Sunday, December 01, 2013

A Shot In The Dark One More Time

I recently changed doctors.  Not because my former one wasn't in my network, but rather because he didn't take any insurance. But he was a good doctor and over the years we came to understand one another and worked together quite well.  Still, there are things I didn't address because of the out of pocket costs.

 On top of what an office visit cost, I still had my Medicare and supplemental premiums to deal with along with the deductibles that of course also out of pocket. It was pricey.  When he decided to convert his practice to a concierge practice, he priced me right out of his business.  Everyone does what needs to be done.

I was lucky.  I found a practice accepting medicare patients.  In fact since that find I've seen more and more advertising just that.  It's a good time to be on medicare.  The doctors are sure of you even if reimbursements are less.  And you're sure of your doctor.  Few drop you once they have you especially if you go on medicare after the fact.

So that brings me to where I am now.  Still with an aching tailbone that is beginning to affect other parts of the ole bod.  Especially the legs.  Not a happy thought.

The phone rang late Wednesday afternoon and it was my new doctor's office nurse.  She said he had been able to review my previous records and has some thoughts about how we can treat my problem and would I like to come in and discuss it.  Would I!  Boy, was I impressed.

Tomorrow bright and early I will make that call.  I didn't do it Wednesday because I was elbow deep in turkey and no where near my calendar though I'd cancel just about anything to see him.

We'll see what happens.  I'll swallow my pride and waddle in with the dregs of Thanksgiving dinner and the myriad of leftovers clinging to my frame. We'll talk.  I'm willing to do just about anything except dope up on narcotics.  We'll see.

But the idea that he called!  He did what he said he'd do when first we met a month or so ago.  And he says he has some ideas.  There's little more for which I can ask - except that those ideas work.

For those who are losing their doctors and their networks, I have the utmost empathy.  I know the gut wrenching feeling when you lose through no fault of your own a doctor you trust.

If they want to save the ACA cut the fluff from the programs that people neither want nor need and reimburse the doctors and hospitals in sufficient amounts to keep them in business and making a living.  Other than that get the heck out of medicine and insurance.  Let the market take care of itself and let the doctors take care of us.

I'm an easy case.  Most of what ails me is due to aging and less than perfect lifestyle choices.  I can complain but I can live with it.  For those with catastrophic illness to have to contend with what I'm going through it's a life changer and not for the better.  Hopefully it won't take some youngster with cancer dying to get their attention. That's a price the government should not be willing to pay.

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