I’m Eating Rant Soup Today !!!!

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,

The KH

This entry was posted in Cancer, Challenge, Chemotherapy, Complaints, Doctors, Gripes, Health, Inefficiency, Medical System, Rants, Uninsured, Wasting Time and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to I’m Eating Rant Soup Today !!!!

  1. BrainRants says:

    I just found this of yours, and I think ranting is perfectly acceptable. Then again I may be prejudiced.

  2. Dealing with the medical business can be frustrating! A good venting session can do wonders for your well being!

  3. Archon says:

    My wife and my adult daughter are both semi-invalid. I claim that I know every doctor in a hundred mile radius by their first name.The joke(?) is that I had to retire two years ago, just to drive them to appointments. I’ve driven them to six different hospitals. There isn’t a medical branch missed. Cancer surgeon, orthopedic, rheumatologist, allergist plus massage, chiropractic, sleep clinic. My daughter’s been disabled for over fifteen years. She lives with and by her computer. She’s learned how to play the public welfare system like an organ, knows who to cajole and what department to approach. The wife worked for an insurance company for seven years before she had to quit. She knows the internal process end of it. Even when it runs well we lose a tree a day for paper and it still takes forever. When it, too often, doesn’t go smoothly, they each know how to get it back on track. I feel sorry for those who just don’t have the time, the strength and the knowledge to beat the bureaucracy. Money is more important than people. They’ll nickle and dime you to death, literally. I followed you here from Brain Rants. If I’m not too busy chauffeuring, I will likely be back. Keep up the fight and best of luck to you!

    • cwc6161 says:

      Oh, Arch (if I may call you that….) ! Your problems and schedule make mine seem like absolutely nothing by comparison! God love you and your family! I had to grin when reading what you wrote, though, because my work experience (prior to being laid off last year, thereby being forced into retirement 2 years early, then becoming ill while uninsured) was in … social services. LOL 38 years’ worth of dealing with bureaucrats. So, the vast storehouse of my experience gave me the knowledge of how to, as you so beautifully said, “play the system like an organ,” but with the only motive in mind being to gain treatment and have my health restored! I truly lament the plight of those who are either too very ill to fight or too uneducated to know how to fight. The system just plain sucks. I’m really over some people (who haven’t experienced what we have) bashing proposals for “socialist” medicine such as Obamacare. I’ve researched (both through independent research and through discussion with citizens of other countries) many other countries’ so-called “socialist” systems and theirs make ours look like what it is: a complicated money-making scheme that serves mainly the needs of the pharmaceutical companies. Yikes, I’m cranking myself up and it’s approaching midnight ! Thanks for your reply and by all means drop in again in between chauffeuring and waging your own battles ! Take good care.

  4. It’s so good that you held it together. I have put into practice the Chinese saying to come at an emergency leisurely. It’s helped, and I have found out the things that often seem so time sensitive aren’t. We are constantly dealing with the insurance companies and appts etc. You didn’t have a rant though my dear, sorry. See, “rant” for me means you screaming to the rooftops at how stupid these so called educated secretaries are. Wishing people to fall off cliffs, you know – lol a rant!
    This is a news report by one who was there – sorry you didnt affect the idea of your charm and grace, they are still very much intact!
    And we should write a rant about healthcare book, that could open some eyes! huh?
    Good Writing!

    • cwc6161 says:

      lol Samantha, when I say a had a “rant,” dammit, I had a rant ! 😉 Actually, though, my rant was misdirected at my Dear Readers. So, thanks to all of you who suffered through it, and I promise that I will up my dose of anti-anxiety meds or drink a tall, cool one before posting another rant any time soon! 😉

      btw, this is precisely what the book I’ve mentioned to you She Writes ladies is about: Everything that a first-time cancer patient should be told, but isn’t! So, if you have anecdotes to share, or know of anyone who does, send them my way, Samantha! I still have a lot more writing to do before the book is complete, and more anecdotes are needed.

      Thanks for the visit!

  5. Piper Bayard says:

    Bless your heart. What a nightmare! I’m so sorry you’re going through this. It’s tragic that you are not the exception to the rule. A teen I know and love is a kidney transplant recipient. His father has a full time job taking care of this kind of crap. Many prayers for your healing.

    • cwc6161 says:

      Piper, thanks so much for the prayers and positive thoughts!

      All-in-all, despite a lamentable delay of 1-month in launching my treatment (due, once again, to the foibles and stupidity of bureaucracy), the course of my treatment is going great and my oncologist really does, imho, walk on water! He is, for certain, the exception to the rule. I can believe that your young friend’s father works full-time in dealing with this stuff. During the month when I had the nerve to be both uninsured and seeking expensive treatment, it did take me, on average, around 40 hours a week to make the many telephone and personal contacts and deal with the mountains of paperwork required. It was only due to the fact that I am exceedingly persistent and can read, write and chew gum at the same time that I finally prevailed. I lament the thousands of uninsured AND uneducated persons who ever require treatment. There truly is no hope for them under our current healthcare system, and that is a travesty. I’ll put away my soapbox now and just add my thanks, again, for your prayers 🙂 They do make a difference!

  6. Kat Ward says:

    Holy crap, you aren’t sweet, you’re a saint! The fact that you haven’t buckled, crawled under the porch and joined the stray dog that’s in hiding and shaking with fear from abusive masters—is amazing!

    Going postal via blog is definitely the way to go. I’m very impressed and could listen all day, so whenever you need to rant, know you’ll have a reader. And, all the best with your chemo. Big hug and crossed fingers (or is that too crass? My dad went through lung cancer, but not being a victim, patient, or survivor myself, I’m not sure what line lies where).

    • cwc6161 says:

      Saint? Moi ? lmao ! Far from it ! But I did feel saintly when I held it together today 🙂

      Not to worry about the crossed fingers! I’ll take thoughts, prayers, crossed fingers, affirmations, energy from Reiki Masters and assorted bits and pieces of whatever you’ve got. If it’s positive, just dump it into my overflowing and abundant collection box, Kat, because it all goes to serve the purpose of Hope. And it’s Hope that powers the locomotive that pulls the train on my Journey to No-Cancer-Land 🙂 um… just keep that stray dog out from under my porch, please !!

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