Monday, May 21, 2007

Today was one of those days

Today was one of those days that makes you want to go postal.

Last October when Jack had his broviac removed by the surgeon (who didn't even have the decency to numb his skin before he ripped it out), the surgeon's nurse was shocked at the size of Jack's g-button* - she said they put bigger buttons in infants. Why she even felt the need to concern herself with Jack's g-button is beyond me since that is not why we were seeing the surgeon. Notwithstanding the fact that we had NO problems with the current button, I agreed to try a larger size. The operative word is try. We started with a size that was 3 sizes up and it leaked like crazy, so we went down a couple more sizes and, for the last few months Jack has had a size that is bigger than what we started with and which is still leaking. Having had enough of the leaking, I called the surgeon's nurse today and asked her to fax an order to the DME for the size we started out with. She told me she wasn't "comfortable" going any smaller. I explained to her that we never asked for her to change the size, we weren't having any problem before she decided to make a change and that it was completely wrong for her to not let us go back to the size we started with. She refused to fax in an order and told me that I could bring Jack in to have the doctor look at it and see if he would order the smaller size. Why in the hell would I take him in to see the doctor -- why would the doctor know more about what size Mic-Key button Jack needs than I do? THERE WAS NOTHING WRONG with the size we had in before she got the bright idea of trying a bigger size. I told her that it was very, very inappropriate what she was doing and that I would just have my pediatrician fax over a script for the size I want. What a bunch of b.s.

After completing that unpleasant exchange, I called the DME and let them know that they would be getting a script for a new size Mic-Key. I was then informed that I was only entitled to one button every 3-6 months. I asked her who she got that information from, as I've been able to get buttons whenever I needed them over THE LAST 8 YEARS without any problem. She said that's what her boss told her. Needless to say, I wasn't pleasant in my response ... letting her know that until she hears from MY insurance company that they won't pay for a new button, then she had better send me what I order. I also informed her that DME companies are notorious for lying to their customers and telling them that there are limits on supplies when in fact that is not the case at all. I suggested that she believe half of what her company tells her and half of what customers tell her and that somewhere in between lies the truth. Needless to say, I had two new Mic-key buttons delivered by the time I got home from work tonight.

Why is it that the people who are PAID to provide me with services and supplies go out of their way to create hurdles every step of the way? Why is it that the majority of those in the medical arena fail to realize that the patient is the customer?

Is this the small stuff I'm not suppose to sweat over? Is this the kind of stuff I'm just supposed to shrug my shoulders at and say "ok" if that's what they say, so be it? Sure, none of what I dealt with today was a life and death issue. Yet, it is just so infuriating to have to deal with such arrogance and ignorance and argue and fight with people who don't know and don't care just to get what I'm entitled to in the first place.

After those two phone calls, I couldn't force myself to pick up the phone and call United Healthcare to go over the stack of EOBs with incorrectly denied claims. I just wasn't up for dealing with any more arrogance and ignorance. Tomorrow is another day . . .

*g-button = A gastrostomy button is a tube placed in the stomach through which feedings are given. The button is placed through an incision in the stomach and abdominal wall. (for the layman reading this)


kristy said...

I am so sorry you had to deal with that pile of poo, oops, I mean the dme...

I hope today is better!

I'm off to argue with our dme about how much humidity is supposed to come out of the machine (or not) before they drag it off and FIX IT!

Karen said...

I feel your pain. Still dealing with insurance for Andy (dealing is a nice term, I am mostly screaming now).
It's amazing how DME and insurance companies can give out so much wrong information. And we have absolutely no recourse but to keep calling, and calling, and calling....until you finally find someone without his heads up his ass.
This isn't small stuff. It's jack's mouth, the way he eats. This is huge. And you have every right to be pissed as heck!

Anonymous said...

We had the same situation with Brian's button. The surgeon wanted a bigger size and it leaks all the time. I have not had any luck getting the old size reordered. Our surgeon and that nurse must be part of the same school of thought. Very annoying. They are not the ones dealing with the skin break down due to the site being wet all the time.

Sorry, didn't mean to hijack, but I do understand! Sandra

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