Friday, October 02, 2009

Group Health roadblocks up and functional

This is a feature not a bug.

When we met with the oncologists yesterday, they told us that I needed a PET scan and a brain MRI so that they can stage my cancer appropriately. And, if it is below a stage 4, then they will biopsy more tissue to try to put together a chemotherapy regimen that is targeted to my particular cancer.

It seems obvious, that a PET scan is required to put this plan into its first steps. And that the longer one waits, the more time the tumor has to grow, divide and perhaps migrate in search of more, friendly host sites. So, one might think that speed would be of the essence because you would want to get the information quickly to start treatment and stop the process in its tracks.

You would be wrong. The only process that counts is the administrative process within Group Health. This administrative process is in place to somehow make sure that my doctors are not lying their asses off and that in fact I do merit a PET scan. And after a number of calls to Group Health throughout the day to inquire, I was told at 4:15 pm for the first time, by the same person I had been talking to all day, that this process generally takes 2-4 business days at a minimum to be approved. My 'relationship' with this individual got off to a rocky start during the first call, when this person rather impatiently said, "I can't hear you, can you speak up?" I yelled with all my might, which brought my whispery voice near to cracking, that I could not speak up, that I had lung cancer causing this and that I needed the PET scan stat.

Some good that did. I suppose I could complain to the Insurance Commissioner's office. I have a meeting Tuesday in my offices with the Deputy on another matter. How frakkin' ironic.

Not a good day.

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