Monday, September 21, 2009

From Bad To Worse?

I underwent the gamma knife procedure in, what... February was it? As part of the follow-up and monitoring I was to have an MRI every three months for the first year, followed by one MRI every twelve months... forever.

I never got that first 'three-month' MRI. Having to do with the insurance provider dragging it's feet with approval, combined with lack of openings at their network MRI provider.
Part of the hassle is my requirement to be put to sleep for the procedure. They hate that, as it costs a lot of extra money. But anybody who's had to lay through an MRI can understand why, when my brain is the target, heavy sleep-style sedation would be a necessity. (For those who haven't: place your head in a five-gallon bucket full of foam, and lay perfectly still while strapped to a wooden bench for about 90 minutes. And don't you dare fidget!)

By the time I'd actually had my 'three-month' MRI, it had been six months.

Today, the doctor's office called to re-schedule a follow-up visit (following up on the 'three-month' MRI that was three months late.) I can't see him without prior-approval either, and they just got around to approving it.
The next opening is ...
you ready for this...
November 13th.

And they are working on getting my 'nine-month' MRI scheduled for November 30th. Reasonably on target this time, IF everything works according to plan. Sayeth the office: still waiting for approval to schedule the next MRI, but they've reserved that date in hopes that it will happen. Approval request has been submitted, and re-submitted, and re-submitted... every week since the last MRI. Expecting a non-rejection any week now.

But, the next office visit opening (post next MRI) is December 14th. Would you like to reserve that spot? (pending approval for said office visit, of course).

I possess, because I've paid for it, what some of these politicians might be referring to when they deride "Cadillac Health Plans". Generally, I have a better package of coverage than the receptionists (health care workers) who manage my case. I know this because they tell me so. You can see that I'm not some piker with a poor man's package of left overs.

Now here's the rub:

The talking heads say ObamaCare will leave us in a Canadian-style health care system, with six-month waits to get an MRI, months-long waits to see your doctor, rationing of services, rising tidewaters, swarms of locusts, piss-water beer and dead kittens.
It appears we are half-way there already.


  1. Wow, you really need to move to MN. We have more MRIs on France Ave in Edina, MN than in all of Canada. I've only waited a week or two for an MRI. The longest wait I had (about 2 weeks) was for an MRI guided needle biopsy because there was only one of those machines at one hospital in the Twin Cities. And I know what it's like to hear that they will tax "cadillac" plans. When you have 3-4 hospital stays a year suddenly a "Cadillac plan" that covers 100% hospitalization sounds cheaper even with a 35% tax.

  2. Margaret is right -- Minnesota is crawling with MRI machines. We're closer to Canada, natch, so we're probably covering most of Ontario and Manitoba these days.

    And I share your dislike of MRIs.

  3. Texas is pretty flooded with MRI's too, we have independent MRI establishments competing with each other and advertising on the radio for people buisness.