From Hotel Room to ICU – The ghosts that haunt – the costs ?
You should have been reading about a lovely little get away at Punderson Manor . You should have been reading about tracking the ghosts of Punderson Manor and was anything experienced by our merry group and all being well you will in a later post.
You see we didn’t get to spend the allotted time at Punderson as the trip was cut short. Once again drives through the early morning ice and freezing rain to get to the emergency room to find what the monitors would tell us. I followed my daughter ( yes we had taken two cars- thankfully) as she and the children and my mother fought the terrible road conditions that morning.
I arrived at the hospital , through the emergency room doors , ushered into the cubicle- the identical beds , identical monitors , IV lines , chairs that made you sit up right – I flashed back to my son lying in similar rooms and bed at Elyria- EMH- the Cleveland Clinic, and MD Anderson- the smells are the same, the squeak of rubber soles on polished floors, low monotone voices escaping from surrounding cubicles , someone’s family members crying , some smiling , a groan as someone reacts to their pain.
My son-in-law, standing by the bed, trying to ease my way knowing that hospitals are the very last place I ever want to be and my penchant for “emotional incontinence” . I saw once again a face of someone I loved scared as to what the prognosis would be , looking for a comfort I couldn’t give, my stomach churning , holding on so as not to flee the worst place in the world .
I didn’t think of the cost, what the insurance would cover – how much each transfusion would be- would he be able to “afford” his healthcare- where would I get the money to pay…. you don’t….. you just want everything to be OK. The internal bleeding could the Drs. stop it , what was causing it- these were the questions on Friday morning..
I was not asked about insurance thankfully, that had probably already been done before I arrived. I would say in my “state” it was just as well – as I would not have been responsible for my answers or the manner in which they would have been given.
You shouldn’t have to think about if you can “afford” to save one you love- but it happens more than you may realize . This blog appealed to people just a few short months ago- Brad Anderson needed a liver transplant but first he had to come up with the cash – $100,000.00
His family and friends and local media took up the challenge and they raised the money and I am glad to say in December they were celebrating a successful outcome- but should a man in desperation have to beg for the money to save his life in this country- it is done every day- how many fundraisers do we attend so a child can live or get treatment- this isn’t a third world country or is it ?
Cash on Demand for healthcare - your life depends on if you can pay- can you afford THAT deductible? Time Magazine 4 days ago published an article
The story of a young man from Ohio going to MD Anderson in Texas for treatment of non Hodgkin’s Lymphoma – sound familiar ? Yes! my son also went that route
Because Stephanie and her husband had recently started their own small technology business, they were unable to buy comprehensive health insurance. For $469 a month, or about 20% of their income, they had been able to get only a policy that covered just $2,000 per day of any hospital costs. “We don’t take that kind of discount insurance,” said the woman at MD Anderson when Stephanie called to make an appointment for Sean.
Stephanie was then told by a billing clerk that the estimated cost of Sean’s visit — just to be examined for six days so a treatment plan could be devised — would be $48,900, due in advance. Stephanie got her mother to write her a check. “You do anything you can in a situation like that,” she says. The Recchis flew to Houston, leaving Stephanie’s mother to care for their two teenage children.
About a week later, Stephanie had to ask her mother for $35,000 more so Sean could begin the treatment the doctors had decided was urgent. His condition had worsened rapidly since he had arrived in Houston. He was “sweating and shaking with chills and pains,” Stephanie recalls. “He had a large mass in his chest that was … growing. He was panicked.”
Nonetheless, Sean was held for about 90 minutes in a reception area, she says, because the hospital could not confirm that the check had cleared. Sean was allowed to see the doctor only after he advanced MD Anderson $7,500 from his credit card. The hospital says there was nothing unusual about how Sean was kept waiting. According to MD Anderson communications manager Julie Penne, “Asking for advance payment for services is a common, if unfortunate, situation that confronts hospitals all over the United States.”
So what was the difference between Sean and my son Chris - I will tell you that even my son’s “trial” at MD Anderson was covered by the health insurance he had- his “wife” was a resident Dr. within the Cleveland Clinic - Angela (Lombardi) ritchey DO - well her insurance was a beaut- 100 percent coverage and no cap – they had no such worries – we were met with smiling faces and the VIP treatment.,
Had Chris been under his work insurance at the time he would have met his million dollar cap halfway through the stem cell transplant – I wonder what they would have done?
How do you face the loss of the one you love and still be reminded every damned month as the bills for the “failed” treatments come through your door as another Hodgkin’s fatality family deals with after the loss of their Hillary. Hillary fought with her dying breath for coverage – She had to fight the cancer and the health insurance potentates
You are first – before you get to the Drs. a commodity- you are an insurance number – you are a $ figure and a patient 2nd to the “adminstrative potentates” and can you pay- this in the land of :
“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!
BUT make sure you bring your health insurance card and coverage !
Hillary in her short lifetime also published a book to help children understand cancer -
and I am sure the proceeds will help her family pay for her treatment the payments continue even though the treatments failed.
Entry filed under: a Cow -elle opinion, Chris Ritchey, death, Doctor/Physician, health, medical. Tags: Angela ritchey DO, Cash on Demand for healthcare, Cleveland Clinic, death, health, healthcare, healthcare insurance, healthcare USA, hodgkins lymphoma, hospital costs, MD Anderson, medicine, obscenity of cancer.