Monday, November 14, 2005

want grey hair? deal with hospitals and insurance companies!

From about 10 am to 5 pm today, I was busy talking on the telephone. I received an erroneous insurance statement and letter recently and so I spent at least two days last week clarifying the matter with my insurance provider, a pre-certification agency, and the hospital. Today I called my Bone & Blood Marrow Transplant (BMT) office and the insurance verification office at the hospital to make sure that my insurance information in their computers was correct and ready-to-go for my admittance tomorrow. Of course, there's always a surprise. This seems to be universal among hospitals. According to the BMT office, all the necessary paperwork was in order but the insurance verification office said differently. I just had to laugh and take a big sigh. I called the BMT office again later this afternoon and the person there asserted that everything is ready for tomorrow. I'll just have to wait and see. My hospital bed should be ready between 10 am and 12 noon, but in hospital talk that means 1 to 4 pm. My word of advice: always give the hospital about a 3 hour window.

If there's any benefit to this illness, it may be that after all is said and done I'll be an expert on insurance and hospital related matters. Just when you think your bills and paperwork are in order, another problem arises to complicate matters and shake any kind of confidence you may have had in the competence of the health system. Trust me. Ask anyone who has had to deal with hospitals and/or insurance providers regularly and they'll vouch in my defense. One person tells you this and another tells you that and the most perplexing thing is that they may be employed at the same place. Funny, heh? All employees don't know the same thing.

Because I'm scheduled to return to the hospital tomorrow for another exciting 5 day round of chemo, it was important that I take care of my business while I was still capable. This is why I was so busy on the telephone today. I had hoped to buy a bandana for my head, but because I was waiting for so many calls to be returned in addition to the usual visit by the nurse, I had to remain home today.

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