Thursday, June 7, 2012

The Medical Maze

Well, I thought Monday night was disturbing but honestly as I've gone through this week I've found out that having to have anything done through our medical system is even more disturbing. Throw in insurance companies and what you get is something that's likely to bring a totally sane, fairly intelligent woman to her knees.

I know they have wedding planners to help you navigate your way to a beautiful day. I need a medical planner to guide me through this incredible maze.

When Josh was initially hurt he was taken to the emergency room at the Princess Alexandra hospital - a public hospital. He got really good treatment from friendly and competent staff. Because his hand is fractured he was booked in to an outpatient fracture clinic. But because he was injured at work he is covered by insurance and we heard from one of his bosses that he could see a private doctor. And that's when it started to get complicated.

We'd been contacted by the insurance company on Tuesday to tell us that we needed to see a GP to get a medical certificate and fill out some forms. They didn't tell us that Josh could be seen privately so we should also ask for a referral. So that meant a second visit to the GP to get the referral and find out that Josh had to have another x ray taken to show the specialist. Apparently the PA hospital won't send on the x rays. So then it's off to the radiographer and on the way Josh tells me that they may need to take off his half cast to get good images. And if they do we'll have to go back to the GP to have it removed. Luckily he didn't have to have it taken off but you can see my frustration.

Is it just me that thinks the system is incredibly inefficient. Why didn't the hospital report satisfy the needs of the insurance company? Why couldn't the x rays be sent to whom-ever you nominate to save you from being exposed to more radiation and to stop the system being clogged because they're doubling up on procedures? Why didn't the insurance company contact us directly to tell us about his claim being approved? That would have prevented the second GP visit. And why won't they talk to me directly because I'm the one organising it all? 

Frustrated? Just a little (she said in her most sarcastic tone).

The only two good things that happened in the medical realm today was the radiographer telling Josh that it probably wouldn't need surgery AND the hand surgeon managing to see us tomorrow. Best case  scenario is that by 1 pm tomorrow we'll know that he doesn't need any more titanium in his hand (although his newest hero is Wolverine and he seems to be trying desperately to emulate him).

I've actually been feeling mostly okay about this latest crisis. I'm trying to use Sam's advice and just float through it. It's only late at night that the 'what ifs' creep in. And I keep telling myself that I don't have to worry about stuff that didn't happen.

I've bought Josh a couple of little gifts because gifts always make you feel better don't they? The first was a packet of jelly beans. Needles = jellybeans in Josh's book starting from way back when he was five. And he had enough needles Monday night to warrant at least a packet (apart from those few red ones that I stole when he was out of the room. Don't judge - I was comfort eating). His other gift was a Superman t shirt to wear under his shirt whenever he goes to work. You never know when you're going to need to channel him.

And I've been incredibly grateful that work is ridiculously quiet. I've done zip this week. And I don't care - sometimes other things have to take preference.


  1. Sorry you've been getting the run around with the health care system - that can be so frustrating! Hope things get sorted out soon!

  2. Sounds incredibly frustrating! If it's any consolation, I think that's universal around the world, too. And hey, jelly beans cure everything, don't they?

  3. Definitely universal as misszippy pointed out. But why it has to be like that we probably will never know. I like the superman shirt idea. :)

  4. The Health system is crazy here too. My in-law asked for a MRI and she can do it in .... april 2013 if she doesn't want to pay a private company!
    I am lucky because I have a private insurance (part of my job contract) so I don't have any problem but in Italy the life in this period is very very hard (but not for the politicians!!!!!)

  5. Insurance nonsense on this end, too. For an emergency issue, I was told I was responsible for the whole thing, so I paid the bill. Then I rcvd a letter stating the insurance co. paid. A week later, I got my check back, only to receive the latest letter saying that I never paid my co-pay ...and by the way, this payment is apparently late!

  6. To echo what othes have said, we have the same kind of bureaucracy in the UK too. Glad you are managing to stay sane - no mean feat I'm sure.

  7. If you knew the insurance nightmares I've been through it'd make your head spin (and thus been denied for the past 4 years...but it looks like that's about to change next month, I freaking can't believe it!!). No wonder I have eaten myself into obese-ness. Hahah.

    Jellybeans fix all thing! And cupcakes! Thought about you when I was in California last week and ate cupcakes at this cute little place called "Cups" in La Jolla. Waaaay too many cupcakes.

  8. I'm not Doctor Dion I'm Coach Dion, but even if I was Doctor Dion I would go with the same comment: I think you need to get out and run the weekend...

    Than think about starting a new company to help people with medical insurance!

  9. Yikes! What a hassle. Good news that he likely won't need surgery. Here's hoping the rest of the process is smooth, and that Josh has a full recovery!

  10. It can be so frustrating and time consuming! But, I'm so glad he is okay, and about to sport a new Superman shirt! And I think you just might be entitled to your own bag of jelly beans at this point, Char :)

  11. I LOVE that you brought Josh jelly beans which he has liked for needles since he was little. Priceless.


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