Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Next step to the MGB

Cigna's response to the letter our doctor's office sent them was more positive than we expected, suggesting maybe there'll be fewer rounds in the fight than we thought. I've no doubt they're going to be more difficult than this eventually, but so far, we're off to a good start.

However, they will only approve this as an out-of-plan surgery, which means we're going to have to fork over $2500 per surgery out of pocket (on top of travel costs). That's not going to be easy, but the far bigger question is how we're going to float the total cost of the surgery, $17,000 each, while we wait to be reimbursed. High Point won't bill insurance; they require payment on the day of the surgery. Assuming we have written commitment to reimburse us from Cigna, we still have to cover the $34,000 plus travel costs ourselves for the weeks or months it takes to get reimbursement. I'm not yet sure how we're going to do that, but I know I'll find a way. It's just a question of how good or bad a way I end up with.

This also means I have to dig into doing their Getting Started packet, which includes, amongst other things, a ten-page essay on what the MGB is. Being on the MGB YahooGroup I can certainly see why they require this. It's mind-boggling how many people don't know anything about the surgery or its impacts on patients, even as they're nearing getting it. Even some people who've had it! And these are the best-informed group, too. It's even worse for other surgeons and groups. But for me it's a bit perfunctory. I could spill out ten pages worth of information about MGB with my eyes closed. I know more about it than my doctor. But I don't relish the time I'll have to spend writing a book report to prove it.

I've been so busy with so many projects lately, but at work and at home, that I've been for a few weeks in a "no new things" mode: no new projects, no new items on my to-do list if I can help it, just try to winnow things down. Hahahahahah. Now I have a whole new set of things to do! Time to take some more time off from work -- making my work to-do list get more cramped.

In other related news, my weight dropped below 450 for the first time. I've lost 37.4 pounds since this program started in May.

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