Friday, February 4, 2011

A stumbling block

Box seats thanks to Donna and Paul
I checked with the people at the Myeloma Institute in Little Rock about three months ago to ask if there would be any problems with the fact that Tanner's Cobra Insurance was running out on January 31st - after which he would only have Texas Medicaid.

I received an email from Dr. B's assistant letting me know that UAMS accepted Texas Medicaid and that it would be accepted just like if Tanner was receiving his care in Texas. I emailed back and asked her if she thought Dr. Nicholas (the Orthopedic Oncologist that Tanner has been seeing for his broken leg) also accepted Texas Medicaid and she said that coverage was "campus wide" and that everyone at UAMS participated.

I took that to mean that everything would be okay for this next round of tests that are scheduled for February 8th in Little Rock.

I called the Orthopedic office to check and make sure that they had Tanner scheduled to see Dr. Nicholas while we are there for all the tests next week.  Kim (one of the nurses) called me back to tell me that she checked and that Dr. Nicholas isn't on Texas Medicaid - and went on to explain that many of the doctors, pathologists, and radiologists (including Dr. B who lost his TX Medicaid contract in 2009),  aren't on the plan either and that we would be taking a "huge" risk of having to take financial responsibility for most of the charges that would be incurred if we come to UAMS for the scheduled tests.

I have to admit that I am really frustrated and upset that this wasn't explained to me more thoroughly when I called three months ago to check on this.  If I had know that the Medicaid wasn't going to be accepted, we could have made sure that Tanner's appointments were all scheduled in January before the Cobra ran out.

Now, here we are and Tanner has been on Maintenance Chemo for a year and we don't know what the next step is supposed to be.  Some patients stop chemotherapy at this point - and we have heard that other patients have been scheduled for another year.
I emailed Bonnie and Dr. Barlogie and explained to them everything I have discovered and Bonnie has replied to let me know that they are going to check and see what can be done.  Dr. Barlogie is in Japan and they have to wait to hear back from him to see how he wants to proceed. 

I asked Bonnie (and copied Dr. B on the message) if they could at least give me some direction on a clinic or Oncologist that they might refer Tanner to here locally in Texas.

 At this point I don't know if we are going to Arkansas next week or not.

Tanner and I both have the utmost confidence in Dr. Barlogie and it's just scary to be here at the maintenance chemo one year milestone and have no idea what Tanner's next step would be - or where he's going to have to go for treatment in the future.

In the meantime, the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation has some information on their website about a cancer clinic over at Baylor Hospital in Dallas that treats MM patients so I emailed them and explained a little about Tanner's case and am waiting to hear back from them.  From what I could ascertain from their website, they do accept Medicaid so I'm hoping they might be an option for cutting edge treatment here locally.

Donna and Paul
I just wish I knew what Dr. B's recommendation was going to be...

I had recently come to the conclusion that I was going to "live in the moment" and enjoy my "15 minutes of happiness" whenever they occured.  I had realized that I could only control myself and no one else and that I have to let go of the constant worry and stress -  then something like this gets thrown at me and "living in the moment" is hard to gain all over again.

When Tanner's well being, and life, is on the line, I had come to count on Dr. Barlogie.

Letting go is the first step to gaining control...

No comments:

Post a Comment