29 December 2008

What's a Doctor's Appointment Without Abject Terror?

Today marked my most recent biannual check-up. A fun time was had by all. Oh wait, that's completely wrong. It all started when the doctor said:

"I found a polyp."

"A what?"

"Nurse, hand me the long evil metal thing."

"What's a polyp?"


"WHAT'S A POLYP?!?! Oh my god you just yanked that giant wad of puss off?"



"It's benign, but I'll send it to the lab anyway."



Tra la la, time to leave. To the receptionists' desk, where I get to bask in the glory of a $0 copay!

"Am I free to go?"

"Well, the charge is going to be a bit more than you probably were expecting."

"How big a bit?"

"You can pay half now, half later. Or we can work something out."

"You're kidding, right? Are you unable to grasp what half of zero is?"

Oh fine. I said something slightly more reasonable.

"Uh, how much?"

"Your total is six hundred."

"What! For what!"

*reading noises*


"SIX HUNDRED dollars for what took about twenty seconds?"

"Actually, it comes out to six hundred ten."

"Oh, well that's much better. Sigh. I'll just pay the whole thing now. At least I'll get $6.10 back from Citi."

*credit card processing noises*

"Oh, I almost forgot! Do you validate?"

"Sorry, no."

Heathens! They charge $10,800 per hour, then make me pay for my own damn parking? That's when I gained a few hundred pounds of green muscle and started throwing pregnant women around the reception area. Or I calmly walked to the elevator. I can't exactly remember, but I'm sure it was epic.


bigscary said...

Yes, expensive, but any gripes about it not being paid should go to your insurer, not your doctor. As the old saw goes:

Time for Poly Removal: $5
Cleaning and sterilization of instruments: $5
Recognizing Polyp and knowing to remove it: $300
Not yanking out anything you might want to retain or putting leeches on you: $300

But seriously, why will your insurer not cover and reimburse you?

moonlightalice said...

Yeah, call your insurer. That's insane.

osmodion said...

I was told that HealthNet "may or may not" cover it, and if they do, it is unlikely to be the whole thing. So now I get to wait for an Explanation of Benefits to see how much HealthNet is actually covering, then get a refund for that part from the doctor. I have no idea why it works that way, but apparently that is standard procedure for procedure x and insurance y.

nightstalker said...

Here's hoping everything is benign.

mephistakitten said...

I don't think that it's right for them to do that without informed consent. What if you couldn't afford it? I would have refused payment.

farniks said...

yeah ask for it back. it's your polyp.

dreamerj25 said...

Haha, yup, your polyp removed, your rights violated!!

But definitely: here's to hoping everything's benign.

pennyfore said...

The even more ridiculous thing is the doctor is paid $610 for the 20 seconds to remove a polyp, but if they sit and talk to you/examine you for 40 minutes to try to figure out what's wrong, they're lucky if they get $50 from the insurance company. Believe me, I used to do my mother's billing. Insurance companies suck. Now you understand why no one's going into primary care anymore?

osmodion said...

Are there doctor rules about this kind of thing? Maybe I will ask for it back...

farniks said...

not sure, but a reliable auto mechanic will save an old part at the customer's request.

osmodion said...

I won't even consider pretending to understand anything related to insurance, but that makes sense.