Saturday, December 15, 2007

The sum of all parts- new fun for scans

Can you believe it? It's been 3 months and I hardly even knew it...CT scan time is here again.
Christmas only comes but once a year but CT scans... they are four times the fun.
I have recently become tuned in to some changes afoot related to scans and how health insurance industry providers handle them.
Basically insurers are now requiring prior approval before scheduling necessary CT scans or MRIs.
Being the novice that I am in all these quite complicated logistics, I found myself remiss in taking note. Truthfully, I didn't exaclty know how these changes would play out. I didn't think about it until Tuesday evening.

Tuesday 5:05 PM

Hello...Leah Shearer?
Yes. That's me.
I am calling to inform you that the scan of your neck has been approved.
Assured and content I hung up.
Wait...oh crap she said neck! Just my neck? I am supposed to get a full body scan!!!!

Ten minutes later...

Hello Miss Shearer?
I'm calling on behalf of &*&% health to notify you of approval for the scan of your thorax.
Wait...someone just called me ten minutes ago.
Oh. yes. this is how we do it now.
Okay, but someone already called me.
Well, what did that someone say what she was approving?
My neck.
Yes...this is how we do it now.

Seven or eight minutes later...

hello Leah?
umm yes (snickering)
Oh...I just called you didn't I?
Yes... (now laughing audibly)
Your pelvis has been approved...(brief pause) I know... this is strange.
So are you going to call me body part by body part?
Pretty much... (now laughing herself)

And so it went... for another 2 calls...just like that. Although my chest came out of order...I think after pelvis...I got the idea. I stopped singing "the thigh bone connected to the hip bone" long enough to let out another hearty chuckle. I began to feel like Napoleon Dynamite. Remember that scene where he's testing the milk for defects?

Neck approved...Yesss! Abdomen....Yesssss! Thorax.....Yessssssssss!

This just really makes me think about how truly inefficient our health care industry is. The time they spent calling me body part by body part could have been put to use some other way, right? Does it seem a little kooky. Even the three separate women that I talked to in 5 string phone blitz agreed with me. Hey, they are just doing their job, taking orders from the Grand Pubbah. Just taking orders from a conglomerate and a larger cog in the wheel of a very messy and complicated system that you and I... and other Americans find ourselves sometimes entangled in. What the hell...what if they miss a body part? Seriously. Paging Michael Moore!!!

I don't pretend to be an expert on these issues in fact I am just your average patient. The only thing I have to look at this issue through is a little bit of common sense.

What is up with my HMO? Gosh...Iditots.

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