The Expense of expense

As we go further along, and the bills pile up, the hospital seems reluctant to apply our Charity Care discount they awarded us.  I have hubby talking to them now, but its still stalled to the point where I had to make a decision today — I cancelled my PET scan.  Mark has to have one, yes. But me, unless they can tell me how it materially will affect the current course of treatment, I’m reluctant to go on the hook for some $6900 just to find out the cancer is (1) just like it was (2) has changed for the better or (3) is worse, somehow (with my marker numbers heading down I’m hoping that 3 won’t be the case).

Flash mentioned Tamoxifen was his choice for long term therapy right now, and I don’t see how this PET scan needs to happen this instant.

Not with Ming wanting two MRIs on my head before the end of the year.

No matter what I do, this cancer isn’t going away overnight.

If I make it through to April 2010, I’ll qualify for Medicare. I’m thinking they can run all the scans they want at that point.

Meanwhile, with nothing much coming through from the billing office except statements where the numbers aren’t making sense — and watching them first try to bill for Medicaid (I applied but was rejected, as we make “too much” — no comment), then when that didn’t work, Medicare. I feel like they are going to ruin it for me, no one ASKED me about it, but the SS gal over at Social Security knows what she is doing, and told me if I could hang on, I’d be in the program and receive a medicare letter to that effect, with card and number.

Since I don’t feel like I’m dying today, though I have a bit of a head cold, I’m going to follow her advice and just let hubby figure it out. We have to get it all together by year end for taxes anyway, so I can start on that.

Meanwhile my mood is less than crisp or cheery. Cancer, even on good days, is everpresent, and a depressing reality to live with. All you can do is just try to keep your focus and hope you make it to the next day. One day at a time really has some meaning here.

Joule Watt

Update 1. New bill comes in from a physicians group, no one we recognize at all! Mark hoofs it overto their office for a face to face, turns out the hospitalists that were involved in my hospital stay aren’t full time with the physicians group that does the billing, so it must be billed in the name of someone who ISfull-time, hence the mystery doctor and the mystery bill. In any event it had to be adjusted for both the fact that we are self payers and are entitled to a charity discount — I am surmising this is all legal. Facts are such that the insurance companies wouldn’t care actually, and if I weren’t a self paypatient I might never have even seen that bill.

It just gets more creative…we get one pagers in here with just a number on them, and I have to go back into the file and pull any papers that have a matching account and financial statement number (two different things). These I’m now turning over to hubby.

Ming’s secretary is going to convey my message to him Monday coming aboout moving these MRI appoints out in time. Fact is, I can’t pay for them, so whatever works. I care about Ming’s opinion, but I can’t say much for the rest of them (save for Flashand NPDEb of course, but we’re all ghosts in the machine right now).

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