The Tooth Of The Matter Is, They Suck

, , , , , , | Healthy | January 22, 2020

Around mid-October, I begin to feel pain on the upper side in the back of my jaw. I didn’t have my wisdom teeth out as a teen, so I know I’ve waited too long to have them removed. At this point in my life, I’m on state Medicaid; I find a dentist who takes my insurance and see them in early November. The dentist confirms it’s my wisdom teeth coming in and refers me to an oral surgeon, as the X-rays indicate that all four are bone-impacted. 

I call the oral surgeon’s office and get an appointment for December 28th. It goes well; they take another set of X-rays that informs us that the roots of my top wisdom teeth have grown into my sinus cavity. The bottom two are close enough to my nerve that he wants all four extracted, I will have to be anesthetized for it, and they need to come out ASAP. He assures they’ll submit the paperwork and the insurance will get back to me within two weeks. 

I leave satisfied. 

Two weeks roll around, nothing. I give calling the insurance an extra day, due to Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. They inform me that they have no record of any submission at all. They call the oral surgeon’s office and assure me that the office will resubmit the paperwork. I ask her how long it will take — by this point, one wisdom tooth has partially erupted; the other side of that tooth is pushing on my last molar — and am informed if the office submits online, it will take two days. 

I then call the oral surgeon to find out how they might be submitting the paperwork, so I can find out how long I’m going to be in pain. I speak with a lovely woman who, in response to my question, replies, “I don’t know,” and hangs up on me. I call back immediately; it goes straight to the office message.

I call the insurance company back and ask if anything can be done. At this point, I can only wait for them to submit the paperwork, but I am urged that if they don’t, to contact state Medicaid and make a complaint. 

I wait 24 hours and call the surgeon again. This time I get another woman, who is actually helpful. Surprise, surprise, no one submitted my paperwork. They also can only submit by mail, so there is at least a two-week wait. [Employee #2] assures me that she’ll submit the paperwork. She apologizes for her coworker with an exasperated sigh that tells me this isn’t the first problem [Employee #1] has caused. 

Two weeks pass. I finally get a response from the insurance company in the mail: the extraction is approved, but general anesthesia is not. According to the paperwork, whoever submitted used the wrong code for the new year and it needs to be resubmitted, again. 

It’s now Mid-February and I have been dealing with wisdom tooth pain since October. I can barely eat or sleep because of the pain. 

I call state Medicaid and make a complaint about the way I was treated and how the situation was handled. I am told that my complaint is not valid because I did not receive services from the surgeon. They also will not approve the general anesthesia because I do not have any medical reason for it, i.e., fear of needles, anxiety, etc. To have all four bone-impacted wisdom teeth removed. At one time. No need. At all. 

I find another dentist farther from my area and make the earliest appointment they have. They recommend me to another surgeon, even farther than the first surgeon. I get an appointment with the second surgeon within the week. He apologizes for the first surgeon and assures me that they’ll handle it properly.

It’s now the beginning of March. I get the paperwork from the insurance regarding the new surgeon’s submission; everything’s perfect. I have the surgery on March 27th, half a year after the pain started. It takes longer than expected, as my mouth is small; the surgeon has to take my bottom wisdom teeth in pieces to work around the nerves. I am advised to stay on bed-rest for the next five days. 

Everything works out just fine — months pass and my jaw has healed completely. I end up getting a full-time job and dental insurance — different from state Medicaid — through them. 

Sometime around August, I get a letter in the mail from my insurance, denying payment for an appointment from the very first dentist I saw about a referral to an oral surgeon. 

I call that dentist and have my files transferred as quickly as I can.

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Try Dispensing A Little Information?

, , | Healthy | January 18, 2020

Me: “Can I help you find something in particular?”

Customer: “I’m looking for a box of medicine.”

Me: “Okay, is it for you?”

Customer: “No, my friend.”

Me: “What was it for?”

Customer: “I don’t know.”

Me: “Do you know what it looks like?”

Customer: “I don’t know.”

Me: “What do you use it for?”

Customer: “Err, I don’t know.”

Me: “Is it for stomachache, headache?” *pointing to these areas*

Customer: “I don’t know.”

(I pause to try and think of some way to help.)

Customer: “Can I go in there?” *points to the dispensary*

Me: “No.”

Customer: “Oh. I’ll ring my friend.”

(She went outside to ring her friend but she never returned! I never got to find out what box of medicine she wanted!)

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Some People Are Terrified Of Even A Sniff Of Gay

, , , , , | Healthy | January 15, 2020

(I’m at a vet’s office for my pug when I overhear this:)

Receptionist: “No, ma’am, your dog is not gay. They sniff each other’s rear ends to introduce themselves. All dogs do it.”

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The Dermatologist Will Determine That You Need Thicker Skin

, , , , | Healthy | January 12, 2020

(My doctor’s office is small, with only one dermatologist, a physician assistant, and a nurse practitioner. The doctor and nurse practitioner see daily, while the PA is only here Tuesdays and Thursdays. Even so, our schedule stays booked, and new patients have been calling all through the month to get on the schedule.)

Me: “Thank you for calling [Office]; how can I help you?”

Patient: “If I walk in there today, can I be seen by the doctor?”

Me: “I’m afraid not. The doctor is out on vacation until the week after next, and our nurse practitioner has no openings currently.”

Patient: “Well, can I get on the schedule for this week?”

Me: “Sir, it’s Friday. We don’t have any openings today.”

Patient: “What about next week?”

Me: “We don’t have any then, either, because we’re only open Monday, Thursday, and Friday next week, due to New Year’s Eve and Day.”

Patient: “Really? You can’t just nudge someone for me?”

Me: “We don’t do that, sir. You can call each day to see if an appointment is available if you like, but I can’t promise we’ll have an opening for you.”

Patient: “Well, what’s your next available appointment?”

Me: “For the doctor, mid-February. To see the PA or nurse practitioner, it’ll be mid-January.”

Patient: “That’s too long! I have really good insurance! You’re sure there’s nothing at all?”

Me: *checks schedule, just in case, though I have looked at it extensively by this point* “No, sir, nothing has opened up. I can set you for January 14th with our PA, if you’d like.”

Patient: “I can’t believe this! What’s the point of having good insurance if you’re not going to fit me in?”

Me: “We only have one provider here today, and there’s only so many people she can see. The same goes for next week, as well.”

Patient: “So knock someone!”

Me: “I’m not going to do that, sir.”

Patient: “UGH! Forget this!”

(He called back forty minutes later to have a similar conversation with my coworker and then threw a large fit that she didn’t have anything until the end of January due to the influx of calls. The weird part is that there’s another dermatology office in the same city, and another in the next city 20 minutes away, so he had options.)

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Eye See What You’re Doing

, , , , , | Healthy | January 9, 2020

(I work in a fairly busy eye clinic. Despite having eleven doctors, spots for our regular eye exams are booked out months in advance. However, we keep emergency spots open for any patients that need to be seen immediately. Note that it’s also Christmas time, one of our busiest times of year because people have met their deductibles and want to be seen before the end of the year. I’m looking at the schedule one day and see a name I recognize. It’s a woman who’s called in several times wanting a regular eye exam with one and only one particular doctor, who happens to be the most popular doctor at our practice, whose schedule is the hardest to get into. But I see she’s coming in for an emergency situation, while said doctor is in the office, which should only take maybe half an hour — our regular eye exam patients are usually there for an hour and a half. Lucky me, I get her chart when she comes in. I walk her back to the exam room.)

Me: “So, what brings you in today? My note line states you’re having some new flashes and floaters?”

(We take these very seriously as they can mean a retinal detachment.)

Patient: “Oh, no, nothing like that. I just told them that because I knew I could get in. I just want my regular eye exam. You have to help me now that I’m here.”

Me: *dumbfounded* “One moment, ma’am.”

(I walk out of the room to talk to my doctor. She already has a completely booked schedule for the day and adding the extra testing would set her behind for all the other patients who had a legitimate appointment. Unfortunately, my doctor is also a super nice woman who tells me to go ahead and do the exam. I do the exam but inform the patient it will be a long wait due to the change in exam type because we now have different things we have to do and she’ll be placed in the wait box behind other patients who are already there — there were about three people in front of her. She says it’s fine and goes to wait in the waiting area. Ten minutes into waiting, she comes up to me complaining she still hasn’t seen the doctor yet. I tell her she will be seen as soon as it’s her turn. Apparently, that’s not good enough for her.)

Patient: “You dumb b****! I’m here for an emergency! I should be seen before all these people!”

Me: “Ma’am? You told me earlier you’re here for a regular eye exam, not the emergency you told them so you could be seen. My doctor was kind enough to let you stay in the schedule despite this. She will get to you as soon as she can.”

Patient: “That’s not my f****** problem. She needs to see me now!”

(My doctor heard the commotion as she was stepping out of her current exam room. She told me to just bring the patient in and she’d see her so she’d stop bothering everyone. The lady gave me a smug smile as she walked into the exam room. I hate when they reward bad behavior. Of course, that left me in a room with other patients who had actually been waiting their turns, glaring at me.)

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