Monday, October 01, 2007

Let Your Tears Fall Baby

I don't even want to tell you all what happened today. But, since I have taken you on this journey and told you all the details thus far, I suppose it wouldn't be fair to leave you hanging where things left off.

I am talking about this ridiculous Medicaid journey of mine. So, I go back down to the department of health today to get my temporary card. I take a number as before and Kiddo and I settle in for the wait. After about an hour, my number was still 5 people away, but I wasn't going to let that get to me. Thankfully though, one of the workers came to the window and asked if there was anyone there who was just there to get a temporary card. I raised my hand and was asked to come to the window. A few minutes later, I had my "card" in hand (the reality is that it is a full size piece of paper - not sure why they call it a card, but anyway...) and we were out the door. Now I am thinking, all I need to do is go home and start making calls to providers.

Except what I didn't realize was that I didn't have a list of providers. Remember that paperwork coming to me in November? um, yeah.

I then remembered my dear bbc friend who told me about certain clinics that will see medicaid patients and back bill if medicaid hasn't gotten everything together yet. I referred to that list again, double checked it on line and called the clinic nearest to me. The receptionist told me that they didn't accept Medicaid. They are on the dad-gum website!!!!!! I was speechless. She told me to call the health department.

So, I tried to call a number that advertises itself as a Healthcare Hotline. Surely they could help me. Nope, they gave me the number to the department of health and then asked me if I was a US citizen. ??? So I called the department of health and purposely dialed the wrong extension because I knew I would get a real live person. Thankfully he was helpful enough to find another "hotline" number that he said would prompt me to an extension that could get me to a list. Wrong. It prompted me to yet another number that didn't really sound like what I needed, but I tried it anyway. After going through their system a few times on dead-end trails, I finally chose an option that, though I didn't think it was going to help me, gave me a live person to speak with. He got on line in his "I've been a call center rep for years and this is completely robotic now" voice and rapid-fire asked me a series of questions that made my head spin. After determining my identity, he finally asked how he could help me. They were the 4 most beautiful words I'd heard all day. I asked him for providers in my area and he gave me a big ole list of 4. Yes, 4. In Round Rock. *sigh*. Thankfully 2 of them were from a clinic I have heard wonderful things about, so I was excited when I got off the phone with him. I did ask before we hung up if there was any way to look this information up on line, and he said no; if I needed more providers I had to call him back.

So I then went to task of calling the providers on my list.

[I have to side step here and tell you that last week when I spoke to the girl that processed and approved my application, I asked her point blank if there were different plans and how did I go about picking one. I had heard from other people there were different plans, including my old ob's office, who refused to even schedule me for an appointment unless I could either verify that I was on the "right" plan or fork over $538 for my first visit. This girl that processed my application told me flat out that there were no plans that it was only Medicaid for Pregnant Women. Are you sure? Yes. Ok.]

So as I was saying, I called the first person on my list. Yes, they were accepting new patients, but what plan was I on? I told her Medicaid for Pregnant Women. She practically laughed in my ear. Yes, dear, but which plan? There are three and we only accept two. I need to know which one you are on. I told her I didn't know, and that I was only told MfPW. She asked me if I had a card. I said no, but I had a Temporary Medicaid Eligibility form. She said that I needed to call and get a card before they could see me. I told her that I was told my card would come in the next mailing in November and that I really needed to be seen by someone before then. Then she asked me how far along I was.

I told her 13 weeks.

She asked me if I had any prenatal care before now.

We all know the answer to that question.

Then she told me that most ob's, their office included, will NOT see anyone over 12 weeks with no prior prenatal care.

I lost it. Absolutely, positively, completely lost it.

I couldn't hardly speak. I was blubbering, sobbing, practically hysterical. How the heck do things like this happen? What on earth did I do wrong? She mumbled something about medicaid being slow and that she was sorry.

Well it's not her fault, but dang.

Once I collected myself she was able to relay to me the possibility of 2 different doctors that she thought might see me. I wrote down the numbers and thanked her for her time.

I called the first and no one answered. The recorded message was mostly in Spanish, and after what seemed like the longest one sided conversation in the history of the world, the Spanish stopped and then came the beep. I left a message.

I reluctantly called the second, and after pressing 1 for English a sweet voice came on the line.

She scheduled me for tomorrow. *sigh*

I don't know anything about this doctor, and frankly I don't really care at this point. I am just beyond frustrated, beyond confused, and beyond angry.

Our system is seriously flawed. How is it that no one realizes this?

I can't even laugh about it anymore. Why is the program even there if no one can use it? How is it that someone can jump through all the hoops, have all their ducks in a row and still be totally shut out? I didn't choose to wait 13 weeks to see a doctor. If I had known that no one would even touch me after 12 weeks you can darn sure bet I would have been putting that outrageous $538 charge on a credit card.

I cannot even fathom how I got here. I certainly hope that for the sake of my baby that everything is ok and all this worry and panic is for nothing.

I will let you know how it goes tomorrow.

D :/


kimberly said...

For crying out loud, are they kidding? You can't be seen after 13 weeks, what are you supposed to just have the baby on your own at home or where ever you might be at the time? That is utterly ridiculous!!!
I sure hope this Doc is the jewel in all this, and that you have a happy healthy rest of the pregnancy.

A's Momma said...

I'm so sorry for your frustration. I dealt with Medicaid when I was working and this sounds so familiar. I'm sure hoping you love this doctor and that things are smooth sailing from here on :)

my2babygirls0405 said...

Just wanted to say that I have been there too. I don't think that FL is AS bad as TX but yeah, the medicaid system is weird and really unorganized. Not only that but here the people that work there are nothing short of EVIL to you most of the time. Sounds like you are on the right track though and once everything "goes through" you don't have any problems really. I hope your appointment goes well sweetie :) *hugs*

Jill said...

Praying for you that things go smoother from now on. Not being seen after 12 weeks sounds like a "line" to me.

Misty said...

Oh wow. No wonder I haven't seen you around much lately. So much going on and "they" are just making life too difficult during a time when you are supposed to be enjoying the miracle of life you have been blessed with. I'm sorry to hear that it's been so rough getting care. I pray things go MUCH more smoothly from here on out.

jhjohnstone said...

Dawn, I'm so sorry! I can't believe the freakin' red tape the 'system' makes us go through! I hope this Dr. turns out to be really awesome. (((HUGS)))

Heather said...

Yeaah, in Michigan there are several different medicaid health plans, and then there is "straight medicaid"

Straight Medicaid is what you get when you are preggo, you don't get a plan.

Freyja has Priority Health Medicaid, but I just have "straight" medicaid.

It took less than two weeks for mine to get set up and I have been seen twice already and have an ultrasound scheduled. I am so sorry that things are so backwards for you :(

Diana said...

I'm sorry that you have to deal with this mess. It really sucks the way nobody is giving you enough info to make an educated decision about what to do. I hope that your appointment tomorrow goes well.

Julia said...

Oh this makes me so angry and so sad that you have to endure this sort of run-around. I really hope that this OB takes good care of you.

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