Only this time it's to deal with insurance and money making hospitals. As some of you will recall, I managed to get myself quite the black eye with a head-on collesion. I didn't go to the doctor right off, thinking that if it got worse, I would go after Jingle Cross. Well, it hurt quite a lot and my upper jaw teeth on that side hurt so badly that I began to wonder if something more serious was amiss. Because I have insurance, folks encouraged me to have it checked out, especially my regular doctor. So despite some misgivings about it, I went ahead and followed by doctor's advice and went to Bryan West where I waited more than an hour for a doctor to come see me. He felt around on my face and then told me a regular x-ray wouldn't give a very clear picture and recommended a cat scan. Nervous now and dependent on his expert opinion, I went ahead and had it done only to have him tell me in another hour, that although severely bruised, there didn't appear to be any bone cracks and that it would heal in time.
Then, I got the bill. $1200. Cripes! There's my DuraAce stuff for next season. Why didn't he tell me the cost?! I feel like I've been totally had by the health care industry. I feel like they see me coming with my insurance card and then attempt to stick me for every non-insured non-paid bill. Moreover, unlike other 'consumer' interactions, the medical profession has a position of extreme power. We trust that they "know what's best" for our health and I think my trust was abused. Because of the doctor's manner, I think he knew there wasn't really anything he could do but that maybe it was his job, or the hospital's mandate to try and sell the most expensive thing. I'm not sure, but Friday I got a letter from the hospital telling me my insurance provider, BCBS (Blue Cross/Blue Shield), was refusing the claim. Consequently, you can see the first week of '07 sucking big time for me.
Am I the only one thinking there's someing wrong with this picture? Is it truly 'buyer beware' not just on used-car lots, but hospitals too?
* Underworld: 3rd Layer -- neve_r_est put me in the loop on this.