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good news, so-so news, and another surgery scheduled good news, so-so news, and another surgery scheduled

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Unread 03-29-2004, 09:10 AM
good news, so-so news, and another surgery scheduled

Just spoke to my onc/gyn this morning.....good news is that he feels there's only a 3-5% chance cancer has escaped into my lymph nodes. I will be having surgery April 15th (yeah, I know--what a date!) to pull the nodes for biopsy. If no cancer, close followup for 3 years. If they find cancer, then it's straight to radiation and "light chemo". Chemo LITE? Strikes me funny somehow.

The bad news? I have to bring $10,000 to the hospital with me, or no surgery. My doc takes no insurance! Oh well, there goes my daughter's college education!

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Unread 03-29-2004, 09:18 AM
good news, so-so news, and another surgery scheduled

I pray that the lymph nodes come out clean and that you need no more treatment. nit even chemo lite, but I never heard of a dr noit taking insurance. Is that even legal? How can he stay in practice. There are many good Dr's who do take insurance. Can't you get another Dr?
Unread 03-29-2004, 09:55 AM
good news, so-so news, and another surgery scheduled

Sure, it's legal. A lot of doctors around here don't want the hassle of dealing with insurance, so they will fill out the hcfa form for you, and YOU get to sit and wait to be reimbursed. So I will get some of that back, but who knows when.

If I didn't feel so positive about this guy, I would certainly be doctor shopping, believe me!
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Unread 03-29-2004, 11:47 AM
good news, so-so news, and another surgery scheduled

It sounds like the news is good! Let us know how the biopsies go. I went to an affordable state college (by choice, since it was one of the top journalism schools in the nation at the time), and I got an outstanding education. :-) I'm sure your daughter wants you to be around to be her mom more than she wants to go to Yale. ;-)
Unread 03-29-2004, 12:40 PM
good news, so-so news, and another surgery scheduled

Hi Valarie,

This is definately a good news, crummy news situation.

By any chance are you going to Sloan Kettering? I know that they do not take insurance there and that is one reason why my friends husband did not go there.

Sure they tell us to submit the bills but who has that kind of cash to dish out all at once. Were there really no other doctors on your plan?

Unread 03-29-2004, 01:03 PM
good news, so-so news, and another surgery scheduled

Your doctor may be excellent but he's also arrogant. Rather than wait for HIS payment he makes YOU wait. I would venture a guess that it's easier for him to wait, than for most of his patients to come up with $10,000, and then wait for reimbursement. I bet he has more money in his bank account than most of his patients have. So insurance is a 'hassle' for him. SO WHAT? Many jobs have accompanying hassles. He could do as 99% of doctors do, hire someone to take care of insurance paper work. Why should the burden fall on the patients, the people who are struggling with cancer, and not on him and his staff? How many patients can't get $10,000 in cash on short notice? I'm sorry, but this strikes me as the height of arrogance. I would be furious at any doctor who referred me to a doctor who behaved this way. I would be on the phone to the referring physician immediately! I don't care how good he is, his attitude toward his patients stinks.

Does he charge a fee of $10,000 for every surgery? My goodness, that strikes me as high. Perhaps I am wrong, having never had this kind of surgery.

This whole situation gives me the willies. I"ve never handed anyone $10,000 cash for anything, other than an automobile. I'd hire another doctor, one who had a little more respect and concern for his patients.

As far as college, $10,000 will almost cover one year at a state college, or 1/4 of a year at a private college. If your daughter is younger than a high school senior, your insurance will probably have reimbursed you by then.

Best wishes and sorry for the rant. Arrogant doctors just make me angry! Sorry!

Unread 03-29-2004, 05:18 PM
good news, so-so news, and another surgery scheduled

Dear Valarie:

That's great news that the percentage is as low as it is - please let us know as soon as you know how everything is - I will be thinking of you!!!

I also hope that your insurance will reimburse you fast - wow that's a chunk of money alright - but your health is most important - if we have health we can do anything we want.

Take good care!!
Unread 03-29-2004, 06:22 PM
good news, so-so news, and another surgery scheduled

I agree with Janie/ the doctor sounds arrogant. My doctor is a professor at a university hospital and considered to be one of the best, my surgery was 1-29-2004 and I haven't even received his surgery bill yet. the only bills I have received from him is for office visits, thank god he takes insurance.
Unread 03-30-2004, 07:11 AM
good news, so-so news, and another surgery scheduled

Janie and Patty--
You know, I had never thought of it that way. My only experience with cancer and cancer surgery was with my dad, who is on Medicare, and 2 friends who went through Sloan Kettering, where each handed over $25,000 at the door. I guess I just assumed that this is the way business is done in the cancer industry....

Nonetheless, the practice of no insurance being taken is not all that uncommon here, and I don't think of the doc as arrogant--I see him as someone who was more thorough, compassionate, and encouraging than any other doc I saw; the others mainly threw up there hands and told me there was no one else with a case like mine that THEY'D ever seen, and I would never find anyone else who had experience with such cases. One flat out told me that surgery was really my best option, but he wouldn't perform it on me. I was left to feel like I had one foot in the grave and the other on a banana peel. To me, it is worth the money up front, and I admit, I am lucky to be in a position where it is a shock, but not an insurmountable obstacle. I wonder, though, what arrangement I could come to if this were not the case.

So, thanks for another perspective (I do mean to ask what my compassionate doc tells desperate people without resources...) and please keep me in your prayers on tax day (although I'm sure other things will be foremost in your minds!)
Unread 03-30-2004, 11:39 AM
good news, so-so news, and another surgery scheduled

I had to delay my pre-op CT scan and blood testing until the insurance company added me to my husband's plan. They wanted $2,500 to do the CT scan at the regular ob/gyn office's lab. So I waited and had it all done at the hospital under the eye of the gyn/oncologist as soon as insurance 'recognized' me. My gyn/onc surgeon did not require any cash-in-advance to do the surgery. And the hospital's labs did not require on-the-spot payment, either.

I'm with Janie on this one. I think it's horrible for a surgeon to require his patients to empty their bank accounts so that he won't have to deal with the inconvenience of insurance. As she said, his bank account is surely larger than those of most of his patients, especially since he's getting $10,000.00 per surgery!

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