Thursday, December 20, 2007

If you were married in a LDS Temple

You need to read this:

My months of Hell and drugs…

My months of Hell and drugs…

When I read the post from Jeff Bell about his experiences with his problems with the Healthcare system, I almost cried.

To provide a little background, my wife and I started a Medical Billing and consulting company in 1980. My wife was heavily involved with MGMA, and received CME the early 1990’s. After nearly 20 years our business had grown to operations in Washington State, Oregon, Idaho, Montana and Utah.

In 1999 we were approached by WebMD Corporation about selling our company to them. I hired the best experts and attorneys to handle the transaction. The purchase was partly cash and the majority was stock in WebMD. Because I was an insider, I was restricted from selling my stock for 1 year. During that year WebMD stock soared to $90+ dollars a share. Then the dot com boom crashed, and when I was finally able to sell my shares, the price had fallen to $17.00 per share. My deal had a strike price of $47.00 so I lost $30.00 per share.

I thought I was financially independent one minute, and then saw my retirement nest egg get cracked, broken, and disappear.

Realizing that my wife an I needed to start over, my wife applied for Law School and was accepted. She graduated this spring and is now the managing associate for a downtown firm.

In order to survive, I took jobs with Harmons, Lowes, and The Home Depot. This provided just enough to pay our bills and provide good benefits. Earning a wage that I was paid 20 years earlier, and having supervisors 30 years younger has been a challenge. But I needed the health care insurance. I have an untreatable kidney disease (PKD) and am uninsurable with any small or individual plan. Working for a large company like The Home Depot provided a way to get the benefits I needed, and to try to rebuild my retirement. I love working at THD and I love helping customers with their projects, so even though my pay is low, I always had fun.

On October 10th however that would change. While lifting and stocking 10 ft sections of electrical pipe, suddenly my lower left flank screamed out. I continued to finish the job and worked the rest of my shift but the pain was getting worse and worse. I went home thinking there was something wrong with my left kidney. At around 3am the pain was so bad I had to go to the ER. Explaining my kidney condition, they said that I should see my doctor as soon as possible and have a CT scan. 3 Injections of pain meds and 2 oral pills was what it took to allow me to go back home.

I had the CT scan the next day, but LDS hospital forgot to get a pre authorization. United Healthcare will not pay for the procedure. The CT scan ruled out any problem with my kidney, but my doctor could see my back having muscle contractions. Subsequent MRI and X-ray and another trip to the ER showed that my back suffered a traumatic injury. I have never had any back problems ever and this has been the first time to experience back pain.

I was put on medical leave and thought I was going to be taken care of. Then the company that administers workman’s comp for The Home Depot denied my claim. Fortunately I had short and long term disability insurance. But Metlife after seeing the X-Ray, MRI, etc says this is a workman’s comp injury.

So now my wife has taken my case and we will likely have to litigate. I sent a message to Jeff Bell that if he needed any legal help from someone who is an expert in medical reimbursement to call me.

I’m currently taking 4 pain medications and being treated with PT. I’ve now been off work for nearly 4 weeks, and I still can barely walk. I cannot pick up anything, or twist. It will be interesting what happens with this.

On another note, several Utah Bloggers have called me some pretty nasty things. These are seen by my mother and kids. I have shown privately information to refute all these allegations, but have never received a retraction from anyone but Rob Miller.

You guys know who you are. So basically my life sucks right now and the only thing I can do is blog and watch TV.


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