My HMO story.
As many of you know, I'm having my knee reconstructed next week. I have had to get some pre-op work done over the past 2 weeks. Well, thanks to my meical insurance coverage, it's not so easy.
Here's my HMO hell story:
My surgeon set me up for surgery back in May. The date would be June 26, which I thought was awfully far away. That's how the medical world is these days, lots of scheduling conflicts and multiple hospitals and surgery facilities to work from. He told me I would have to get some pre-op work done right before the surgery date so I rolled with the punches. I went to my primary care doctor on Thursday (last week) and he runs this EKG on me with an AT LEAST 40 year old machine. It was a medical antique! He asked a bunch of personal history questions and then gave me two prescriptions. One for a chest x-ray and the other for blood work. The x-ray place I could go to at any time but the blood work I would have to get done 1 week before the surgery. I went on Monday (6/18) and got my x-ray done, at an out-sourced place. Not too long of a wait, but a bit of an inconvenience. Today (6/19) I went to get my blood work done at ANOTHER out-sourced place. After searching for the place for awhile, I finally found it and I handed the admin person my prescription. She looked at me funny and said, "We don't do this with HMO's, I'm sorry. You have to go back to your primary care physician and get instructions." Frustrated, I go back to my primary care doctor. They apologize and write another prescription, then send me to another out-sourced place. This time they got it right! Blood work done (another 30 minute wait). I call the surgeon and let his people know I have done all of the required pre-op stuff. She asks me about my insurance. Of course I don't know the answer, and still don't. All of this to ask, is this the way of the medical world? What happened to the days when you could actually have a doctor take your blood work and/or x-ray? Is it really that efficient to out source these? I wonder if next Tuesday (6/26), when I go to have surgery if there will be 5 or 6 different people hacking away on me, all with different responsibilities. I will soon find out.
Do you have an HMO hell story? Do tell.
Labels: Knee Surgery