Today I saw a new doctor and had a blood draw, which doesn't sound nearly as traumatic as it should. As I told the tech as she prepped my arm: I'm both a barfer and a fainter and if we're lucky I'll do both. She thought I was joking until she saw I'd pulled the wastepaper basket up close to be within hurling distance. I always feel a little bad for the tech who gets me, but on the other hand, the other techs always look so pleased that at least I know I've made someone else's day.
As it turns out, I neither barfed nor fainted, thanks to the tech who has to be, like, the best blood-taker ever. She gets top billing on my Gratitude List for at least a month.
The experience did get me thinking about medical records: prepping for doctor's appointments in terms of pulling together paperwork, keeping track of bills and insurance information, and accounting for tax purposes and flex-spending reimbursement. Being in the process of changing doctors, I've realized how very useful it is to have certain information--providers names and numbers, previous diagnoses and test data--on hand, but there are other important components involved organizing medical-related records.
Many unhappy surprises could no doubt be prevented by ensuring that policy coverage and restrictions are understood. Of course, keeping on top of insurance invoices is vitally important, as billing codes can be erroneous, a fact that drove home when my insurance initially refused to pay for (several thousand dollar's worth of) services after my physician was wrongly identified as a "masseuse." "That's a rub down," I said helpfully during one of the many calls I made to correct the matter. "I think maybe you meant shake down instead." Communication with the billing department pretty much took a turn for the worse after that, but in the end a code was assigned that accurately reflected the services provided, and my portion of the bill was adjusted accordingly.
It's a drag to have to be on top of things all the time, but staying on top of medical records and invoices is a clear case where the potential benefits far outweigh the interim (and admittedly time-consuming) effort.