A full-body PET scan; An Adventure in Cost Accounting

12/8/2010. Very few reasons will get me up early in the morning, but having a full body PET scan scheduled at 8 am is one of them. The scan, complete with radioactive injection, went super smoothly, and I’m looking forward to the interpreted results this Friday at my onc’s appointment. About the greatest Christmas present I could have is beating this cancer down, and I’m hoping the results will play true. I’ll update the blog as soon as I find out. The tech and I had an interesting discussion about fees involved, turns out that in spite of them being the truck of choice (traveling to other cities to do these), the fees can vary from place to place since every hospital has its own contract, meaning, when we put the numbers together, there is as much as a $1500 difference between a local small town not too far from here, and doing the scan here. Again, it comes down to a matter of what you can charge, why you charge it and what you’ve been getting away with for years. I’m so hoping that sooner or later medical costs will be uniformly brought in line all over the country. Now, it’s a state thing, and apparently too, a company thing. Every time the machine turns on to manufacture the flouride injectable for this test, apparently whether one container or ten containers of injectible is produced, it’s a $500 charge payable (I assume) to the state. I dunno how much of this all is true but I’ll tell ya what, if I live long enough I’m going to put in my two cents wherever you put it to help people who need fiscal help with these tests.

Also got info from Medicare on the cost of the ARANESEP injection, the number I’m reading is $2400 for the initial company purchase of the drug, not a personal cost to me of “thousands of dollars”. I don’t know what these nurses are being told, but it’s flat wrong to discourage a patient from getting a shot that will help them just because no one is 100% sure the patient can pay for it if it’s not covered by Medicare. I don’t know if it’s just Oklahoma doctors or what, but you cannot apparently trust what you’re being told! I do my best to get my co-pays off immediately, and to spend my money wisely, but I have a creepy feeling these drug prices are coming out of the air for the most part, and it’s all about the money, and not so much about making people well!!!

People, too, remember you are entitled to a copy of your tests, scans, or whatever. Don’t forget to ask for it, because if you have to change doctors for any reason, companies are now charging up to seventy-five cents or higher PER PAGE for your records.

Joule Watt

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2 Responses to “A full-body PET scan; An Adventure in Cost Accounting”

  1. Leane, I love when you start your blogs with good news and best Christmas present. Jim Bates is asking how to contact you. Probably you will be hearing from him. You are in my prayers and I am very grateful to be sharing this life saving effort you are going through. I am more aware of me and how not to get crazy about weight, but try to keep healthy. I am much more aware of people who might also be fighting this horrible disease. Have a wonderful Christmas. Love and cheer from Jeanni and Paul

  2. Hi Jeannie: Ask Jim Bates for me if he is the same guy who lived two doors down from me in West Hollywood. If so, I haven’t seen him since 1967. I remember him. We played ball in the street with his and my brothers. Email is probably the best way or he can comment a thread here and I will get in touch with him. Since most of the time I don’t have much of a voice, talking is very difficult for me. Thanks so much. Christmas cheer for you and Paul from us! Love ya, Leane

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