Last Monday when the doctor confirmed our worst fear, that our miracle baby had no heartbeat, I thought the suffering couldn’t get any worse, but it did. That night I endured the most severe abdominal pain. Coming from someone who doesn’t experience menstrual cramps, I felt like I was in labor with pain shocking my insides. I spent the whole night getting out of bed, crawling to the bathroom, and sitting on the toilet, wondering whether to take myself into the hospital.
I consulted with the advice nurse in the morning and she sent an urgent message to my doctor to have the baby removed, technically called a D&C. The doctor’s office called back, asked about my symptoms, and when I told the nurse I was bleeding she concluded, “It sounds like your body is naturally taking care of itself. You probably don’t need the D&C.”
“No!” I insisted. “I need the D&C and I need your first available.”
The nurse told me to come to Kaiser 30 minutes prior to my appointment to take medication. The idiot never called the prescriptions in so I wasted time waiting in line at the pharmacy, going upstairs to the OB department to remedy the mistake, then having to wait almost an hour back downstairs while the pharmacy filled my prescriptions. Argh!
Now the Kaiser bill finally comes for the ultrasounds and one is charged at $143 and the other is charged at $486. Hello? Are people seriously asleep while working at Kaiser? Same procedure, vastly different pricing? Cmon! Ironically, the ultrasound charged at the higher amount of $486 was a visit that lasted less than 5 minutes where the doctor told us the baby wasn’t growing. That was it. < 5 Minutes!!!
Here’s the problem with health care in the U.S.: I don’t think it’s any better anywhere else.
I wanted to get a second opinion ultrasound just to be reassured that something was really wrong with my baby. I had that done at the Pacific Fertility Center. The doctor was really empathetic, spent almost an hour with us, and overall we had a better experience with her even though she was delivering grave news. I followed up with her medical team about getting the D&C done with the same doctor since I’d had such a good experience with her. They said they’d look into it, then no communication after that. Here is a patient looking to cough money up out of her own pocket and they ignored me.
Obviously, I could have very well followed up with them, but seriously, there is absolutely zero customer service in an industry that should be the most service-oriented!