Anchorage boy's plight shows fractured medical system

This editorial appeared in The Anchorage Daily News.

Elijah Mense, a talkative 5-year old with dark curly hair, is very sick and his family doesn't know exactly why.

They know some of what's wrong. But not everything. So they've been tossed from one specialist to the next. "I learned up here the doctors don't work together," says his mother, Serene Mense.

She has butted up against a serious weakness in the U.S. medical system: Lack of coordination among doctors.

Insurance won't pay a doctor to coordinate care in a complex case, and it's difficult to do. The doctor has to contact all the other doctors involved, see that test recommendations are carried out, and battle with insurance companies over coverage for specific treatments.

Yet a complicated case like Elijah's clearly demands such coordination.

To read the complete editorial, visit The Anchorage Daily News.