Monday, July 31, 2006

Just When I Thought Things Couldn't Get Any Worse...

I get pink eye.

Went to Medac today; home of sickly broke people with no insurance. I follow the cardinal rule of going to Medac--I walk in, announce what is wrong and what they should do about it, as I have long since found that this is the only way to achieve any kind of medical care in these places.

Them: What seems to be the trouble?
Me: My eye is red and gummy. I think I have pink eye.
Them: Hmm... seems like you might have pink eye.

The doctor puts gross orange stuff in my eye and shines a black light in it, he says to rule out any corneal scratches or foreign crap in my eye. Nope, nothing found. He gives me a prescription for an antibiotic, tells me not to rub my eye and sends me to the front desk to pay.

Woman at Front Desk: That will be 400 dollars.
Me: What the fucking fuck???

They refuse to back down. I say, "Seriously. The doctor looked in my eye and told me I have pink eye. That costs 400 dollars?" Yes, they say. I demand an itemized bill. They offer me "credit options." I cry. I send the girl back twice to find out if this can possibly be correct. She explains that yes, it is correct, because of the "procedure" the doctor perfomed on my eye. I say, "you mean when he shined a light on it? Because if I had known that would be 400 dollars, I would have never let him do it." I point out that there is no way that I will even be able to fill the prescription he has given me now that I am giving them everything I own. They graciously offer to check the "generic okay" box on my prescription. I send the girl back again (they still haven't produced an itemized bill). She comes back and says that because they had to remove foreign objects from my eye, it will be 400 dollars. I point out that they did not fucking remove any fucking foreign objects from my fucking eye.

Woman at Counter: "Oh, really? I must have typed the wrong code. Oh, well then, that will be 132 dollars."

What a damned racket. I don't know how many people just let them get away with that, but I think it's nothing but extortion. They knew I was desperate and had no insurance. I'd already talked to the nurse AND the doctor about that. Leeches.

And I have pink eye.


Cue Gal said...

Dude, thank god you knew to stand up to them. I'd likely have a quiet panic attack on the spot, pee myself, and still be unable to produce $400 on demand.

$400 for pinkeye. Jesus.

Feel better!!!!

Variant E said...

I take it Visine's ad line "gets the red out" doesn't apply to pink then. Pinkeye...guess it's not so bad if pink is your color, right?

Space Kase said...

I recently had pink eye too. And ohhh, does it suck.

You were brave and I am proud. But seriously dude, how fucking demeaning?!

mendacious said...

thats fucked up. good to fight them on it- although next time maybe get your drugs from the black market- way cheaper. or get a friend like say someone who has had pink eye give you their meds- you cheat the system with cash in hand.

penelope said...

And the insurance companies are just as effing bad! The way the make all their money off the people who either don't pay attention, don't stand up, or stand up but give up too soon. Ugh! Don't even get me started.

I had pink eye once for 3 months, in both eyes. I was too stubborn to go to the doctor, and didn't until someone asked me if I was totally baked, or what. It's a wonder I didn't go blind. And THEN, after I treated it, it came back, and I didn't want to go back to the doctor, so I went to Paula's Health Hut instead to buy goldenseal tea bags, which is a crackpot home remedy for drawing the infection out, and the owner actually came out and YELLED at me, saying I WOULD go blind if I didn't go to the doctor for antibiotics like any reasonable person. It was crazy. I'm pretty dumb sometimes.

daisy said...

You do realize that you only have PINK eye because you refuse to wear color in a world where color is mandatory?

Life is cruel.

(feel better. pink eye sucks.)

ashley said...

I recently went to the eye doctor and had new lenses put in my glasses. And WITH INSURANCE and a 30% discount on the lenses (did I mention I used my old frames) it was still $195. That's on top of the $220 for the exam and contacts.

P.S. The Blue Cross Blue Shield North Carolina has the highest paid CEO in the state. Sleep well, you jerk.

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