Those sound like harsh words, but they are actually the words used by one of my doctors on Tuesday. I had an appointment in Pittsburgh with the doctor I see that specializes in wounds. I wanted to ask him what he thought about my back. If you have ever tried to get in with a dermatologist, then you know that you have to wait forever. When I brought up my back, I also mentioned the mole that I was scheduled to have removed in the OR.
One thing that I like about this doctor is that he actually listens to you. It didn’t matter to him that my appointment was for him to look at my foot. He is willing to help you if you have a problem other than what your appointment was for. You can talk to him and if he is able to help you, he will. Even if he feels you need to see a specialist for something, he won’t leave you hanging until you can get an appointment with one. He will do what he can to help you in the interim.
As soon as I brought up the mole, he wanted to see it. He was very surprised that I was being sent to an OR to have it removed. Although they say it is odd shaped, it is very tiny. Everything that I have read about mole removal, it is a simple procedure that gets done in a doctor’s office. That is what I was expecting. I wasn’t expecting a date in the OR. He was very surprised also when he saw the mole. When I told him that I thought it was a simple procedure that is done in the office, he said that it is. That is when he added that is “blatant dishonesty.” He added in, “please don’t do that.” He said that if I wanted it off, he could take it off for me and send it off for a biopsy.
That is when the discussion turned to money. I felt like something that would have cost my insurance company $200 was being turned into something that would cost well over $1k when you add in all the hospital charges. I am sure the doctor gets paid more for doing someone in the OR as opposed to his office.
When I had my appointment with the plastic surgeon to have it removed, I thought my appointment was to actually have it removed that day. After sitting in the waiting room for almost an hour, when the nurse took me back to a room, she told me they couldn’t do it that day because they needed to verify that my insurance would cover that. I had to wonder why that could not have been done while I was sitting there long past my appointment time. I have also had doctor’s offices ask me for the numbers off of my card prior to my going to their office so they can verify coverage.
After I got home on Tuesday, I called the plastic surgeon’s office to cancel the surgery. They didn’t sound too happy when I told her why I was canceling. I didn’t tell her what my doctor in Pittsburgh said, I just told her that I wanted to get it removed like the simple office procedure that it should be.
Let’s face it, we are expensive people to keep alive even without any problems added in. Between the cost of insulin, syringes or pen needles, test strips and pump supplies for people that pump, we can easily run up the tab without trying very hard. There are things that I need that I have to fight to get. I am not going to run up a large bill when there is absolutely no reason to have a tiny little mole removed in the OR.
Both the nurse at my PCP’s office and the nurse at my doctor’s office on Tuesday said that not all dermatologists do minor surgery. I knew from my foot history that you need to see a podiatrist that is also a foot and ankle surgeon. I didn’t realize that you have to make sure a dermatologist can do surgery also.