Sunday, December 03, 2006

Not around much lately

I've not been able to post much recently. The fatigue and sore throat from this cold linger and the fatigue has been excessive. It's been hard to come back from this one.

In addition to that problem, the immunologist who has been treated my CFIDS for around 8 years now at a center an hour south of me is making drastic changes in his practice. I received a letter about that last week. He will be cutting down to a one man practice and the center as such will exist no longer. Before, there was a Physicians Assistant, a second doctor, nutritionist, Psychologist. Along with this change comes a financial one. As of next year, he will no longer be available for after hour calls (something I've never used ,anyway), but, more importantly, we will have to sign a contract agreeing to pay for any tests our insurance will not pay for and pay for any overtime on our visits. We won't be seen for another visit until this bill is paid in full.

A gifted immunologist, he does quite a few tests he's developed himself. I won't know until my routine appointment tomorrow if those haven't been covered or exactly what my financial responsibilities will be. He is also requiring all of us who stay with him to have a general internist. I've had a gyn and other doctors as needed for specialized problems, but in my search for an internist, despite the changes in seeing CFIDS finally as a legitimate disease, doctors still don't know what it is and , honestly, don't want those of us who have it in their practice. I have one lead left right now after not having messages returned, being put on hold until after 15 minutes I finally hung up at the doctors' offices whose names were given to me to try by my gyn, who is local.

A number of doctors, I'm discovering are going into concierge medicine. You pay thousands up front to be in their practice, though your insurance, or you, still pay for all visits. Two doctors I've called have gone in that direction.

My immunologist has chosen for philosphical/ethical reasons not to go concierge, but he says he can't make it financially anymore so we must share the burdon this way.

And meantime, our government officials have the best medical coverage in the nation, our insurance premiums go up and pay less...where's the fairness in this picture.

This has taken all of my energy to type. Right now all of this is piling up emotionally, but I'm taking it step by step and trying to sort things out as I can.



tom said...

it's not a fair system
to patients or doctor's

the number of uninsured drives up the costs for all of us. more complicated than just that - but

hang in there

know that a lot of us out here are praying for you and pulling for you

Pris said...

Thanks, Tom...I needed to hear that. I'll post how the visit went today. I so much appreciate your thinking about me. And no, the system isn't fair to anyone except, I suspect some insurance companies. Maybe not even to them.

Ellen M Johns said...

Gosh Pris. The more I read and hear about what you guys have to contend with, the more I despair.

After Richie's illness and what happened with him, I quake at the mere mention of the health system you have there.I have recently filled in my application for insurance for my next trip to the U.S. I've skipped through most of the small print, but paid very close attention to the medical cover...I'm taking no chances.

For now, we don't have to contend with the problems you guys face, but it seems our little island usually follows your lead, eventually, so It's only a matter of time for us.

We are so lucky, no, more than lucky with the National Health Service here. I never take it forgranted and value it even more these days, knowing what I now know.

Thinking about you and pray that something can be sorted re;your health care.

Smiles from across the miles Pris.

Pris said...

Hi Ellen
It's a system that will eventually kill accessable health care. I don't know what will happen to the children coming along now. I'm home from the doctor and wiped out, but bottom line is that he's barely been paid for tests, etc and has over the last 10 years paid 1. 8 million out of pocket from the Center to labs for their tests as well as carried some pts whose insurance denies their claims. Said he finally had to cut loose one pt whose balance had grown to 55,000 dollars. The man had insurance. It just wouldn't pay and you can't 'just change' here once you're ill. New plans won't cover anything you've had before.

I'm trying to hang in with it.

Pat Paulk said...

Pris, I'm pretty conservative in my politics, til it comes to healthcare. Medicine for profit is just flat wrong!!The patient gets left out of the equation. Personally,I'd like to see the insurance executives, and politicians they pay, hanging from their highrise buildings (they always seem to have the biggest ones around) and let birds pick their bones clean. Just one of many cancers eating away America!! Sorry for the rant. Good luck in your search.

Pris said...

I don't mind if a doctor makes a good income (now ask me about the money rock stars make and I can go into a whole new rant), but I agree with you totally about the insurance companies and politicians. It's not just health. Since the hurricanes hit Florida, did the insurance company spread their increases throughout their policy owners? No. Our insurance doubled. People who live two miles from the ocean can't GET insurance, nor can people who own homes over 50 years matter that they've renovated.

Lee Herrick said...

I hope it all works out with your doctor, Pris. I'm sending you my prayers and good thoughts.

Lyle Daggett said...

Likewise, Pris, just coming by, hoping you find a way through all of this that works.

Pris said...

Lee and Lyle...thank you both. Yes, not a fun time right now, but the support of friends such as you and the others who've posted helps.

polona said...

oh, that sucks! wishing the best for you...

Pris said...

I appreciate that, Polona!

Shane said...

I'm sending my healing vibes
Happy Holidays and Fum Fum Fum

Pris said...

I got them, Shane!!! Ahhhhhh...felt good! Happy Holidays to you.