Rheumatoid Arthritis Severity Scale (RASS) Affecting Treatment Decisions? | Rheumatoid Arthritis Warrior

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16 thoughts on “Rheumatoid Arthritis Severity Scale (RASS) Affecting Treatment Decisions?

  • March 16, 2012 at 9:38 am

    Considering it took three rheumatologists to decide that I was sick and needed more than Sulfasalazine, I do not believe that a doctor’s opinion of how I am doing is superior to my opinion of how I am doing.
    Together, our opinions should matter, but not separately!

    • March 16, 2012 at 2:58 pm

      excellent point. And one we see repeated in many patients.

  • March 16, 2012 at 1:33 pm

    Wow, 3 questions. I’m impressed. 😛

    The real question is, what are the insurance companies doing with this information? Are they using it to approve or deny coverage for a medication or are they using it to verify the evidence of the need for the medication?

  • March 18, 2012 at 6:55 am

    I cannot figure out what they want in these assessments. How do I feel? As compared to what? Yesterday? My neighbor? Also, there is no typical disease projection. The joints in my feet were being destroyed with no inflammation and blood tests that really weren’t that bad. The doctors looking at me would think I was doing very well, because I didnt swell or turn red.

    • March 18, 2012 at 8:01 am

      Ann, physicians’ understanding of the disease varies greatly, as you know. But even on a molecular level, science knows so little about how it works. It’s not reasonable for doctors, much less people in offices miles away, to expect to have clear objective projections of whether treatment is “worth the money.” We are a million miles from being able to tell that.
      And your example is evidence of it.

  • March 18, 2012 at 12:52 pm

    Many of us know that our bloodwork is only telling part of the story. Mine has shown no signs of inflammation, yet my hands look like boxing gloves due to the swelling. I have an excellent Rheumatologist who knows this, however. So make sure you tell yours EVERYTHING.
    These new insurance concerns may be a result of ObamaCare… there will be cuts all over the place, especially those deemed medically unnecessary and/or unworthy.

    • March 19, 2012 at 9:41 pm

      I assure you, Debra, there’s nothing in the “Obamacare” legislation that’s gonna make ins co’s do this. If they are trying to get out of paying for something by doing this, they would be doing so with or without health care reform. This is exactly why we need regulation… big corporations, esp health ins co’s, don’t care about people, only profit.

  • March 18, 2012 at 2:45 pm

    I have blue cross/shield insurance – anyone ever been presured to join the “complex care” program? It was explained as professionals who would monitor & help me by phone in planning & answering questions about my health care & medications. Seems like RA patients are getting squeezed from both ends to control costs above proper patient care. I do not trust the insurance companies! The power they have scares me!

    • March 18, 2012 at 4:50 pm

      Anyone who between doctors and patients who has power to make decisions can be scary – whether a company or a government. They have an interest in people NOT receiving care – not a logical way to set up a payment system.

  • March 18, 2012 at 3:43 pm

    Considering what RA is and how it works on our bodies, I don’t understand how RASS can even come close to being useful! There are just too many variables involved in the level of pain we are feeling at any given time. I have had blood work and sed rates in the “normal” range and I am in excruciating pain. At any given time of the day I can have pain and then a few hours later, either no pain at all or pain some where else. Is the pain being measured when there are no meds involved? When meds are regularly taken? When we are on meds plus pain killers?

    • March 18, 2012 at 4:49 pm

      Yes, and not to mention more serious or systemic health problems caused by RA including fatigue, stiffness, weakness, anemia, vaculitis, Sjogrens syndrome, heart or lung problems… – none of which would be considered if only joint pain & visible deformity are considered.

  • March 19, 2012 at 9:29 pm

    The RASS you’re speaking of – it sounds a lot like #3 on your google list…. “Resource Allocation Selection System”

    That’s what this is all about right? It’s not about making sure patients get treatment they’re needing, but about allocating resources only if they have to. Just makes me sick. Some exec somewhere is driving a 100,000 dollar car and living in a multi-million dollar house and is trying to squeeze us out of a medication or a treatment of some kind in order to make a few more bucks. Am I wrong about this? Why would ANYONE want to take these horrific drugs if they weren’t suffering? I just don’t get it. If we say we’re in pain and need more help, or need disability, we ought to get it. Just this guys thoughts.

    • March 20, 2012 at 12:43 am

      LOL You’re the first one to comment on the list publicly. I got an email mentioning the irony dr’s cultural ignorance to name the poorly conceived test “RASS” considering the top Google result.

  • March 20, 2012 at 8:03 am

    I vote for the first google result – this isn’t an evaluation, it’s really just so much BS. Sounds like another way for your insurance company to deny you access to the more expensive biologics based on your RA not be severe enough – like they would know! All because the Dr. marked the line one millimeter to the left instead of to the right. There’s no marks on the line either – how’s he supposed to figure out where on the line is “severe enough”?It just looks random.

  • May 4, 2016 at 10:52 pm

    I couldn’t agree more about the hour to hour pain range! What is frustrating in my circumstance is that as a trucker, it effects my driving and my job- let alone safety and liabilities. But, a test could potentially reflect, “Nah- she’s good.” And a flare or flinching, cramping pain could easily disprove that at higher costs.

  • January 25, 2019 at 10:36 pm

    Hi Kelly, I have been following you for years and your doing a great job and extremely informative as we ra suffers are the only ones who understand how we feel. After 34 years of chronic ra (I got it on my 30th birthday ) I am so over it
    Love Ann (Australia)

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