If I Had Waited

Robin Hiking

“You have to be your own advocate. You don’t have to accept what one person, one doctor, or the insurance company says.” – Robin, Mesquite, NV

It’s better to know. Just ask Robin. A denial from her insurance company almost delayed the test that discovered a bone tumor. But thanks to Robin’s persistence and a compassionate hospital staff who pointed her to MDsave, she’s in treatment for the earliest and most curable stage of cancer. So she can keep her plans to hike the Rockies this summer.

Meet Robin.

My name is Robin. My husband and I have recently retired and moved to Mesquite. We chose this area because it affords us the opportunity to remain active, pursuing a healthy lifestyle. I love being outdoors. I enjoy hiking, kayaking, mountain biking, and tennis. I enjoy my grandchildren. I enjoy my own kids too, but like they say, “grandchildren are your reward for not strangling your teenagers”.

How did you find MDsave?

I was dealing with a reoccurring issue with my knee. I had a situation come up in February, but I didn’t seek any medical attention at that point. It got better on its own. Then six weeks later, the same thing happened and we went straight to the emergency room. An x-ray was taken. I had no structural damage, no hairline fracture or kneecap out of alignment. Nothing like that. So the ER doctor thought it could be tear in the meniscus, but there was also a concern because they saw an ossification on my bone.

So that’s how it all started. I came to MDsave when I was referred to an orthopedic doctor. The insurance company denied the doctor’s request for an MRI. For whatever reason, they didn’t think it was necessary, that I should just go to physical therapy, etc. I was just kind of dumbfounded. I mean after all,  who are they to usurp what my doctor thinks is best for my situation?

“We have this other way you can go.”

When I called Radiology at the hospital, to follow up and schedule my MRI, that’s when I found out about the denial. They said, “Well, we have this other way you can go. We can re-submit to your insurance company, which could take up to two weeks and then there was no guarantee they would approve the test, or we can go through this program that we have at our hospital, MDsave.” I was in pain and couldn’t wait another two weeks to maybe get the test.  So I inquired about MDsave.

They gave me the MDsave phone number. When I called MDsave, they were so helpful.  They told me, “You can bypass all the insurance bureaucracy and get the test done. Also, the radiology reading and everything is all-inclusive in this one price.” Through insurance, the MRI would all go to my deductible, and I have a very high deductible. As it turned out, I ended up paying less money out-of-pocket going through MDsave, plus I didn’t have to deal with  the insurance company.

“If I had waited…”

It was a lifesaver. Because MDsave provided a cost-effective, very simple option to get an MRI, it was discovered that I have a cancer tumor on my femur. I was referred to an orthopedic oncologist.

If I had waited, I could have very easily gone from stage I to stage IV, if the tumor was malignant. Just waiting on the bureaucracy.

As it turned out, because of that MRI, I was able to take a whole different process to get treated, and that’s where we are right now.

“The hospital was so gracious…”

I was so grateful to the administrative person in the radiology department at the hospital who told me about MDsave and how it could benefit me. I was grateful for the customer service representative at MDsave for being so helpful.  I even received a $25 savings coupon! The hospital was so gracious to help me with the whole process of signing up. The process was so simple.

I paid right at registration. They took my credit card and honored the coupon, and off I went to get the MRI. I don’t know if every hospital is like the one here in Mesquite.  Hopefully they are just as helpful because there are some folks who may not be too computer-savvy and it can feel overwhelming to navigate through any process online.  For hospitals to offer that help to people is really priceless.

“It was a huge savings.”

I paid 60% less going through MDsave than I would have had to pay for my insurance co-pay. I didn’t have to pay additional for the radiology reading, which would have made the cost even greater because through insurance the $1,000+ was only for the test. The radiologist reading probably would have been another $500. It was a huge savings.

The lady I spoke to in radiology told me they actually prefer it when people go through MDsave, because then they don’t have to deal with the insurance mess.

“Be courageous and willing to speak up.”

More and more, I hear people’s insurance policies just aren’t what they used to be. I’ve got one friend who has a $12,000 deductible, and so I’ve already told them about MDsave. I hope that they never have to use it, but the option is there. I think it’s important to always ask, “What are my other options?”

I think that it’s important to remember that you have to be your own advocate. You don’t have to accept what one person, one doctor, or what the insurance company says. It’s worth it to do as much research as you can, and ask questions. Be courageous and willing to speak up and say, “What are some of my other options? What are some other ways I can do this?” It never hurts to ask.

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