Monday, April 25, 2011

Red Tape part 2

I was having a bad day earlier today, so I lay down in bed for a bit. Of course, 'a bit' turned into 4 hours. My dad woke me up when he called to see what I'd accomplished today. It being Monday and no answer from Access (even though they said yes, I won't believe it till I have my ID card and #), I got up and drove to the hospital to ask the DES office there if they could help me.

The first time I spoke to the women in this office, the lady who helped me was very nice and also very helpful. The women there today were pretty much the exact opposite.

I tried to explain to one woman that I had already applied and been accepted, but since that happened on Friday, I didn't have my ID number yet and was hoping they might be able to help me, as my doctor was waiting for the number in order to schedule my life-saving surgery. I explained that I was in this office once before and the woman was very helpful and I was hoping they could help me again, as going to the Guadalupe office meant two hours in line just to ask a question. She looked at me like I was a dumb child so I tried to explain it again and got a similar response. She said she would have her supervisor, who was sitting 2 feet away and heard everything I had said.

Being only 2 feet away, I heard everything she said as well: "There's a guy here who is asking for help because he doesn't want to stand in line at the office."


So the "supervisor" walks the 16 inches over and asks me what I want....
I explained again, this time trying to be clearer than before since the two of them already have a pre-conceived notion of what I want regardless of the actual words I use. I explain that I was in this office earlier last week and a nice young lady was able to call up my account and tell me where it stands and what I need to do from this point on and I was hoping she would be able to help me as well. This person said that she wasn't from AHCCCS, even though the sign on both doors and the building entrance door said DES/AHCCCS, She said that this office was just DES and I said I was at DES to apply. She said that health insurance is AHCCCS, not DES and that the signs on the door were wrong, this was only DES.

Trying very hard to be polite, since this ...person...most likely holds my balls in her hand, I asked her why the other woman was able to help me. She didn't know why that was, but that I had to go to AHCCCS to get my ID #. She said I should call this number (which she wrote and handed to me) and ask them to give me my AHCCCS number. Feeling once again like I was getting the runaround, I asked again, "How is it that the other lady was able to call up my files from here and help me". She gave a bored shrug and said that I needed to call that number. Feeling again like I was falling for the same crap and leaving without answers again.

As I'm leaving her office, which is really a closet with 3 cubicles in it, I see a sign that says "Patient Advisory" (or similar), "Rescue for the uninsured"... The last time we were here we asked the information desk if there was a department we could talk to about financial issues, as in, we have no money or insurance, and they looked at us like she had never heard of such a thing, much less been asked a similar question before. I really can't imagine, with the amount of times I've been treated like a social outcast for not having decent insurance, I really can't imagine that no patient has been in the same situation as me.

So I go in the lobby and call the number. After being on hold for almost 20 minutes, a man, Ken, answers the phone and is very polite and gives me my AHCCCS ID # and ends the stupidity that is DES and mostly useless government employees. Ken repeats the number to make sure I have it and directs me to the AHCCCS website. I thank him profusely while mentally giving the finger to the door of the DES/AHCCCS office that's not a AHCCCS office, despite the signs on both doors and the building signage and the lobby directory. Again, the feeling is one of, "cripes, I'll lie to this guy to get him out of here, its almost closing time and I'm tired of answering boring questions related to my job. Now where are those Oreos? "

So I call Dr Rothman's scheduler, Sarah, since she's been waiting to schedule my life-saving surgery until I procure alternate means of payment. Did I mention the surgery that is on hold because of red tape and money is necessary to save my life? That without it I have about 6 months to a year to live? Because I did mention it to miss Saggy Everything. I think the Oreos were calling out for her because she didn't seem to register my desperation. Sometimes tears and desperation don't work. Maybe if I cried tears made of Skittles.

But I digress. Sarah, the scheduler who's become the life/death gatekeeper for Dr. Idontgetintothe Financialsideofthings, didn't answer the phone. I left a message with my AHCCCS ID #. Hopefully doing it over the phone doesn't somehow disqualify me.


On a much more pleasant note, I got home to find out my basic cable was disconnected. No, that's not the good news. I wasn't able to pay the whole bill, as I'm kinda broke, but I wanted to check and see how much I owed and how much was in my bank account. Imagine my shock to find over $5000.00 in my checking!
Apparently my ex-wife and living beer-based wax sculpture, Donna Gorodnick actually paid her back child support. So like a good denizen of the interwebs I posted it to my Facebook and realized, from a friend's comment, that they must have taken the cash out of her tax return. I can't imagine that Donna did it out of a sense of responsibility or a sweet, motherly act of kindness or even out of guilt for how she treated our daughter, because none of those things exist in the vacuum that is her soul and skull. No, it must have been her taxes, and I can't help being tickled bloody purple at the idea that it had to have come from her scumbag husband's taxes, hopefully ruining whatever plans they had for that much money. Probably to pay for that cruise they just took. Cue Nelson.


minearebetter said...

Hospitals can be such a pain to deal with. I'm sorry you had to go through all that, but hopefully they can get the ball rolling now1

Kathie said...

Bravo Guy! Your day ended on such a happy triumphant note!

Jenn Zeeb said...

is that $$ going to have to be reported to the insurance people? I believe thats income. Maybe take it out of your account and give it to someone you trust.