Wanted: Bookkeeper/Advocate

Because I just can’t keep track of all the different pieces of paperwork, all the authorization letters that contain general language and don’t say what services are actually covered under the number issued, etc., and all the biling entities!

Today I received a Statement of Denial of Payment for $9,000, for my last BIG appointment (CT scan, ECHO, labs, Dr. visit, infusion) on 10/16/12 (aka the post-NZ new cycle visit).  Supposedly the referral expired 15 days earlier.  Strangely enough, I spoke to the Referrals Office on 11/28, who said a particular Authorization (I say this now, as there are apparently more than one) was extended to that day, but now that I was on the phone, it was extended to Feb. 3, 2013.  I’d asked my oncologist to submit reapproval on 11/13, as my prior Authorization letter expired 11/18.  So what expired on 9/30/12 that’s causing a $9,000 problem?  The Referrals contact (Walnut Creek) mentioned there was a referral approved by the Oakland office.  When I mentioned not having received a recent approval, she said she couldn’t do anything about the Oakland referral.  But then she placed me on hold, came back, and gave me the new date of Feb 2013.  I asked what to do about “the Oakland Referral” to which she said, “Don’t worry about that one.”  And I didn’t.  I went on my merry way to the 2nd floor of the UC Cancer Center for yet another appointment.

I used to be good at this stuff, but 7 years of cancer has obviously dulled my brain and has definitely made me reluctant to deal with things in a timely manner.  So, there’s one referral for travel and the trial, and one just for labs and scans?  If that’s the case, and they don’t expire at the same time, then at least some of the charges on the denial should be covered, right?  And if I have full Kaiser and full Medicare, why isn’t at least part of it covered?  I’m not on a Part C plan, so Kaiser should just pay for the whole thing if Medicare doesn’t want to.  I don’t get it.

Now I really do have to call Kaiser Membership Services, Outside Referrals, University of Colorado…everybody.  Like, 7 offices, just to straighten this out.  It’s ridiculous.  The weekend’s been ruined by this… but then, one might say… I should’ve stayed on top of it.  To which I could say… I ought to hire a bookkeeper so I can try to let some of this go and live a bit before I go.

I wish I felt better so I could really take care of all this.


2 thoughts on “Wanted: Bookkeeper/Advocate

  1. Oh God, Jazz, I would so volunteer to help you, but I am so bad at that stuff. If I helped you, it would only be a matter of time before all the paperwork spontaneously combusted. Or I would just shove it all in my fireplace. Problem solved.

    Maybe there’s someone out there who is better at this stuff.

    But seriously, you’ve been dealing with cancer for seven years.

    I remember when we used to work at the courthouse together, and the day I came back from vacation and you told me about your diagnosis (remember I started to cry and you have to give ME a hug). You were diagnosed for one year. One year.

    That was seven years ago.

    I know you’re overwhelmed and in pain and life sucks for you sometimes. I get that, and it’s ok to be blue about it.

    But remember that you’ve blown the curve for cancer survival, and there are thousands of people and their families who will benefit from the research trials you’ve participated in.

    You are the person that people will point to and say, “Well, there’s Jazz. She’s had cancer for seven years, so I know I can survive too.”

    Maybe you never intended for cancer survival to be your contribution to the world. But it’s a far more important contribution than anything I’ve done.

    Hang in there. And if worse comes to worse, I’ll come over to your house and burn all the bills.


  2. Hi Jazz, I have been taking care of my mom who is sick and I know how difficult it is dealing with all of the paperwork, insurance companies etc. as I have done this for her. it doesn’t sound like you have anyone to help you? if you need or would like help in straightening out your paperwork and dealing with your insurance company, I am happy to try and help and see what I can do. If you would like, email me at fbsoule@earthlink.net

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