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need surgery ..dont have insurance (Read 3214 times)
trophy
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need surgery ..dont have insurance
May 17th, 2010 at 6:48pm
 
i had a horrible "check-up" with my doctor in louisville kentucky today... i just recently got diagnosed with mmd 2 wks ago and i have already had a stroke at 27 years old.. they said that i need a bypass but since i dont have insurance that they wouldnt beable to find a doctor to do it... so they sent me out the door with "keep taking your aspirin and best of luck to you"... wow are you kidding me? i have a life threatening disease that could take my life before im 30 and u have nothing but aspirin for me? ... im scared to death that i may have another stroke (99% blockage on right side and 60% on left side)... i need options or a doctor who does it with no insurance.. any suggestions?  Embarrassed
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Re: need surgery ..dont have insurance
Reply #1 - May 18th, 2010 at 2:32pm
 
Hi Trophy,

I am sorry to hear that you were recently diagnosed with MM.  I am outraged at how your doctor treated you when s/he learned you have no insurance.  That is inexcusable.

I work for a health care system in the Finance department.  My suggestions to advocate for yourself would be as follows:

1)  First, I would request copies of all your scans and tests on CD from the hospital where they were performed.  They must give them to you if you request them.  There should be no charge to you for this service.

2)  Contact Dr. Steinberg's office, explain your situation & request to submit the CD containing your tests and scans for his review.  You can find his contact info elsewhere this website.  He is the preeminent expert on adult MM in the U.S.  Hopefully, his office can assist you with the financial aspects of the process, but I can offer you some tips, as well. 

Regardless of where you are ultimately treated, you may be able to qualify for financial assistance (the hospital will write off a portion of your bill) based on your financial status & the Hospital's guidelines.  Most not-for-profit hospitals should offer financial assistance and should be willing to discuss their terms with you, if you inquire.  Offering financial assistance helps not-for-profit facilities justify their status as a not-for-profit facility (e.g. they must tell the IRS in their form 990, Schedule H, the cost of unreimbursed services that they provide to patients each year).  Many times a patient will qualify for at least a partial write-off if their income is 200% - 400% of the federal poverty guidelines, but this varies by facility/health system.  Therefore, you should ask the facility that treats you if you can apply for financial assistance.  The worst that can happen is that you find out you won't qualify.  If you do qualify, many times physicians affiliated with the facility will accept the hospital's designation of financial assistance and offer the same terms, but again, it's best to ask up front vs. waiting for the physician's office to offer. 

If you don't qualify for financial assistance, you could still request an uninsured "discount" so that you are not paying full charges.  No insurer pays full charges, so an uninsured person shouldn't have to, either.  When you contact the business office, consider asking to speak with the director of the business office.  Sometimes this dept. will be called Patient Financial Services or Revenue Cycle Operations (this seems to be the current buzz phrase).  The director of managed care operations would be another alternative.  Once you make contact, ask if the facility has an uninsured patient discount policy.  Many times, it will be a percent off charges.  This is the most straightforward way to request the discount.  If there is no policy, individuals at the director level are more than likely going to be the decision makers regarding whether to offer a discount or not, so that's why I recommend starting with them. 

In addition, most hospitals provide various payment plans for uninsured patients so that you would not have to come up with the cash all at once.  Many will charge a nominal interest rate, but the system I work for has an arrangement with a finance company, so many times there is 0% interest charged to the patient. 

You will also want to make similar arrangements with any physicians who care for you.  You may have to make these arrangements separately, unless your physicians are actually employees of the hospital, in which case they may automatically apply the same terms to physician bills.

Hopefully Dr. Steinberg's & his staff can put you on the path to recovery as well as offer you financial resource options. 

Do not give up!  I'm sure it is probably overwhelming to you right now, with your recent diagnosis, to have to consider all the financial aspects too, but you are going to have to advocate for yourself to get the care you need & deserve.  Is there someone from your family, or a friend, you can turn to for assistance with this, if it is too overwhelming for you right now?  Sometimes, facilities will have a patient advocate, financial counselor or ombudsman to assist you with these issues.  If you contact the admissions office of a particular facility the can probably steer you in the right direction.

Best wishes to you on your journey,

Jennifer
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Mom to an 9.5 y/o ballerina/guitar player with MMD & an 11.5 y/o gymnast/cross country runner/swimmer!
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benthere
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Re: need surgery ..dont have insurance
Reply #2 - May 21st, 2010 at 3:25pm
 
trophy wrote on May 17th, 2010 at 6:48pm:
i had a horrible "check-up" with my doctor in louisville kentucky today... i just recently got diagnosed with mmd 2 wks ago and i have already had a stroke at 27 years old.. they said that i need a bypass but since i dont have insurance that they wouldnt beable to find a doctor to do it... so they sent me out the door with "keep taking your aspirin and best of luck to you"... wow are you kidding me? i have a life threatening disease that could take my life before im 30 and u have nothing but aspirin for me? ... im scared to death that i may have another stroke (99% blockage on right side and 60% on left side)... i need options or a doctor who does it with no insurance.. any suggestions? Embarrassed

I was in the same boat,Iwas dionosed w/mm after my stroke,the hospital started working with me to get me on medicade and SSI.Its a teribly slow process but thankly st johns catholic hospital in TULSA's, chairity care paid for my first bypss.still waiting for medicade and SSI for my second.
good luck and yes keep taking your asprin.I cheated my first stoke untill age 45.I'll give the ad ice I was given-the bad news is 27(me 45) year olds shouldn't be having stroke but th good news is you're only 27(45).greater chance for a better/full recovery
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