It is true, I had a stressful week and it turned out that it was all due to a computer error.
To make a long story short:
The office of my oncologist at Sloan-Kettering (MSKCC) wanted to schedule my appointments (to sign the protocol, CT scan, etc) but MSKCC Financial Services had my account "on hold." The account was "on hold" because they claimed that they had not received any authorization from my insurance. On the other hand, my insurance guaranteed me, every time I called, that they had sent the authorizations/referrals to MSKCC.
I was caught in the middle of this, along with the secretary at my primary physician's office who was trying hard to help me out. I could see that it was obviously a communication problem. If my insurance and the hospital spoke to each other directly they would resolve everything. However, whenever I tried to give the name and telephone number of the person in charge of my case at my insurance to MSKCC Financial Services, they would just cut me off saying: "No we don't want the number, you can call them and tell them to fax us the authorization" or "we'll call you back." I guess it must be a New York thing or perhaps I have just been spoiled by all the attention they give me at Dana-Farber, but the end result is that I became really frustrated.
And this went on for six days.
When a patient advocate from MSKCC called me on Monday, I had reached my limit. I raised my voiced when she kept telling me that my insurance had said NO to my authorization request. I know that, unintentionally, I yelled the name and phone of the person in my insurance that they had to talk to, so she had no choice but to write it down and call my insurance and that's when we all found out that there was a mistake in the system. It turned out that every time the hospital called the insurance a recording would say: "patient has exhausted the authorization." But they never talked to anyone directly.
Patient IS exhausted! That's what I would say. There has got to be a better way to resolve these types of issues .
At last, however, everything got resolved. All it really took was, in fact, a phone call from MSKCC to the insurance person.
I'll sign the protocol on the 28th after doing a CT scan and then start the treatment.