“Being diagnosed with a serious illness is like being drop-kicked into a foreign country: you don’t know the language, you don’t understand the culture, you don’t have a map and you desperately want to find your way home.”
I wrote that following a cancer-related diagnosis six years ago that resulted in removal of a part of my colon. One year ago this week I was in the hospital longing for home while recovering from surgery for stomach cancer. Today I am traveling in Spain (feeling fine and minus the drop-kicked part) and am reminded of this analogy every day.
For example, I couldn’t figure out how to punch my ticket on the city bus. The driver told me in Spanish that I barely comprehend to turn the ticket over. No luck. His voice rose: “You put it in upside down.” Again, no luck. He shouted: “Use the other damn machine!”
There’s a man who sits at the front desk at the clinic where I get most of my cancer care. He greets every person who walks past his desk as though Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Prepared Patient Forum: What It Takes Blog*
Over on Shrink Rap News, Roy wrote a post about proposed Medicare cuts. He continued the conversation here on Shrink Rap.
I want to expand on the discussion in what I hope will be easy-to-understand terms. Why would anyone who is not a doctor even care what Medicare reimburses their docs? Let me tell you why you might care.
Doctors all have one of four designated categories within the Medicare system:
1) The doc participates and accepts Medicare assignment. The fee for the service is set by Medicare, the patient makes a co-pay and the doctor bills Medicare and gets the rest of the fee from Medicare.
2) The doctor is “non-participating” –which is a deceptive term, because non-participating docs are within the Medicare system. The fee for the service is set by Medicare and is typically 5% less then the fee for participating docs, but the patient pays the Medicare fee in full to the doctor, the doctor files a claim with Medicare, and Medicare reimburses the patient for a portion of the fee.
3) The doctor has formally opted-out. In this case, Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Shrink Rap*