Bureaucratic Hoop Jumping

We are back from the ranch. In an entirely unprecedented event, I am in my big ol' house all by myself alone. No kids, no dogs, no husband. Very strange. But what is particularly bizarre is that with an entire evening ahead of me with absolutely no responsibility and a Tivo full of my favorite shows (Grey's Anatomy! Pushing Daises! Private Practice!), all I want to do is catch up on my blog. I watched Ugly Betty while I was scarfing my (illicit pizza) dinner and all I could think about was uploading the posts I wrote while I was at the ranch. Huh. I think I must be addicted.

Hubs is attending a week long training in Austin. The kids are with his parents because I have two doctor appointments here in Small Town and didn't want to track down child care - or worse, take them with me. Can you imagine my over-observant Z at an Ob/Gyn appointment? "Mommy, what's a speculum? Why is she putting that in your girl bits? I want to see!" My brain explodes just thinking about it. I have yet another appointment back in Ginormousville on Tuesday, so I will be back before my kids even have a chance to miss me.

Here is my little tale of bureaucratic hoop jumping for your entertainment: About three weeks ago I made an appointment to see a dermatologist. They pre-screened my insurance to make sure I was covered and discovered that I needed a referral from my primary care physician (PCP) in order to get the highest level of benefits.

I am the healthiest (fat) person you are likely to meet. Ever. I do not have a primary care physician because in the four years that I have been married, I have never been sick. I do have an Ob/Gyn (I did birth two kids in those four years), so I called her to see if she could make the referral. No dice. The insurance company says it has to be your PCP.

I call the insurance company to see who is available. First, I ask about my doctor back in Ginormousville from my teaching days. (Days spent in the company of other people's germy children did seem to produce trips to the doctor!) They couldn't find her, though I am certain that she is still in practice and accepting their insurance. Next I asked about the one general practice Small Town has to offer. They found a doc there and signed up with her. I was assured my new card was in the mail. Great!

I called the doctor's office to beg for a referral/set up an appointment so that I could beg for a referral, only to find that the doctor in question wasn't actually accepting new patients any more. Rather than calling the insurance company back (clearly they didn't know anything, anyway), I talked to the new patient department at the local practice. Turns out none(!) of the doctors there are accepting new patients. Ack! Panic! But the nurse practitioners are. Whew!

So now I am signed up with a NP with the incongruous name of Brandi and her supervising doctor will be the name on my new insurance card. Luckily, she had an appointment available tomorrow morning, so I should be able to get her to slip the referral in just under the wire. I am so glad that I get to spend $20 for a NP to tell me that I need to see a dermatologist who will get $30 plus procedure fees. Insurance is such a racket.

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