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Posted 2014-04-22T18:16:46Z

SCCA: "We dropped the ball"

From Jerome: This morning, I was excited to finally begin my chemo treatment.  My dad was kind enough to pick me up and dropped me off at SCCA by 7am.  They tapped into my port with a rather large gauge needle (quite painful), drew my blood, and left it in for the chemotherapy.

Afterwards, I then went upstairs and around 8:30 saw the nurse who went over my blood test results.  She noticed that my orders were not in the folder so she went to go grab them.  While she was away, the scheduler came into the room to say that insurance has not provided the pre-authorization for the chemo and that we would need to reschedule the chemotherapy to another day.  They mentioned there was an option to pay out of pocket for the drugs which they said was around $10k, but they said that insurance may not pay for this or future treatments since we did not obtain the pre-authorization beforehand.  Obviously I wanted to wait for the authorization.

As you can imagine, this was quite disappointing, as I had been mentally prepared and was excited to start killing the cancer cells, only to be interrupted by something that was outside my control. 

The scheduler said that it could take another 3-5 days before I would be able to have the infusion, so I called Premera and they mentioned that they haven't even received the orders from the doctor or SCCA.  I then gave Premera the phone numbers I had to contact SCCA to get it started, and they called while I was on hold.  Premera has been very supportive and responsive, but it seems the doctors are dropping the ball.

After I got off the phone with Premera, I went back up to talk to the scheduler and mentioned that Premera mentioned they didn't even receive the orders was ready to process the request.  I asked her what happened, and she just mentioned that "they dropped the ball" and that they need to re-examine their processes.  I then had to wait again to have the port needle removed, and Sam picked me up.

So here we are, an hour and a half after I was supposed to start treatment, at home waiting to hear when the chemo will actually begin.  I just got off the phone with SCCA who said they submitted the orders this morning, and I called Premera afterwards just to make sure, and Premera mentioned they still haven't received anything.  How frustrating.  

More to come once we learn more!

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Comments (3)

  • Lou Domingo
    Lou Domingo

    I understand your frustration, son. You are doing the right thing following-up with all principals. Patience is needed especially when the people who will help you also need your assistance in getting them organized and aligned. SCCA does patient surveys and this is certainly one they need to hear and address. Dr Back needs to get the feedback as well. You will get the treatment soon. Love you dearly... Mommy

    7 years ago · Reply
  • Yolanda Jimenez
    Yolanda Jimenez

    I'm so sorry this had to happen Jerome. Your Dad and I are quite frustrated too. This is unacceptable, second incident with the first one last week for your CT scan for your lungs that was suppose to be ordered by SCCA. I should have thought about it working for an insurance company to be hands on but I expected more from SCCA of their procedures. Hang in there, it will happen soon. We have to remain positive. Just take it easy for now. Love you Anak!

    7 years ago · Reply
  • Emerita Wheeling
    Emerita Wheeling

    I sympathize with you on your frustration, Jerome! But I do agree with Lou that patience is needed with medical facilities and insurance companies, and you are doing your part and being proactive in getting things to fall into place. Some things are just beyond your control, but you are doing your best in whatever you can control. Consider this a minor setback, and stay calm. Hopefully everyone involved will get their responsibilities accomplished so you can start your treatment soon! Stay strong and positive! Love you -- Auntie Merit

    7 years ago · Reply