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Old 03-23-2010, 09:20 AM
2 posts, read 2,233 times
Reputation: 10


... Recently my sister-in-law's 'regular' Dr., gave her some shocking news.
"...It could be cancer...".
He advised her to go to the ER at Morton Plant North Bay, for diagnostic tests. What they discovered was not conclusive of cancer but, caused equal confusion and more cause for concern.

What their scans and tests indicated was, her liver and pancreas "Could" indicate the presence of cancer. Additional procedures showed a duct blockage in her liver.

Because North Bay was unequipped to do anything more, at that point, they transferred her to Mease Countryside Hospital. There, they performed a procedure to drain the blockage by inserting a tube and drain bag and after a day of recovery transferred her back to Morton North Bay.

- All the while, we were constantly told there was the possibility of cancer; liver cancer, pancreatic cancer, even ovarian cancer, cancer, cancer, cancer... BUT, No straight forward diagnosis of Cancer.

Once back at North Bay, she was instructed to contact Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa. We were all assured they were the "Specialists" in cancer diagnosis and treatment.

Moffitt called this morning, and regardless of what I have read about "Patient First", "Kindness, Caring, Hope..."; let me just say, "Anybody can say Anything, on their website. It's what is said in the REAL WORLD, that's what really matters."

I could not the rudeness of the Moffitt representative, admissions clerk, WHATEVER she was... she was RUDE AS HELL!!!
No introduction, first of all... not even a "Hello, this is ....".
Just a "Hello, is _________ there?" - My grandchild has better telephone skills!
Thank God, the caller ID came up on the television screen. After handing the phone to my sister-in-law, my wife and I gave her some privact to complete the initial interview, that she had been waiting for; in hopes that Finally she would be able to get a proper diagnosis. - IT has been HELL for her, and all of us these past few weeks.

Do you have insurance... are you on vacation pay... Money, Money, Money

Excuse me!! Let's talk about the issue at hand!
The answer to those questions are NO. Now, what she DOES seem to have is CANCER! (God forbid) - maybe, maybe not.

After the crying stopped, we find that they can't setup an appointment because she hasn't "Actually" been diagnosed with cancer.
Holy CRAP, 2 hospitals and 2 teams of Dr's. must have thought Moffitt was more interested in finding out what was going on 'Inside this Patient" instead of finding out what is going on "Inside her Checkbook".

Praying, just praying...
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Old 03-23-2010, 09:29 AM
Location: Beautiful Pinellas County
1,447 posts, read 2,663,994 times
Reputation: 1036
that is so very worrying and I am sorry to hear that, I hope that everything works out for your family
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Old 03-23-2010, 09:32 AM
265 posts, read 889,906 times
Reputation: 251
I hate to hear about your hard time. However, recounting your events I noticed one thing I want to clear up. You observed that the caller didnt identify themselves initially. This is a standard industry practice as a result of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. This is done specifically to be sure that only the patient themselves has direct contact with the Health care provider. In many cases individuals may be dealing with their health concerns without informing their family. Perhaps they dont want to worry their family or any number of reasons. If this is the case and the caller were to disclose their identity immediately, then the patients privacy is violated and the facility broke the law for which they could be fined or otherwise penalized.
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Old 03-23-2010, 12:22 PM
2 posts, read 2,233 times
Reputation: 10
Thank you for that level headed reply. I suppose it is only our human nature to expect immediate responses and top priority when dealing with our loved ones.
It this time, we are doing our best to keep her spirits high and give nothing less than 100% support.
As I close this post, my next internet search will be to find any financial program available that might help cover whatever lies ahead.
The initial consultation at Moffitt is just over $2000; $200 of which is due in advance or at that time.
Some readers might fully understand where I am coming from, when I say "we have been beat into the ground for 2 years now but were able to hang-on by the skin of our teeth." -
God Bless us, people... that's the only thing we have any hope left in.
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Old 03-24-2010, 04:19 AM
515 posts, read 1,083,262 times
Reputation: 410
You should consider shopping around or even trying to negotiate with Moffit. Many doctors will give substantial cash discounts because the insurance companies impose massive overhead. I know a guy who was able to take a $2000 MRI down to $800 because he (a) paid cash and (b) paid at the time of treatment - for him, all it took was to ask for a discount.
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