Monday, February 21, 2011

Wellness Maintenance Code

Two days ago, I went to a western medical doctor simply because I thought it time for a complete blood count, a blood chemistry test, and a lipid profile. Since I’m not even certain I’ve ever had these tests, why not go? I have insurance, after all.

I answered a thousand questions on the forms and then waited. I got to see my weight, which was an eye-opener, and to know my blood pressure, which was as expected. Then I was taken to an examination room where I waited for at least forty-five minutes. I wondered if I would have been antsy and uncomfortable if I’d been ill instead of healthy. After all, I was energetic so could text my daughter and read and check out the propaganda on the walls, but what if I’d felt depleted, longing for my own bed?

The lady doctor came in and after introductions she asked, “So, do you like your job?” To which I responded, “I love my job.” She took a moment to scan my paperwork leaving me to wonder if her clientele didn’t like their jobs, and then she asked, “So what can I do for you today?” I explained my plan ─ that I was there for the signed paperwork to take to a lab so as I could have blood taken and tested. She was very concerned about my resistance to invasive medical procedures, vaccinations, antibiotics, and the like ─ information she’d gleaned from the forms. I felt that anyone as advanced in age as I am with my present number of “no” answers all over her forms, should be proof enough as to why I don’t need all of those procedures just to ensure health that I already knew I had. She explained that it wasn’t that she had a problem with my stance against standard procedures but that the insurance company would have a problem with it. They would be on her case to be on mine to submit to these procedures in order to ensure health. We decided that a call to my insurance company will surely release her from responsibility and settle that issue. I personally feel a corporation has no right butting into my health routine, especially when it’s working. I pay into the insurance. They pay out, which by the way, has been extremely minimal these past twelve years. In fact, I would be willing to compare what I have cost them against all their members to date. I bet I’m at the top of costing the least expense to them. I pay them. They work for me. Well, in theory, they should be there for me.

After all that was settled and I actually found, to my surprise, that I liked this woman, we came to the problem of settling on a diagnosis code for my visit for billing purposes. I was tickled, for I have this problem in my own practice. For acupuncture insurance, I have yet to find a “Wellness Maintenance Code.” She regarded me. “Anxiety?” she asked because I had told her how hard I was finding the expectations of the sixth-grade magnet teachers and their workload for my daughter. “Nah. You don’t look anxious,” she decided. Back to the drawing board. I offered, “You could give me a cold if you want,” because that seemed harmless enough. “No. What we need is “Well-Woman.” I said, “No, because you probably have to do a pap [smear] for that.” She tried it anyway on her computer. Nope, it wouldn’t accept it. “We need a “Wellness Maintenance Code,” she said searching and searching her list, leaving me feeling sad for the public who obviously don’t go to the doctor’s for “Wellness Maintenance” without submitting themselves to all the set exams and procedures. “Ah ha! Here’s ‘Wellness Worried.’” “I’ll take it,” I offered. “You don’t look worried. What you are is responsible for your health,” she pointed out. I thought, Yea, “Wellness Responsible” that should be a code.

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