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Wallet biopsy

ausrebel53's picture
ausrebel53
Posts: 73
Joined: Dec 2012

Managed to see chemo doc last night, he is extremely busy but stayed back to 8:15 at night to make sure I was seen given the mess around I had before. The first chemo doc told me 2 days prior to treatment I would have to pre pay $1700 the first visit, $250 the second and $150 each time after that (approx) and we have excellent insurance. I just wasn't going to do it even though radiation treatment had started...greedy drongo. The second chemo doc said that sadly this was fairly common down the east end of where we are and that (his words) "they tended to do a wallet biopsy before any treatment in that neck of the woods", amazing stuff coming from a fellow doctor. This new doc said his priority is to heal and worry about finances later, he even treats people without insurance, I think I fell on my feet this time. He is going to start with Erbitux which he felt best, the other clown wanted to downgrade our trearment according to our wallet, the treatment he ended up recommending would be cheaper but incur more side effects. I will start with the new chemo doc this coming monday and feel very confident which is most important, I just didn't trust the other clown.

phrannie51's picture
phrannie51
Posts: 3601
Joined: Mar 2012

plain scary!!  I can't believe they are so wallet concious when there is an insurance company backing you up....makes me glad I live up here in the hicks.  I never heard one word about money, not one time ever.  All that I owed got billed out until I'd surpassed my out of pocket.

p

ausrebel53's picture
ausrebel53
Posts: 73
Joined: Dec 2012

Thanx Phrannie, happily alls well that ends well, I feel a lot more settled now that we know what is happening and that I can trust both doctors. Knowing the treatment plan and what to expect helps a great deal too. Panama City Beach is by no means hicksville but it isn't exactly a bustling metropolis either, there are a lot of retirees and elderly people here which is why I was surprised at the pre pay thing. It's not like there is a shortage of patients here.

regards Michael

NJShore's picture
NJShore
Posts: 411
Joined: Nov 2012

Michael,

I am speechless.. That is horrible, what ever happened too do no harm? The ethics of balancing ones wallet with the quality of care is a tremendous ethics issue. 

Talk about... Speechless, or at least boing polite.

unreal..Kari

ps - good move on your part.. :) glad you can feel good about your doctor.

ausrebel53's picture
ausrebel53
Posts: 73
Joined: Dec 2012

Thanx Kari, I am still fortunate to be in this country Kari, at least I have freedom of choice (so far) and can change docs. I originally came from Australia                                  where they use govt. medical insurance (Medicare). Don't get too old or too expensive there, you will be left out to hang. My mother died of lung cancer at 77 in New Zealand (same type of insurance), she was too old I guess, they were so greedy over there that the hospital she was in requested she be moved 1 day before she passed away, they said it would be best for her (they kidding?). they just wanted her bed rather than let her pass in peace. I told them they could move her over my cold dead body...I think they got the hint.

I am grateful to be in this country for medical treatment and whilst there might be some greedy individuals they are vastly outnumbered by the dedicated many. I hope we can keep private insurance here because I have seen public insurance at work where you can literally die waiting for treatment, trust me you don't want it.

Its all about freedom and freedom of choice

Michael

phrannie51's picture
phrannie51
Posts: 3601
Joined: Mar 2012

where public health is also used.  I hear all the time how lucky we are here....not for long, tho....we're on the verge of government health care, and it scares me silly.  I've already been sick, and I'm 62....the only thing I can hope for is that I'm still covered by my employers insurance by the time I'm 65.  When that happens I'm afraid that health care will get very dicey.

p

donfoo's picture
donfoo
Posts: 1146
Joined: Dec 2012

So glad to hear you are getting care from professionals who want to treat you rather than pilfer your pocket. I have not followed all the details but the whole medical insurance industry and care systems are all F..ued. So, don't even get me started. Tongue Out

jim and i's picture
jim and i
Posts: 1561
Joined: May 2011

May God bless this new oncologist. And may he bless you with mild side effects and a complete cure.

Debbie

fishmanpa's picture
fishmanpa
Posts: 1098
Joined: Jan 2013

Glad to hear you're overcoming the "business" of cancer! I had a friend send me an article concerning cancer and the costs, profits etc. The numbers are staggering! When I look at the statements from the insurance company, it blows my mind!

The attitude you're receiving from the doctors doesn't surprise me either. Last week, I called Winchester (where I "was" going to have treatment) and told them to put everything on hold. I haven't heard a peep since then... nothing! Makes me REALLY glad I sought a 2nd opinion and chose Johns Hopkins. They've been amazing!

Confidence in your doctors is imperative to your attitude and recovery.

Best to you!

"T"

ausrebel53's picture
ausrebel53
Posts: 73
Joined: Dec 2012

Thank you for your comments, nice to know I'm not imagining things and that others have similar experiences.

Hair looks good Phrannie, looks like a new you

Michael

Billie67's picture
Billie67
Posts: 834
Joined: Jul 2012

I am so happy you found this new more compassionate onc. This is the way it should be!
Billie

AirForce Vet's picture
AirForce Vet
Posts: 25
Joined: Feb 2012

So glad to hear you have things on the go now!!!!!!  Get on the bus with us and lets ROCK N ROLL.  I agree with you about europe's socialized medicine.  Saw it first hand while I was stationed in Europe.  But sadly with OBAMA care it looks like the U.S. is going down the same road.  Most of the really bad parts do not start until after 2014.  Then like Europe look out if your old and have a disease Like ours.  They will just put you on the waiting list until you die because you are longer cost effective

blackswampboy's picture
blackswampboy
Posts: 341
Joined: Jul 2012

sad that discussions about cancer have to sink into half-baked political commentary. last time I checked, cancer didn't pay attention to political leanings.

I can match anybody's anecdotes about Aunt Sally's urologist in Uzbekibekistanstan.

I had 18 years personal experience with a 'socialized' national health insurance program system myself. not perfect, but certainly high-quality and cost-effective. my current ENT is a product of that medical system, and I wouldn't hesitate to get treatment over there if that's where I was living. actually I looked into it, but relocating would've delayed my treatment.

my sister-in-law opted to get her breast cancer surgery and thyroid treatments done abroad last summer, rather than get it all done in Portland, Oregon. she's perfectly satisfied with her choice, and she saved a boatload of money (her cheapskate employer here doesn't provide health insurance). Not that treatment in Portland isn't first-rate, mind you. But fortunately she had the freedom to look beyond borders.

my elderly mother had emergency gastrointestinal surgery a couple of years ago in the Czech Republic, followed by a week in hospital there. total price: a bit more than US$2,000. When her doctor back here saw the work, he said that the only thing that told him it wasn't done in Ohio was the material used for the stitches.

maybe it's just me, but I find these boards most helpful when focused on the positive and heroic. let's deal in strength, dignity, and courage--not idle speculation and political fear-mongering.

cheers, douglas

ausrebel53's picture
ausrebel53
Posts: 73
Joined: Dec 2012

I'm only making a few observations here, there are good and bad in all systems. I believe I have the right to vent especially when I believe my mother died because of a bad part of a system I don't agree with (thought this was a free country and genuine opinions valued). I said I was happy and grateful to be here and be insured privately here even though the system is not perfect here as is the case ANYWHERE ELSE.

Being positive is certainly important, just as important as having the emotional freedom to vent from time to time. I am always happy to provide a shoulder as best I can, others have asked for understanding and now I do.

I have been put through the ringer on numerous occassions thanks to our insurance saying one thing then doing another, you weren't there when my wife burst into tears finding out just after being told I have cancer that our coverage could leave us in huge debt, they think, couldn't get a straight answer. I believe things are settling down now after much arguing with insurance and having to change chemo doc leaving me late to start treatment. So Douglas you tell me what I am not allowed to say here, love to hear it mate.

One more thing, being cured of cancer or not being cured has a LOT to do with the political climate in which we find ourselves, good climate....we live (at least have the best chance), bad climate.....we die, simple. Sadly my mother was in a bad climate.

phrannie51's picture
phrannie51
Posts: 3601
Joined: Mar 2012

here...It's bad enough hearing you have cancer....then having to fight the insurance company that you pay into every month pretty much puts everything over the top.  When I first got Dx'd, I chose an Oncologist who my company said was in the network...turned out he wasn't, and I was getting billed for 40% of the costs.  The company I work for went to bat for me...working with the insurance  company and the Dr. and got him a contract to work on me.  THEN, they not only got the contract but got the Oncologist to back date it from June 1 to April...the day I had my first chemo.  Thinking for the whole month of May that I might have to change Oncologists had my mind fried....I couldn't believe I had that much extra energy to stress out like I did.

Vent away....it's good for us!!!

p

ausrebel53's picture
ausrebel53
Posts: 73
Joined: Dec 2012

Thank you Phrannie, you don't know how much I appreciate that.

blackswampboy's picture
blackswampboy
Posts: 341
Joined: Jul 2012

thought that was pretty clever, actually.

I was referring to the 'sadly with obamacare' comment. that was a gratuitous political comment--and rather ironic, since the 'wallet biospy' is hardly a good endorsement of our current health care system.

I'm also pretty certain that most of the people criticizing health care in other countries have never actually had care under those systems... you are obviously an exception. I'm not familiar with Australia's system myself either. it could be crap for all I know. but just because one country may have a crap system doesn't mean that we are going there too. suggestions that we're gonna end up just like europe (or australia) are particularly silly.

freedom of speech is alive and well. I'm simply asking if we really want to go political. my opinion, it's a pity to divide us into red and blue state cancer survivors. but hey, I'm up for it if ya'll are. bring it on.

George_Baltimore's picture
George_Baltimore
Posts: 303
Joined: Jun 2009

I agree with Michael and Air Force Vet.  I consider myself a moderate conservative.  To throw more fuel on the fire, it's my OPINION that unions and lawyers are currently a big cause of the mess our county is in right now.  I've stated before, there are way too many lawyers.  Everybody wants to sue nowadays.  But even worse than lawyers are union bosses.  Years ago, a friend of mine was a shop steward at a large grocery chain we have here.  He told me of this one girl who should have been fired for incompetence a long time ago.  He had to represent her and she won.  Unions sap any drive anybody has to produce.  Why should they work when they can sit on their tails and be overpaid.  Thankfully, we have some governors now with cajones to stand up and give workers a choice.  If unions are so good, they will survive.  If not, they will go the way of buggywhips.  

So what does this have to do with our medical system?  It's because of lawsuits and unions that the costs have risen.  Medical malpractice insurance, from what I'm told, is out of sight but God forbid if you are a practicianer and don't have it.  Insurance companies have to raise their fees to pay for some of these insane verdicts that are handed down by judges (lawyers).  Unions just drive the cost of goods up, make impossible to fire incompetent people and make the union bosses richer.

Unions were needed at one point in America.  They have long outlived their usefulness

Don't know why you felt personally attacked Swampboy.  We were just stating our opinions.  You've stated yours.  You didn't have to say "bring it on" like you are ready for a fight.

Mikemetz's picture
Mikemetz
Posts: 331
Joined: Nov 2011

While it is true that we won't know the full impact of the new healthcare laws until at least 2014, one part of them is about to be a godsend to me.  I had a $1 million lifetime limit on my insurance until the new laws took all such limits away.  Well, guess what?  Yesterday I did my annual tally of what my insurance company paid out in 2012 and added that to what they have paid from the start of my cancer gig.  I am within about $20K of $1 million, and still dealing with some side effects that will call for more treatments and expenses in 2013.  I didn't have many medical expenses before my cancer, but surely I would have hit "Tilt" sometime in 2013.

If not for the elimination of those limits, I would be like many other people who are worried about how they are going to pay for this very expensive care--and I have five years until I qualify for Medicare.  I understand that the doctors, hospitals, and insurance companies are in cahoots to inflate these costs astronomically--but given that sad bit of truth, this boy is very grateful that he has good insurance, and no limits on it now.

Mike

AirForce Vet's picture
AirForce Vet
Posts: 25
Joined: Feb 2012

Not may intention at all!!!!  And yes I was stationed in Europe for over 10 years during my 28 years of service.  And by the way how much time did you do dodging bullets for your country in your lifetime there swampy?  And when I was sick and had to be hospitalized I was sent to a German Hosp.  Compared to the care provided at an American Hosp, it was not even close.  I called it OBAMA care because that is the common term for the Afforable care act.  No I do not agree with one size fits all medicine or the government telling when and where to go.  You can always spot a liberal when they immediately get angry when somebody dosen't agree with them.  But that is neither here nor there.  I served my country for your right to make a fool out of yourself,  I was just agreeing with him on his insights.  I guess only liberals are allowed free speech!  I will leave this site now.  Doesn't seem LIke a very welcoming place by certain people with narrow minds.  When you have seen and done the things I have to protect our country come back and talk to me.

 

Senior Master Sergeant (ret) Joseph L. Stelpflug

corleone's picture
corleone
Posts: 144
Joined: Jul 2012

We are not on this site to battle over political issues, or to even try to correct things that go wrong financial wise. It doesn’t matter what color (political or whatever) we are, we are here because we have this f… disease in our system and we need advice from others that had more experience with it, or to share from our experience with others. Yes, we can express our opinions, but it would be useful to remain within a limited scope, always keeping in mind why we are all here. Even with some things said, so be it, nobody needs to feel offended or leave anywhere. Your experience is needed, if for not for other reasons. The rest is vanity. My two cents.

ausrebel53's picture
ausrebel53
Posts: 73
Joined: Dec 2012

I am sorry so many people got upset here, that was not my intention, having read so many comments by people here who have had adverse financial problems I was only trying to contribute to the conversation. I don't know about anyone else here but when I was first told I had cancer my first thought was for my family and how would it affect them financially, would we have to lose our house etc, so many such thoughts went through my mind and I guess the first consideration was financial.

Air force vet so sorry you got upset here, I value and respect what you have done and what you say and wish you would not leave here.

Finance and insurance are touchy subjects but they cannot be ignored and sadly at times people will cross swords regarding them. Even though we will no doubt have many varying political opinions here I can only hope we can find common ground to communicate.

regards Michael

fishmanpa's picture
fishmanpa
Posts: 1098
Joined: Jan 2013

Last time I checked, cancer wasn't even registered to vote! Last time I checked, cancer didn't care what sex you are, where you live or country you come from. Cancer doesn't care how old you are, your education, income or whether or not you have insurance or not. 

I'm sorry, regardless of your political or religious views, cancer doesn't discriminate. To get upset over that, in my opinion, in light of the hand we've been dealt is just a bit much.

No amount of complaining or the degree of your passion on the subject will change a thing nor will it eradicate the beast within us all.

Peace....

"T"

connieprice1's picture
connieprice1
Posts: 290
Joined: Oct 2010

ausrebel,   You do have a right to free speech here and I see nothing wrong with calling the affordable healthcare act "Obamacare". Cancer care is very expensive and you should never be hijacked the way you were. Airforce Vet said nothing wrong either. They have moderators that monotor this site and if someone breaks any rules I'm sure they would let you know. Blackswampboy should appoligize to you both for turning a post into a political issue when no offense was intended. I seen nothing wrong with either one of your comments and I hope you both keep posting because this is a "information site" for the good of ALL cancer survivors and caregivers. I wish you all well, Homer & Connie

ausrebel53's picture
ausrebel53
Posts: 73
Joined: Dec 2012

Thank you Homer and Connie, much appreciated....Michael

Pam M's picture
Pam M
Posts: 2194
Joined: Nov 2009

Very glad you have a "real" doctor now.

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