for herself and 5 for each child

      • 2*15+3*5 * 2 hours each * 10/hr = $900/year = half a month’s salary!!

      o The message sent: “Leadership doesn’t care about their people”

      o Horrible PR

       Unaccountable inconvenience leading directly to suboptimal access to care for any time critical treatment or marginally time critical treatments

      • Additional layer of child care coordination results in delay in care

      o 1 week delay / 10 visits * 100/day*250/yr = 2500 weeks delay

      • Guaranteed to stifle preventative care

      o Family of 5 children requires 5 separate trips to Immunizations for the Flu shot each year!! Are you insane!

       Cost of patients going to Urgent Care/Emergency Room in order to avoid policy

      • Families avoiding clinic altogether and using far more expensive care!

      • Families require approval for Urgent Care, but easy to get. Just wait until after hours and it is automatically approved.

      o Far more convenient in many cases – is this the incentive we want to create?

      • Urgent care is an order of magnitude more expensive for the Air Force.

       Cost of patients going to Urgent Care/Emergency Room due to policy

      • Families forced into Urgent/Emergent care situations due to policy!

       Forces children to miss more school

      • Parents forced to take child while other children are in school instead of after school

      o Patients are Customers

       Patients CLEARLY have a need and desire to obtain health care with minimum unnecessary inconvenience.

      • Over 240 signatories to a petition to remove this blighted policy.

       The Cost/Benefit analysis is all Cost to the patients/minimal benefit to the Bureaucracy/ NO benefit to the patient.

      - Individual risk management decisions should ultimately reside with the health care provider and parents – not bureaucrats.

      o Policy indicates a lack of trust in providers and parents

      o Virtually 100% of public health care accept this risk satisfactorily

      o 98% of military clinics/hospitals accept this risk satisfactorily

       The notable AF exception, Travis AFB, has child care on site as a hospital

      o An extraordinary change like this demands extraordinary reasons

       Instead the reason can be summarized as “we think our physicians will provide negligent care if they get distracted by a child” - Really? Really?

       The risk management argument is ludicrous for the simple reason that the risk is essentially the same wherever there are children.

      - Rationalizations from the mouth of clinic personnel.

      o “Most parents don’t want to get child care because they don’t want to get their children vaccinated” – ahh now we see the bureaucrats real reason

      o “What if a doctor was distracted and didn’t pick up a heart murmur” – The patient needs to come in the first place for that to happen…What if the patient never comes in because you make getting care more inconvenient than the DMV.

      o “We will do what we think is best regardless of what the customer wants” – Nice.

      o “Public Hospitals and Clinics only care about money…” Wow.

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    • Melissa Hayes SCOTT AFB, IL
      • 6 months ago

      Every military dependent should have the same rights. It is ridiculous that families with small children should be penalized. I do NOT want to see this policy spread to other bases.

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    • Carmen Barta HILL AFB, UT
      • 6 months ago

      This policy negatively impacts my family. I do not have friends to watch my children when their sibling has an appointment. The clinic says that there are child are options out there and they stand by this policy. My young child has never been left with anyone and I refuse to drop her off with strangers. This would cause stress for my child and for me. I would be very upset leaving a distraught child with strangers and would be distressed myself during my other child's visit. In addition I would have to pay for childcare I do not normally pay for as a stay at home mother. I have postponed doctors visits or not gone due to the extra hardships this policy causes. It is highly insensitive and unsupportive of military and their families. They say this policy is in place to provide the best care but causing hardship or turning people away is not the best care. Do they think they provide better care than off base providers? I would disagree wholeheartedly. I spoke with the patient advocate. I asked her where I can file a formal complaint that will be taken seriously. She responded that she would take my complaint and that " complaints are are taken seriously but the policy will not be changed." Who is she advocating for? Certainly not me, the patient. She defends the policy explains that it's in my best care. She is advocating for the clinic policy as I know what is in my families best interest. Paying to dump my children off with strangers or having my husband take off work is not in our best interest. I contacted tricare insurance to request an off base provider. I was told that many bases allow that but not Hill AFB. It is mandatory that we go though the clinic PCM. If the clinic has such strict rules, the least they could do is allow us to get off base providers through tricare and avoid this headache all together. I have not spoken to a single military spouse who is not negatively affected by this policy. It needs to be changed before other bases think they can follow suit. This is an insensitive and unsupportive policy that creates unnecessary hardships.

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    • Anita Kanitz STUTTGART, GERMANY
      • 6 months ago

      If we don't stand up for children, then we don't stand for much.

      -- Marian Wright Edelman

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