Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Sierra's Got Ouchies

Let us heave a collective *sigh*. I do not ♥ Managed Care.

I get that since we don’t pay everything out of pocket we can’t have everything we want when we want it. When it comes to Ann Coulter, opinions differ (though EVERYONE agrees she needs to eat a sandwich), but something she wrote a few weeks ago is just common sense:

“For you newcomers to planet Earth, everything that does not exist in infinite supply is rationed.”

Still, when your child needs medical attention, all that common sense seems like a load of horse manure. I just want my kid taken care of NOW. Yesterday I got a call from the middle school. Sierra’s ear hurts. More sighing. Okay, pack up the kids and drive over. We collected her and as we walked out of the school I noticed she was still walking funny. She complained about a sore spot, maybe a bug bite, on her leg the day before but I didn’t pay much attention. She’s extremely attractive to bugs for some reason and it’s never amounted to anything.

Here’s where it became annoying. I called her doctor’s office to find out if someone could take a quick look in her ear to confirm an ear infection. A few hours later a nurse calls. No, can’t see her today. And hmm, let’s see . . . Nope. No openings tomorrow either. I asked if a nurse could just peek in her ear. I was told something to the effect that they either weren’t qualified to or that it wasn’t in their job description. I know they don’t write prescriptions but it just seems to me, someone medical professionals would refer to as a Simpleton, that a nurse’s opinion about an ear infection should be enough to convince a doctor to write a prescription. Or to at least confirm that yes, in fact there is an infection, now go home and suffer. Or go to the health food store and try some of that I Know Not What that everyone keeps telling me about. But no.

I called Group Health to ask if we were covered for urgent care visits if our doctor can’t/won’t see us. Good news! Totally covered. Which made me wonder why we were charged over $100 for each of three visits I made there last spring with strep throat (WARNING: Do Not French kiss me. I am a carrier). So, Sierra and I headed a few blocks away to Physicians Immediate Care. Once there I was told that yes, they would be happy to see her but no, there was no provider* on duty that actually accepts Group Health. It will just cost more. “Ha Ha!” as Nelson from the Simpson’s would say. There was no way I was going that route.

We found another urgent care clinic in South Richland that did have a doctor in our network and a few hours later she was seen. The doctor confirmed an ear infection in her right ear and a spider bite on her leg. One antibiotic would cover the whole mess.

Or it would if she would quit throwing them up.

But anyway, she woke up this morning with redness, increased swelling, and several blisters of growing size and quantity. This time the doctor felt able to squeeze her in. He didn’t like how it looked (it’s cellulitis) but felt the antibiotic she’s on should do the trick. Also the ear infection is actually double.

I think everything’s going to be fine but boy it would have been nice to time travel to ye old days of yore olden days and have Doc Baker just pull up and take care of things. Then again there’d be no survivors. Maybe my managed care isn’t so bad.

*This is a HUGE pet peeve of mine. Calling doctors “providers”. They are DOCTORS. They spent years in school to earn that title, please use it. That stupid word makes it sound like they’re doing some sort of kind-hearted charity work.
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  1. Thanks for telling me, no more French kissing! I will be wondering if anyone we know gets strep throat.

  2. Thanks for this info, I will be careful about that. Its very useful info.


So, what do you think?