Saturday, November 6, 2010

Fertility Break and Tricare Rant

Tuesday I was to call Tricare to schedule a fertility consult.  Scratches head as to why I needed one yet again as the last one wasn't that long ago.  I mean just give me an appointment already.  After the nurse called me yesterday with the results, of which were negative, the fertility clinic calls me.

The fertility clinic informs me I can't get in to see them until January and that they don't have a schedule up for January yet.  So I tell them that I'll use my clomid until I see them.  They tell me I can't do that and that I have to be monitored with ultrasound and blood work.

In all the times I've used fertility drugs and been under the care of fertility doctors I've yet to have an ultrasound except to prove that I was indeed pregnant.  When I was on fertility shots I never had an ultrasound.

I explain to the clinic nurse that called that I'm fine taking this medicine on my own and that I'll just go in for the blood work when I'm supposed to.  I've been on it before and have been instructed that I'll be fine to take it, by their doctor no less, when my husband got home from his deployment of which I'm doing now.  She argues we me about their policy and that fertility is not a benefit its a privilege that they can grant.  So they are now the guardians of my reproduction rights? I'm not allowed to reproduce without their permission?

Just before the deployment I had my last fertility work up at this installation.  I'm not a new patient.

 Me: So if I take the clomid are the fertility police going to arrest me?

Her: No.  But we don't want you taking it without our supervision.  Please hold.

She comes back on the line and all of a sudden has an appointment for me on the 3rd of December.  During that hold she looked over my chart and realized I had already gone through the HSG, blood work, ultrasound, and for the spouse the semen analysis. 

I had explained to  her before the above that the only reason we stopped trying was that my husband had deployed and we couldn't bank his semen.  The military does not pay for banking of semen.  They do not pay for IVF or IUI.

Me: I thought my insurance allowed me to have the clomid.

Her:  Its a privilege not a benefit.

So two years ago at West Point it was a benefit.  Talk about budget cuts.  Two years ago I was informed that they would pay for banking my spouses semen.  Not anymore.  I'm starting to wonder what Tricare does cover because the quality of care that I receive is not at the highest it could or should be.  I haven't seen my PCM, who is a real doctor, since before my husband deployed.  I keep getting pawned off to the nurse or PA.  I was informed yesterday that my PCM is now back at my clinic and has been for sometime.  So why did the have a PA fill out my EFMP paperwork?  The PA that messed up the paperwork!

I think I had better medical coverage when I was using Family Health Plus in college.  At least I got to see a doctor, a real doctor at that, and had tests preformed in a timely manner.  I've yet to get that referral to see the neurologist from the auto accident of  2 year years ago.  My doctor in NY told me I had to see one.  Its in my records that I was to be referred to one as soon as I got to this duty station.  Here, the majority of health care providers on post just don't care.   I can think of only one, KK, and she was my physical therapist.  She is the exception to the rule.  I think if Tricare found out she had a heart they'd fire her.

After my little dialogue with the nurse she gives me an appointment for December.  I'm in finally.  I'll let them monitor me.  Until then I had to promise to not use the fertility drugs.  The nurse was quite upset to find that that last doctor gave me a four months supply of the drug.  Well I'm guessing he thought I was smart enough to know how to take it on my own with the home tests being just dandy.  She figures not.  Oh well.  I have the appointment now and will keep it.  They have two doctors on staff now that deal just with fertility.  I was lucky to even get an appointment.

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