Could I get any more annoyed?

I think not!

Today I had an appointment with Physical Therapy.  It was the original evaluation that was scheduled, so I did not think that I was actually going to have this appointment at all, as I had already had the evaluation.  Since they do charge if you miss an appointment, I called over to check, and was told that “they had figured it out”.  Of course no one told me that they had figured this out, so I am really glad I did not just show up.

The PT receptionist was super helpful and told me that the insurance company needed a letter from the physician to approve my continued physical therapy.

So, I called over to the Doctor’s office and left a message.  The office ladies are great and always return calls by the end of the day.  After that I started to get more annoyed.

So I called my insurance company, who directed me to the local approval office where dear Ethel ( I kid you not, it is her name)  sits and doles out Physical Therapy visits.  In my mind Ethel looks like this:

                                                                     But I think in reality she probably looks more like this  ======> 

It is funny how certain names, like Ethel, Eunice, and Gertrude really have not been popular lately and bring up such images.

Ethel’s representative was a little annoyed that I seemed to need “MORE Pt visits”  I did not bother to explain that due to my work schedule I never used all 13 of the visits approved during the last month.  I just said, “Yes, I need more”.   She explained that the office needed this letter and a prescription from the physician before they could move on.  She then put me on hold as she started to read my chart out loud… When she came back on she was a bit more pleasant and explained that thing would be approved once my Doctor got a move on.  She then gave me the fax number and told me to maybe mark it urgent and perhaps Ethel could approve it by Monday.    This sounded good to me. Of course, I know how health insurance works, it might not be approved at all….but she said approved, and I am pretty sure she did not mean to.  She was very nice, explaining that they had not even gotten a copy of the script my doctor sent to PT.

So I trotted off to the gym and once again called over to Good Dr. B’s office.  I left another message telling them all this and giving them the fax number.

I did my workout and felt really frustrated to see my new Physical Therapist standing around during my appointment time!  I want to start strengthening!!!!  I really really do!  Ah well.  I ran almost physically directly into my old PT, and resisted the urge to run my mouth or stick him.  Neither would have been very productive, sure would have taken a lot of tension away though!

Right before my second encounter with Mona the Massager, the office called back.

And they tell me they have been unable to get the fax of the letter to go through.  They suggest that *I* go get the letter and either try to fax it to the office myself, perhaps my fax machine will work better (yeah right.),  or I pick it up and hand deliver it to the office, which none of us know where it is located…. or get it somehow mailed to an unknown address.    I do not know if I should be annoyed at the office girl, or the insurance people.

So.  IF I get a 30 minute lunch tomorrow, I will go to their office and pick up a copy and try to get it faxed over to Ethel.  If not, I am going to have to call over there again and Probably will have to try to deliver it on Monday.

Am I irritated?  well.  YES.    I think once she had unsuccessfully faxed something 4 times (She said she tried 2 numbers 9 times), she could have immediately put a copy in the mail, and continued to try.

If the Therapist had told me some things I could do with to work on the hip, I would have felt a lot better about the delay.  As it stands I saw him on Monday (not as a patient, just casually when I was working out) and he told me not to really do anything until he could “watch you do it”.  As Coach Hemant said “Fair enough”  and really it is.  It is nice that he actually wants to see what I am doing to make sure it isn’t causing some of the problems.   And my coach reiterated that I should follow these directions today.  So I am mostly swimming and biking on the stationary.

But wow.  I am a relatively well educated person, with a lot of background knowledge on how insurance works, and how to get things done.  I can not see why some parents never really follow up on some recommendations for their children, or themselves.  It is simply too much of a hassle.  I’m ready to give up, I’m going to give it one more week.  I just honestly do not know what else to do anymore.  It is a full time job getting the PT, and the problem is that I do have a full time job already.  And the sad thing is that I personally only want about 4 more visits, one a week for a month and an assessment to be sure once and for all that the darn thing is strong enough.

Hopefully I will get a lunch break tomorrow and I can get over to the office.  and Maybe some miracle can occur and the office girl can get the fax to work and none of that will be needed…


5 thoughts on “Could I get any more annoyed?

  1. I was taught by a nun who was St EthelRita. She hated the name, but it was given to her when she took her vows. She was one of the nicer nuns I encountered (she at least didn’t beat children or throw things).

    I find that the only time insurance people, of any kind, ever work fast is when they say “no” to something. So, if the fax didn’t go through, can they not scan the damn thing and email it? What century are they living in I wonder? I always maintain that a sick or injured person needs a healthy able bodied person to be their health advocate in times of illness.

    • EthelRIta, I like, the RIta gives it a flair! I finally got to speak with Ethel today, she seemed not at all frumpy and actually a bit nicer than the office staff…

  2. Ethel and Gertrude were popular girls’ names back in the 1890s to the 1920s, so it’s a real generation marker when you see someone with a name like that. It makes me wonder however what it’ll be like 50 years from now when all the Tiffanys and Brittanys and Katies are in their 70s and 80s. Then someone told me my old-fashioned name is coming back among little girls, and I never used to see anyone with my moniker—I couldn’t even find my name when I looked at personalized keychains, coffee mugs, and the like.

    Good luck in dealing with the insurance company. I’ll swear, they make it difficult for people to get services covered because they know a sick or injured person doesn’t have the energy to argue with them nonstop. The only person I know who enjoyed fighting with his health insurance company was a guy from New York, a trial lawyer who was a boxing champ in college. He said he enjoyed a good fight: but I don’t think he was ever so sick he couldn’t sit on the phone for an hour arguing with a customer service rep.

    • Thanks! The funny thing that came about is that my insurance is more than happy to approve the visits, they just need a piece of paper saying, THe Patient had increased pain in her hip and needs 4 more weeks of PT. Why the MD or the office girl can not do that is beyond me. I was very close to writing that on the letterhead they had given me, as an addendum, but then I thought of the future legal ramifications that might bring on. STILL.

  3. Gosh, I hope that all got straightened out. What a pain.

    Your description of Ethel cracked me up. I once was getting the run around on the phone with a heavily accented woman named Inga from my husband’s insurance company and all I could think of was that I had been connected to Peggy from the Discover Card commercials.

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