Tuesday, November 24, 2009


Check from Steadman Hawkins arrived in the mail yesterday. I smiled and promptly went to the bank to deposit it. It's done and over and I am relieved that I didn't have to take any more drastic action. . . like crying and begging. :-)

For those of you who are in this same situation, know that the billing area in Dallas, TX doesn't really have a clue what's going on. When this whole thing started, they sent me a bill for the balance due and had no record of the fact that I had made an upfront payment. Also know that the insurance person in Steadman Hawkins's Vail office will refer any phone call you make to her to the Dallas office. They also don't keep good records of your phone calls to them. When you speak with someone, make sure to get their name and ask if they are putting notes into their system. And, most of all, be diligent!! Continue to call and ask them to resolve the situation. This is ridiculous I know but I think it's the only way to get things done. I have heard from another patient who has experienced something similar so I know it's not just me.

Now on to worrying about important things like Thanksgiving and Christmas and what kinds of things I am going to do with my 2 great hips!!

On a very fun note -- I bought a Zipfy. If you, like me, have no idea what this is, check out this link:

I think you will have to copy and paste into your browser. Sorry!

Can't wait to get out when it snows and try to kill myself or break something really important. :-) I haven't given up the idea of learning to snowboard this winter either. And, I still have promised myself that I will do my canyoneering trip to Utah sometime next year (that was my original goal after surgery).

The hip continues to be good!! Still an occasional adductor issue but they are becoming less and less frequent or severe. Workouts are good with no issues and my external rotation continues to improve. I am close to being equal on my right and left sides without really working to make it so.

It's becoming obvious to me that knee surgery could be in my distant future. My knees pop and creak and complain loudly during squats, lunges and climbing stairs. I am not anxious for any more surgery so I will put it off as long as possible but it's in the back of my mind.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Show Me the Money

My frustration level has reached an all time high today. I have resisted the urge to get this off my chest in my blog but I am in a particularly bad mood today and nothing will make me feel better except bitching publicly. So here goes. . . . .

If you have been following my blog, you will know that I had to pay Dr. Philippon up front because they were afraid that my insurance company wouldn't cover the cost of surgery. So, on April 22, I willingly handed over my credit card and they posted a rather sizable charge to it. Ouch, crap but ok, I was going to have my hip fixed and it's just money, right?

So, the trials and tribulations of working through the health insurance nightmare began in earnest in July. The claim for Dr. P was filed on 5/12 and paid on 6/16. The tricky part came because they also billed for Dr. P's fellow (Dr King) and the insurance company said that this was a surgery that did not require 2 surgeons and so they disallowed the total bill. Dr. P's office asked for a review which finally resulted in a nominal amount being paid. All insurance payments were made by the end of August. The majority of the bill, however, was for Dr. Philippon which was paid on JUNE 16.

Today is NOVEMBER 17 -- almost 7 months after my surgery and 2 1/2 months after all insurance payments have been made and I still don't have any of MY money back. And, let's say it's not for not trying. I have called 5 times to request payment. The first two were met with, "we are still waiting on the last payment from the insurance company and we do not make any payments until everything is resolved with insurance." Ok I say. So, I get my EOB showing that all claims have been resolved, wait 3 weeks thinking that a check will magically appear and nothing. I call the end of September and am told that a check will be issued shortly. Nothing. I call on October 23 and am told there are no notes showing that I have called but they will put a rush on my check. Great I say, about how long should that take? 3 week maximum they say. November 13 - 3 weeks from when they told me they would put a rush on it - still no check so I call again. Well, we put a rush on it on October 23 I am told. "I can send this to the supervisor of the area that issues the checks. Would you like me to do this?" she says. Hell yes, actually what I would like for you to do is go stand there until someone issues a check to me. Seriously people. If the situation were reversed, they would have sent me to a collection agency by now and my credit would be ruined but all I can do is call and continue to ask them to give me what they owe me. Frustrating? You bet!!! Pissed off? Absolutely!! And, just to be clear, we are not talking hundreds of dollars; we are talking thousands of dollars -- no small sum. It hurts!!

Am I ecstatic to have my hip fixed?. . . hell yes!! Would I pay up front again if I had to do it all over? .. . hell yes!! But come on, enough is enough when it comes to screwing around with returning what I am rightfully owed.