Saturday, November 3, 2018
The Medical Maze
Sometimes you have to laugh to keep from crying. First a little background: I really hate dealing with doctors, but dealing with insurances and medical billing is even worse.
There is good news about my leg infection. It has not settled in my bones. Had it done so, it would have been a real bear to treat.
Okay, fine. Then I was referred to a wound clinic about 35 minutes away. No big deal. When you live in the sticks you expect to drive somewhere for services.
The person at the clinic had all my paperwork and asked a few medical questions. Then she mentioned that it said I was self-pay. Once that was confirmed my call was transferred to the billing department. She was not too happy to discover I had no insurance. Then it got even more interesting. My income is just a tad too high for their sliding scale payments. We talked some time but eventually she realized that not only did I not have insurance, I did not qualify for any state or Federal programs. In fact, even tax credits are useless to me as I don't pay income tax.
She told me the treatment was “expensive.” Well how expensive? I asked. Expensive she said. That's not exactly a number. She wouldn't even give me a ballpark figure. Then she said she'd call the clinic and get back to me.
Time goes by.
The clinic calls and offers a solution. The same doctor from the clinic has hours in another practice about an hour away from me. It's supposed to cost less that way. The only number I could get out of the person is that I need a $55 copay to get in the door. How much additional to that? Nobody could tell me. Oh well. Guess I drive over early Monday morning and find out about treatment and payments.
In the mean time, lab test bills have started coming in. Still waiting for the doctor's visit bill and the x-ray bill.
Good thing it's only money -money I don't have too much of, but if so it goes.