The attempt to maintain my reputation for virtuousness and positivity is wearing a bit thin, so today I shall give in to those little voices yammering in my ears and post some negativity for a change! Call it venting, or griping or bitching, whichever you prefer, but I guarandamntee you that I shall be better off for the effort and that you, Dear Reader, shall also reap the benefits!
Chalk up the forces behind this rant to the previously-maligned-by-me medical establishment. This has little to do with Obamacare, and more, much more to do with “no one cares” about how they do their jobs — or at least that’s how it seems today.
Being the very fortunate participant, and I mean the “fortunate” part sincerely, in a program that helps the uninsured with extraordinarily-high medical bills, I am conscientious about making notifications of changes in my circumstances that affect my eligibility. That’s just how the KH’s Mammy and Pappy raised her.
Why, oh why, then, when the shoe is on the proverbial other foot, do the providers of services not bother to take similar care with what I report to them? To make notes when I call in or write in and report this or that…. To properly code and input changes resulting from my calls or faxes or e-mails…. Why???
Also, why must it be me — the person referred to in all the records they maintain as “the patient” — who must be the one who tries to make some sense of their scheduling system by using — logic?
Today, I suffered through two events that left me shuddering with disbelief. The fact that I remained calm, pleasant and still oh-so-loveable on the phone is a credit to me, because what I felt like doing both times was to crawl through the phone and strangle someone!
And, believe me, nothing would have morphed into rant status if this were only the first and second times that similar things had happened! Unfortunately, in my very humble opinion, it has become par for the 18-hole golf course of a medical system we have today. And the “par” for this system is approaching 100 or above….
I leave you to decide for yourselves if my rant is justified (bear in mind, again, that these aren’t the first incidents):
1. My medical bills for May were humungous, bordering on gargantuan. The majority of the bills for May were divided between two medical centers. My eligibility for assistance with said bills was determined during the latter part of July. On the same date that I received my determination notice, I called the head of the business office at one of the two facilities to give her the good news — because it was she who suggested my application for the program!
She gladly took the information and said that I probably would receive one more bill before said information got into their system. No problem! I understand computerized systems and know that there is a built-in lag. I did receive one further bill. Then nothing. Until today, when I received a bill (for the same account and in the same amount) from a stinking collection agency! I spoke today with Lisa (in billing) who assured me that she would remove the account from collections and would check with the business office to see why they had referred me to collections (it seems that the business office communicates somehow with billing but never the twain shall meet) and that she would call me to let me know when the coding was corrected. “Oh,” she added, “and you will probably receive one more bill, but just ignore it….” Yeah, right.
2. Scheduling of appointments between two offices. <major sigh> I will simplify my schedule, but basically it goes like this: Every third week at one office, the day before chemo, I have pre-chemo lab work. The next morning, I see my doctor at his office and, based on his review of the lab work I proceed to the chemo office. One week after chemo, I have post-chemo lab work on a Tuesday, and then see my Wonder Doc on Wednesday so that he can review my lab results and make sure that I’m not a ticking time bomb of toxicity or down to only one red blood cell.
This is my post-chemo week. As I reviewed my week’s schedule this morning, I noticed that my doctor’s visit was scheduled for 11:15 Wednesday and my lab work for 1:00 at the other office. “That won’t work,” I thought to myself, oh so logically….
Because I had had labs drawn before at Wonder Doc’s office when the previous day’s results weren’t yet in and because the scheduled lab was for after my Wonder Doc visit, it made sense to me — and to office one — that I cancel their Wednesday visit and just slip into office two a few minutes early to have labs drawn then see the Doc.
Five phone calls between the two offices and over twenty-five minutes on hold (no exaggeration!) later, and I have the re-scheduling accomplished. And now I can settle down for the nap I’m supposed to be taking in order to continue my recuperation. The “why” of it all just ruffles my feathers!
One good thing that has come out of all of the above, is that I have a much better understanding of why the medical establishment refers to us as “the patient”: IT’S BECAUSE IF WE WEREN’T “PATIENT” WE’D BE DOING A HELLUVALOT MORE THAN JUST BLOGGING ABOUT ALL THIS !!!!
Replacing soapbox and returning to my usual, sweet self, I remain devotedly yours,