Thursday, September 12, 2013

Military Medical Insurance

Also known as Tricare.

Oxymoron there since I really doubt they do "try (to) care".

I'm venting again.

Every two years I need to see my ENT at Madigan for the follow up on my Meniere's Disease, audiology to make sure I'm not losing more hearing, and a thyroid scan to hope that the scan shows that the cysts are shrinking or gone.  This means that I need a new referral each time since they are good for only 6 months.  A waste of a doctor visit is required now to get that referral even though my PCM has told me many times I don't need to see him just call his nurse and tell her what I need since I have chronic illnesses.

Guess what?  I have to now go see the man, PCM, that has a god complex.  This is the PCM mentioned above that said to call his nurse.  He is also the same PCM that denied me pulmonary specialist ( I have asthma), dermatology (I've had a skin lesion removed) , cardiologist (I've had a heart attack), rheumatologist (I have arthritis) , neurologist ( I have narrowing of the spinal canal in the neck and have had several TBIs plus fibromyalgia) and now he is trying play God again and determine if I need to see the ENT or not.  The above mentioned specialists are listed on my EFM (exceptional family member) paperwork as being necessary to see.

Oh and because I am slowly losing my vision I also need to see (lol rather ironic) the optometrist and sometimes ophthalmologist too.  I tried to schedule an appointment to see the optometrist for October but they are booked solid and only accepting appointment for active duty soldiers right now.  If one should cancel their appointment and I'm lucky enough to call that day to see if they have openings I might get in.  Other wise I'll be referred out to someone that doesn't know my case, probably billed the excess amount for it too, and have to find transportation to get to the appointment off the installation.

As it is we have a perfectly good ultrasound department here at Madigan. But I get referred out to the economy for my appointments because they need to make sure the machine is available at all times for the soldiers which means many time slots go unused.  Those time slots are listed with $$ signs in the computers as that stands for soldiers only.

I live right behind Madigan.  I purposely picked this village in the installation so that I could walk to my appointments at the hospital and not be a burden on my spouse.  We cannot afford two vehicles.  He cannot afford to be taking time off of work to share the vehicle with me either.  Even though he does primarily office work he still needs the vehicle when they are doing field operations because not all of the field exercise is in the field...figure that one out!

Tomorrow I have an appointment with another doctor, a co-worker of my PCM for a second opinion.  I do not remember ever seeing this doctor before and I can only hope he doesn't have the same god complex that my PCM seems to have.  Though my PCM is a nice person with a good bedside personality he isn't competent to be making health care decisions for a specialist in my opinion.  I remember back to when I had the ovarian cyst pain really bad before surgery and my RE office was booked solid.  They referred me to my PCM for pain medicine.  My PCM said he won't prescribe pain medicine as he is not of the school to provide narcotics for pain relief.  Sure doc what ever you say as he pokes my pelvic region with his hands not believing how much pain I was in  just days before I went in for my surgery.

With any luck tomorrow's doctor appointment, a waste in my opinion of a time slot someone ill could be using since all I need is a renewal of my referral, I'll have my new referral in the system.  But I've been warned by Steve on the phone that they are doing away with referrals because the specialists are overwhelmed with the realignment of the bases and the fact that Madigan now serves not just the Army but the Air force, Navy and Marines with it now being a regional medical facility.  Oh and let us not forget the retired military community.  I can only imagine that if I'm having difficulty getting an appointment as a spouse of the active duty service member that it must be nigh impossible for them to get care here too.  For those of you from my hometown Madigan is about half the size of CVPH and serves at least twice as many people.

Maybe I'll have them take a look at my foot while I'm there since it is getting blacker by the day at the injury site.

Military medical insurance isn't what the public sector seems to thinks.  We don't get appointment easily; medicine and treatment is often denied to family members who really need it.  Medicaid seems to be better and I would know since while I was going through my divorce, working and in college I did use it for a year.

Oh and side note: Steve on the phone said he was playing phone tag with me today.  No he wasn't.  I was home all day and the only two calls I missed were Equity and my friend Kim of which I returned their calls shortly after they left messages.  Even  my incoming call log denies that Steve called.  I don't deal well with LIARS.  I called my PCM's office on Monday.  I called my PCM's office on Wednesday.  I called my PCM's office today before they decided to call me back.  So much for leave a message and we'll get back to you within 24 hours.  Is that 24 working hours or normal 24 hours in a day?


  1. Ugh. I'm sorry you have to fight such ridiculousness just to get the care you need... and then still not get it most of the time :(

  2. Wow, I'm so sorry that you have to jump through so many hoops, I certainly hope they listen to you tomorrow and you get the referral you need.


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