, , , , , , ,

Disclaimer: This may sound like I am bashing all doctors.  I am not!  There are plenty of great ones out there.  I am only venting my frustration with some recent experience with my doctors.  

“Laughter and tears are both responses to frustration and exhaustion. I myself prefer to laugh, since there is less cleaning do to do afterward.” ― Kurt Vonnegut

Is everyone as sick of the healthcare industry as I am ?

Perhaps I just don’t understand how it all works.  I don’t go to the doctor often, but lately every time I go I end up disappointed.  I always feel that I am being overcharged for poor service.  

Months ago I went to an ENT because of vertigo symptoms.  First I was given an hearing test, then I saw the doctor.  When leaving I asked how much I had to pay.  They said my co-pay of $65.00.  I paid and left.  A couple of days later I get a bill for another $65.00.  Apparently there was a co-pay for the hearing test.

Why wasn’t that disclosed at the time?  I am guessing a doctor’s office cannot charge 2 co-pays for the same visit, and that is a way around that.

On that visit most of my symptoms had subsided, so the doctor couldn’t arrive at any conclusion.  He said to stop all medication (I mentioned I had taken allergy and motion sickness pill a day before) and come back in one week.  I asked: “What if I don’t have any symptoms by then, should I still come back?”   

He said: “yes, I still want to see you.”  I didn’t go back.  It didn’t make any sense to me. I felt that all he wanted to do was charge me for another visit.  

“I only care to see doctors when I am in perfect health; then they comfort one, but when one is ill they are most depressing.” ― Oscar Wilde

I am entitled to one free physical a year.  I went to get one on December 14.  Today I got a bill for $45.00.  When I called the office, the person said it is because of the Vitamin D blood work. “Your insurance doesn’t pay for that” – she said.

I called Aetna who said that they had paid for Vitamin D 100%.  The problem was that the doctor put in the wrong code. Instead of putting the code as Annual Physical they coded as a regular visit.

Honest mistake or trying to get away with something?  The doctor’s office is still saying they are right and the billing department has now referred it to the Claims Department to review it.

“Blessed is he who expects nothing, for he shall never be disappointed.”
― Alexander Pope

While on the phone with Aetna I confirmed that they cover 100% of the COVID antibody test.  I needed to get a doctor’s prescription though.

I called my doctor’s office and they said they couldn’t just issue a prescription.  The doctor needed to see me.

What for?  I asked.  I saw him a month ago.  She then offered a virtual visit.  Is it free? I asked.  Of course it is not free.  After inquiring with Billing she came back and said it was around $49.00. 

I refuse to pay $49 to look at the doctor on the screen so he can write me a prescription. 

“It was a little thing, but on top of the other little things, it broke something in me.” ― John Howard Griffin

It all sounds like a big scam to me.  My employer pays almost 1K per month for the insurance for myself.  I rarely use it, specially with $65 each time I go.

I hate the feeling of being taken advantage of.  I hate that all is not explained to the patient at the time of treatment.  I should have been told that the hearing test was an additional co-pay.  I should have been told that asking the doctor to check Vitamin D levels could incur an extra charge.  

It all should be easier than that.  I am now learning to ask the right questions.  The main question: Is this going to cost extra?

This is another wake up call to emphasize the need to take care of my body as best as I can, so that I deal with the medical profession as little as necessary. 

“We’ve established the most enormous medical entity ever conceived… and people are sicker than ever. We cure nothing! We heal nothing!” ― Paddy Chayefsky,  The Hospital