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Thursday, April 14, 2011

I am more than just a number!

Ok, I forewarn you, this is a rant today!

Being in the medical profession for over 35 years I feel I have some perspective on health care. This week I had to have 2 procedures done and I get so dang mad at how medical care makes you feel like you are stupid or just a number.

The first apt. was to an ear specialist to have my ears cleaned, (I have to have this done every few years it seems) Anyway I have crappy insurance at the present as I carry a policy from retirement from another state. There are no preferred providers now in my area. The Doctors are about all OWNED by the hospitals and the hospital that was on my provider list dropped my ins. co. So being an honest person when I filled out my papers for the apt. I listed my insurance since they do pay 50% for services not in network. After my 5 min. procedure. I was told I owed $170. And they do not bill out of network ins. So I asked if the $170 was the cash amount since I had to pay the full amount and she said no, it was the insurance rate and since I do have insurance they are required to charge that amount. So I gritted my teeth and paid her, then asked for a receipt and she said she couldn't do that. It came from the hospital billing dept!!! I couldn't believe it. I said, "you mean I write you a check and you can't give me a receipt??? I bet you hate your job." And she said yes she did hate her job. When I told my sister that she said that when her husband went in to this same office they paid $135 for office call and told them they didn't have insurance. Even though they did, but knew it would not cover the services. This is just plain nuts!

Then I went for my repeat mammogram, (they saw a dark spot 6 mo. ago so had a repeat) So after waiting after the procedure, the tech came in with a slip of paper that told me to come back in 6 mo for my routine annual exam that they didn't need to do the ultra sound this time. That's it! After I got in the car, I thought dang how impersonal! I feel that the radiologist could have taken 5 minutes to review things with me, like did it go away? or was there no change? So guess I will wait till the Dr. gets a report and go get a copy and see what was said. Oh, and I don't have a Dr. He left the facility in Feb. and I haven't seen the other Dr. And you guessed it, they are affiliated with the Hospital and not on a preferred list now. So I have to pay out of pocket and bill ins. myself to see if I can get the 50% back.

Please tell me it will be easier when I get on medicare! Husband has medicare and a supplemental and it seems to be working well, so far.

OK on the more humble side, I am thankful to have clean ears and to have an OK mammogram.

Thought for the day: Walking can add minutes to your life. This enables you at 85 years old to spend an additional 5 months in a nursing home at $7000 per month.

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