This is the main point of what I wanted to tell you: I just got a discount from a surgeon.
And I didn’t even have to ask for it.
As health care crises go, this one is this is turning out to be a bust.
Here’s the thing: remember when I was in Las Vegas last week? Well, there was AN INCIDENT and I left town via wheelchair. Now I’m all messed up and had to turn to the medical establishment for help instead of taking my usual approach of ignoring it, alternately crying about it. So I tracked down my primary care physician and instead of forcing me to limp into her office so that she could charge my insurance company for an emergency visit, she gave me a referral by phone to a top notch orthopedic surgeon for a consult.
I have a Horizon Blue Cross/Blue Shield PPO plan which, as you may know, is the equivalent to an All-Access Pass at a rock show. I called the surgeon’s office and quel horrors! they are out of network. But they gave me an appointment and said they would inform of how much if anything I’d be responsible for when it came to billing time.
I wasn’t expecting any kind of positive resolution what with the greedy doctor situation and all so I started looking at the B and C level surgeons. But the office called me today to say that they’d waive my 30% responsibility for the 70/30 split and reduce the $400.00 deductible to a limit of $150.00. I had them verify that that number would be the top limit I’d have to pay for an emergent office visit and surgery if necessary and followup care. They confirmed that was true and they were will to put it in writing.
So now I am in the hands of top-notch surgeon for a discount fee that I didn’t even have to mention. This is not what I was led to believe (by Obama, Reid, Pelosi, MSNBC, ABC, NBC, CBS, NYTimes, Washington Post, Time and Newsweek) would happen. I was fully expecting to roll along dark hallways after business hours, dragging a mop behind my wheelchair in order to earn enough cash for necessary medical services.
So, to summarize – here are two top dollar earners – ruthless doctors! – who could have held me up for (a) maximum revenue from the insurance company in the first case and/or (b) a near-bankruptcy to secure medical services BUT THEY DIDN’T. They both acted like professionals delivering medical relief to a person who needed it instead of taking advantage of the opportunity to feather their own nests.
Although, now that I think about it, it might not have been all puppies, rainbows and altruism. They may have wanted done with me so that they could continue pursuing kindergartners for unnecessary tonsillectomies.