Healthcare and the state update

October 1st, 2008  |  Published in Healthy Indiana Plan

Healthcare and the State continued

There are few feelings better than knowing that someone’s got your back, or at least is looking out for you, or at the very, very least is holding up their end of being accountable to you.  So, I was really excited when my primary medical provider’s office called me and told me that, while the surgeon I had originally been scheduled to see didn’t accept the Healthy Indiana Plan insurance, they had scheduled an appointment with another surgeon.  They couldn’t find a dermatologist who accepted the HIP in Bloomington, but I could see one about the wart on my hand in Indy, in December.

Today I went to see the surgeon.  I had to wait an long time, or what seemed like a long time, but the receptionist was friendly and clear.  Being fairly healthy, and fairly irresponsible, I haven’t used healthcare services in a long time.  So, I feel like I have few points of reference to evaluate the quality of care that I’m receiving.  I think this is a common problem with folks who haven’t been able to see healthcare providers in a long time – you don’t know what to expect, so it’s hard to hold doctors, insurance providers, and paramedical staff accountable.  The surgeon was to the point, but moved through what he wanted to tell me really fast.  He was glad I didn’t smoke (it saved him a lecture), I had a sebacious cyst which was the result of a natural glogging of the sebacious glands, since it seemed inflamed and was on my neck where infection could easily spread to dangerous places like the spine it should be removed, I could choose to have it removed under local anesthetic at the office or by going under at the hospital.  The first option would be faster and cheaper, but bad if I had a low pain tolerance or an aversion to shots.  The doctor paused only briefly to allow me to make my decision. I chose the local anasthetic because I didn’t want to spend my day at the hospital, and, as I understand it, I am only covered for up to $1100 in healthcare expenses, so I need to watch costs.  The doctor prescribed some generic antibiotics (covered by the HIP, but they would have only cost me $4 out-of-pocket) to get rid of any infection of the cyst and scheduled a date for the surgery.
All in all, I’m happy with how things are going so far, but would be really nervous if I had to deal with more serious or complex medical issues.  I get this sense that I’m being herded through a big system, as efficiently as possible, and that I’d have to really struggle to make my concerns known and have my questions answered.