Thursday, December 08, 2005

Airline Socks and Ridiculous Health Insurance Policies

Who keeps airline socks? Anyone? I found some in a drawer this morning and they were PERFECT for putting over David's swollen ankles to go to clinic this morning. Who knew?

It's been a long, tiring day. Both of us had a hard time getting through the prolonged time at the clinic, where the radiation machine needed maintenance and consequently delayed all the appointments. We were late getting over to the hematology and oncology clinic next door by nearly two hours!

We made good use of the wheelchairs at the clinics, too. There was a lot of back and forth between radiation, blood work, and the injection clinic today, and the cane was wholly inadequate. We requested a scrip for a wheelchair, but we didn't have time to pick one up today.

There was also the rigamarole with the increased painkiller dosage that the insurance company is not allowing the pharmacy to fulfill. Here's the beef: the insurance company puts a limit on QUANTITY of pills per month, regardless of STRENGTH -- what a load of bollocks! So, that means a patient can't modulate their dosages with multiples of smaller pills to match their pain levels because it'll exceed monthly limits. Pills don't come in all strengths, sometimes it's 20mg, sometimes 100mgs, etc. Sometimes there's a big gap between strengths and cutting the pills just crushes them. Most are too small to be precise, and they're potent. Overmedication can have major effects, which David has discovered firsthand.

David takes so many different forms of medication that he's reached the insurance limits on quantity partway through the month several times. I'm sure there are other patients who run into this problem. I don't know if it's just our insurance company or if they're all like that, but even so -- you can't just switch insurance companies midstream. Plus, who sets out to even find an insurance company with higher pill limits??? it's just not something you'd anticipate, unlike common things like optical or dental coverage.

We've gone through this before, and finally acquired a letter from the insurance company to allow the pharmacy to dispense more than their normal limit. However, I found out today that the letter doesn't have a code or an official means to override the pharmacy database! I mean, what good is THAT?!?


Today's blood test results:
  1. Hemoglobin up
  2. White blood cells up
  3. Platelets still low
David has another transfusion scheduled at 9 o'clock for more platelets at Mercy Hospital. We'll have to sort out the prescription problem in the morning after the transfusion.