Friday, April 10, 2015

Insurance Hoops Again

It's funny.  Often, I think I need to write a post and I'll ponder it for a few days and just when I'm about ready, someone will leave a comment or email me asking how I'm doing.  This time, that person was Bonnie and it much appreciated and coincidental timing.

This week, I checked off 2 to-do items for insurance approval of a revision to a sleeve.  I had my psychological evaluation and nutritionist consultation.  I'll break these down and since I've already done both of these, I'll compare it with my first experience (which you can find here.)

Psychological Evaluation: My first psych eval was fairly uneventful.  I was creeped out by the guy who did it and spent 20 minutes chatting and had to fill out a HUGE questionnaire.  This time, it was obvious that this woman only approves people.  The questionnaire was fairly short in comparison and mostly focused on figuring out if I have an eating disorder.  I had to laugh because a couple questions totally aim to get you to admit to something (they're all agree/disagree type things) "My current bad mood is impacting how I answer these questions," "I'm answering these questions to make my life sound worse than it is," etc.  Cracked me up.  The psychologist wasn't creepy and she was actually very nice.  She basically just said "You've already been through this once, you know what to expect.  Let me get some details for your letter and you'll be on your way."  Such a racket.

Nutritional Consultation:  In my first consultation, I was really irritated with the nutritionist.  This time around, it was still annoying but not as bad.  Once again, the woman was rail thin.  I'm pretty sure it's a requirement to be rail thin.  I will say this for her though, while she was a bit condescending, she didn't treat me like an idiot.  At one point, she even said "I can see knowledge isn't a problem for you so I'm not going to bore you with telling you the type of food you should eat.  You already know that.  What I will tell you is Dr. Uchal's opinions on how you should eat (slowly, chew well, etc.) and a little about pre-op."  It wasn't awful.  I liked her so much more than the first one but was still a useless conversation.

Diet History & Medical Records:  My old lap band doc sent all the records over and I filled out my diet history form.  Check and check.

So what's next?  I have a fairly small to-do list of clearances that need to be handled prior to submitting to insurance:
EKG - Make sure I don't die in surgery?
Chest Xray - Ditto to top?
Thyroid Test - My insurance apparently makes you try to resolve this issue with medication before approving the surgery
Esophogram - To ensure my stomach is healed from the band removal
Pre-Op Class - To learn how to eat before and after surgery

Once all this is complete, we'll submit the packet to insurance for approval.  They are thinking sometime in late May and then surgery in late June/early July.  They don't seem to have any doubts the insurance will approve it.  I, of course, have many.

It's interesting that I'm just not as excited this time around.  When I was jumping through hoops with the band, I was constantly researching and working towards insurance approvals.  I was reading tips on appeals and how to get approved.  The time seemed to be dragging and the whole process seemed to take FOREVER.  This time, if I don't get approved, I doubt I'll even appeal it.  Is it that I'm unsure that I want it or unsure that even if I get it, that it'll work?