This is one of the blog topics I’ve been wanting to blog about but haven’t gotten to due to the week from hell and other weddingly things that have been going on.
My husband is on Coumadin and needs to have his blood drawn to see what his INR is. Because of his diseases, he should be getting this drawn weekly and then get his result right away and have his medication (Coumadin) dosed accordingly.
He recently switched doctors and hospitals due to a lot of issues with his PCP and the distance he had to drive…just lots of random issues with things at the other hospital. He was on Lovenox (which is a Low Molecular Weight Heparin type drug and is injected twice a day) but he wanted to be back on Coumadin. So his hematologist set him up with INR draws at his office and put him back on the Coumadin.
Everything was going fine.
I wasn’t thrilled with the way his doctor was scheduling his INR draws…2 weeks apart, or a month apart…and he was getting his results at the next visit. I knew this was going on, and I wasn’t happy about it, but my husband didn’t seem to mind too much and I have been trying to let him handle his own medical stuff.
So this went on for a few months…
Then, we get a bill for 110 for office visits for his blood draws. Wait, what? A blood draw is an OFFICE visit? Since when? Seems, since he’s actually seeing the doctor IN his OFFICE, they’ve been billing it as an office visit – resulting in us having to pay a co-pay for said office visits.
Ridiculous. Purely ridiculous.
Ok, so being that I work at our health insurance company, I emailed them and asked if there is something they can do about these blood draws being billed as office visits. They got back with me right away and said that they couldn’t do anything because they were billed AS office visits and not lab draws.
So i txt the hubbs and tell him there’s nothing the insurance can do, they’re billing wrong and he needs to call the office.
This is where I don’t know exactly how it happened…but I have a feeling that my husband couldn’t get anywhere speaking with the office, or didn’t know how to explain it, or was getting too frustrated to speak (he begins to stutter really bad when he gets too frustrated or worked up)…and I know he was in contact with Tina, President of the APSFA, my partner in crime and our friend…because he calls her when he has to deal with his medical and health stuff…
So not only are his INR draws being done incorrectly (with too much time in between), and he’s not getting his results soon enough…getting his INR a week after it was drawn does NOT help with dosing him!…and they’re also billing us incorrectly? Yeah, not gonna fly. I would have called and bitched, but I was at work…so Tina stepped in as an advocate for the patient from the APSFA.
Tina called and spoke to someone at the desk (a secretary I believe) and gets further than the husband was getting. The secretary didn’t know exactly what was going on, but she did explain and they discussed a few other things. I honestly need to see if HIPAA was breached because Tina said she got further than she should have.
Anyway, I was fuming about it all…so was Tina…so was my husband.
I wish I could have called the doctor while I was mad because I knew if I talked to them after the fact I’d either lose my nerve or be over the entire thing and be out…
And that’s exactly what happened.
When I talked to the office, the woman was very nice and said she’s just a secretary after all. When I talked to the doctor a couple days later, he basically dismissed me and was like…blah blah blah and that’s why.
But, what IS going to happen…my husband will be going somewhere else to get his INR draws. Somewhere that can process the WHOLE blood draw and get the INR ON site and not have to “send it out” – which was what was happening at the office. So stupid. So, Monday he’ll go in to his doctor office EARLY, get a script from the doctor and go elsewhere. Hopefully, then he’ll be able to call the office in the afternoon and they will have his INR and dosage for him. If he does this every Monday, then there shouldn’t be an issue…right?
I am just glad that we have someone like Tina, who is not only a great friend of mine and my husband’s, but also President and co-founder of the APSFA…in our corner. She is always there when we need her for questions or to discuss a doctor’s appointment, or in cases like this where I cannot speak for my husband and he cannot speak for himself.