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The Cost Conundrum
Bob of QF
derF wrote:
Some of you may know that I recently completed a 48 week chemo therapy after I was diagnosed with Hepatitis C. I have Blue Cross insurance and even with that I was shelling out 400 bucks a month just for the two drugs I was prescribed. One was injected weekly the other taken orally 6 times a day. Even with health insurance this was a pretty good fraction of my yearly income. And that's just the medication. In the beginning my doctor told me that I would have to come to his office twice a month which I did for a while. But when I went to his office I was seen by a nurse practitioner who basically did no more than ask how I felt and how I was doing. I was then charged a 50$ deductible and my insurance company had to shell out an additional 100 bucks. And when I saw my copy of the bill it stated that I had seen another doctor in that same office that I have not laid eyes on to this very day.

I brought my complaints to the doctors office and he suddenly ceased being my doctor. He wouldn't even renew my prescription for Vicodin while I still had several months left in my treatment. I finished my therapy with out any prescription strength pain relievers. I have been through now for going on 2 months with out even a call or letter asking me how I was doing. So much for the Hippocratic oath. You can see why I am so sensitive about the topic. I was told that I needed a blood test 6 months after completion of my therapy and when I called the doctors office I was informed to consult my REGULAR doctor as if I had one.

This is a very well to do area what with Pebble Beach and Carmel a part of the community and yet the local doctors are merrily milking the system for every penny they can squeeze out of it. Medicine has definitely got to be a not for profit endeavor.

Sucks. Big time.

I, for one, would complain (WITH copies of your bills, and attached explanatory letters) to the local Medial fraud board.

AND complain to your insurance company: what that doc is guilty of is FRAUD.

Many companies pursue such fraud vigorously.

Couple in with the fact that he dropped you? Makes him appear guilty as well....

...nail is crooked ass to the wall!

(I know I would have...)


On the third hand? I seriously hope you are doing better than before.

H..C is a serious disease. I fervently hope you've recovered from it's effects.....
Quantum Junction: Use both lanes

Reality is that which is left, after you stop believing.
The last blood test I took could not detect the virus at all and that has been the case since the second month of the therapy. The nurse at the pharmaceutical that supplied me the Interferon (which is the injected chemo/medicine) told me that the cure rate for people in that category was nearly 100 %. I will know for sure when I take another test 6 months after the last treatment and am still virus free. Sneaky little bastard that I am I plan to apply for long term care insurance then because they do a comprehensive blood test before issuing insurance. In fact that is exactly how I cam to find out that I had hepatitis C in the first place.

As far as dealing with my hypocrite of a doctor. If I prove to be 'cured' I probably will let him slide. I went to him for a cure and he delivered. I would feel like a bit of a hypocrite myself if I went after the guy.

Any how. I feel just fine. All the side effects from the chemo therapy have gone away and my sense of humor has returned. Unfortunately for this forum.

Have not edited this particular posting but there is still hope.
I'll drink to that. Or anything else for that matter.
Oh, as a humorous side note I would like to inform all of you that the physicians firm was:

23 Upper Ragsdale Drive
Monterey, CA 93940

Tel# 831-375-3577

And the attending physicians name was.......(wait for it)

Dr. Hell

Yep, that is correct. There is no typo. Don't believe me? Do a search on it. That's why I gave you all that info.

Sometimes reality is more dramatic than drama.
I'll drink to that. Or anything else for that matter.
That's kind of funny. I've never known anyone with that last name.

Do you have any idea how you contracted HepC? It's spread through blood to blood transmission so if there's a chance you got it from unsterilized medical equipment you could sue and make whoever it was pay for your medical expenses.
More than likely I contacted the virus while in the Military during the early 70's. I wasn't a corpsman but I was assigned to an Evacuation Hospital and spent a lot of time moving litters occupied by bleeding soldiers and usually my hands were pretty cut up themselves. A lot of guys got hepatitis over there who were in the medical corps. I am in contact with the VA about this and the case is under review. But that could take years.
I'll drink to that. Or anything else for that matter.
We've (my husband and I) never even been able to find a way to adequately express our shock and dismay at how my two local neurologists' attitudes towards me changed - from professional, warm, friendly, helpful, hopeful, etc., to strictly 'professional', cold and sterile after we learned the diagnosis I'd been given after the rupture in my spinal cord was wrong.

For four years the diagnosis was a cavernous angioma, and then when I went to the Barrow and they discovered what I really have is an aneurysm and also an AVM (that one was obliterated with the embolization) - and that it was the AVM that had ruptured, all of a sudden I was like a leper to those local Drs. who had misdiagnosed me.

Well, I didn't sue them, as I did understand how the misdiagnosis could be made (from being shown on the MRIs and having it explained. I hear the groans now... lol.). So now I'm left wondering if I'm going to be treated this way until the statute of limitations runs out... at least the neurosurgeons in Phoenix don't treat me that way, but then they didn't have anything to do with the mis-DX, either. And it is as simple as just finding another neurologist.

This is a hospital year for me - I have to go back to the Barrow in December for my 3 year spinal angiogram (hopefully the aneurysm won't have to be re-embolized) - but I'm a little worried this time because we have different insurance than we did the other times. We never had any kind of problems with the other insurance, for anything, but this one has given us some problems with a few things, that are unrelated to the aneurysm.

It goes without saying I've been turned down for long term care insurance - flat, without blinking an eyelash. I guess they're afraid the chance I'll explode before I get old and will actually need the insurance are too high. Bastards.

I know this sounds so stupid and silly, especially coming from me, from an atheist like me - but this is the first time I've 'spoken' my fear about the insurance, and it's kind of scary. Silly, I know.

Edited by Hypatia on 06/04/2009 01:25
Why is it "silly"? It sounds perfectly logical to me. I despise representatives of the medical profession in general, and pharmaceutical companies in particular. Money, money, money.
"If I owned both Hell and Texas, I'd live in Hell and rent out Texas." - General Sheridan
You should both get a lawyer and look into suing. I regret not following through with my lawsuit against Dallas for the fall I took as a teen that broken my back in three places and half the rest of me. At the time I was very young (15) and under the control of my first husband who was an abuser. The accident was his fault and the city's, (it was at the Reunion Arena, a city owned property). The wall he dropped me over was 2 ft 4 inches high with a 35 foot drop straight down to concrete on the other side of it. People could stumble and plummet to their death.

After the fall we tried to sue the city (he saw it as a money making opportunity). After months of negotiations our lawyer told us they were able to prove he was responsible because he was acting stupid (which he was) and that the only way we could win was for me to sue both him and the city. Needless to say because of our sick relationship dynamics that didn't happen and we dropped the case. Years later, once I escaped that abusive relationship it was too late to do anything. I have spent decades dealing with agony due to those injuries and could have had all medical care covered, plus I probably would have a few million bucks to make life more comfortable financially. I regret dropping the case. Don't be like me, protect yourselves. It sounds like you're both getting shafted.
Edited by RayvenAlandria on 06/04/2009 10:58
There are so many things to consider when suing over something like this - besides the costs of an attorney (though that could probably be worked out if they think I have a strong enough case).

For me, the primary concern is not being able to find a neurologist and/or neurosurgeon any where who would treat me after having sued another Dr., and that is a huge concern because I will continue to need treatment for this aneurysm for the rest of my life. There's a possibility I can end up with more AVMs and aneurysms - I can't be in a position where Drs. won't treat me.
Edited by Hypatia on 06/04/2009 14:09
BTW RA, I'm thinking that should I have been you in your situation with your husband, suing him most likely would have been an option waaay down on my list for ways to deal with him about it - but it would have been the legal one anyway.

gawddamn. Angry

That is a valid concern. I too would be afraid doctors wouldn't treat me if they knew I had sued one of them. I wonder if there's a way for them to find out.

If a doctor screwed up and admitted it I wouldn't sue them, they are human and mistakes happen. What pisses me off is when they screw up and then act like they didn't, or like in your case, there is a change in attitude, but one for the worse, not the better. Having them get all cold and professional, instead of acting like they are sorry would really upset me.

Yeah,my first husband deserves to die a hundred times over for the things he did to me. Throwing me three stories to my (almost) death was just one of the monstrous things he did. My relationship with him is why I am overly protective of others and why I overreact when I see someone being abused. I know what it feels like to be an abuse victim and it tears me to pieces to know someone else is going through that kind of pain. We are shaped by what we've been through in life, all we can do is try to take tragedy and turn it into something positive.
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