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How Much Does a Chest X-Ray Cost?

For those of you who missed the latest and greatest, I tested positive for the BRCA-1 gene mutation, which means my ovaries need to come out (next week), which means I had to go for my pre-admission testing this week, which means another round of blood work, an EKG and a chest x-ray.

Now before I rant, let me just say, my medical care to this point has been superb. There have been some stupid inconveniences along the way, but I really didn't care, to distracted to think about them or worry - I had bigger fish to fry. But now that it appears I am going to be involved with this process for a good, long time, little, stupid inconveniences are starting to irritate me and in the last 24 hours, I've experienced a few. But let's start with the chest x-ray.

How much do you think one costs? I don't know because, luckily, I have decent insurance, and I have yet to see a bill (though a friend told me she just received a hospital bill for an ER visit from three years ago! That leaves me a bit afraid - three years from now, who wants to get billed for stuff happening now - there should be a statute of limitations on bills but I digress...). I ask because today they wanted me to have a chest x-ray as part of the standard pre-op tests. My problem with that is I had one in November (November 30th to be precise), so isn't that one still good? Not to mention, between that x-ray, my mammo yesterday and my MRI tomorrow, how much of this stuff do I really want to be exposed to (can't long-term exposure cause cancer? Ironic, no?).

So when we were filling out my paperwork (another little bugaboo from yesterday - but I'll save that rant for another time), I asked the admitting person, Gina, if they could just use my x-ray from November. She said she didn't know how long they were good for but would mention it to the nurse.

She didn't.

But I did - I'm getting to the point now where I'm more coherent (not facing imminent battle with breast cancer and not pumped full of poisonous chemicals will do that for you), so I'm asking more questions. The tech said she thought they were good for a year and would check.

And you know what, they are good for a year. But here's my point, if I hadn't asked, they would have done another x-ray anyway. They have my records! There right there in the computer! Couldn't (shouldn't) they have just seen that? Needless to say, I didn't have the x-ray - wonder how much that saved the hospital, insurance company and me?

Now, should I tell about the stupid urine sample???

Okay - all I'm saying on that is, if you know someone has to give a urine sample, maybe it would be good to tell them that ahead of time, especially when they're fasting, so they don't go before they leave the house. No what I mean?

Tune in tomorrow for the crappy (hmm....) prep I have to do before this surgery.

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Other Thinks (8)

mindy:

Getting a delayed bill from an ED visit is like getting an Italian traffic violation ticket 2 years after the fact!

As I was reading about the CXR I though "that chest xray from Nov. should be fine) so I'm glad they didn't repeat it. duh.

The best of it all to you...You will survive this next round of life's crap.

sending along a hug {{KIM}}

Marcia:

Mentioned that part about x-ray to David yesterday, who said it made no sense to him, so I am glad you spoke up and it wasn't repeated. The fact that you had to do it, not good, but I guess you are getting used to the proactive stuff. Thinking of you this week.

Rich:

Urine sample, LOL. My latest treatments required me to limit liquids for 12 hours, and completely avoid for 4. What is the first thing they ask me for when I get there? You got it. I was lucky to give them an ounce.

Kay:

You are in my thoughts and prayers, Kim. Could you suggest a "thinking of you" gift for a friend about to begin chemo for breast cancer? I've looked at baskets containing head scarves, ginger candy and teas for upset stomach, special mouthwashes, pink cancer bracelets, inspirational books. What helped you get through a chemo session or after? Thanks.

Kim [TypeKey Profile Page]:

Kay, honestly, laughter got me through. All the things you mentioned are nice and useful and I received similar things and they were great but it was the things that made me laugh that I remember well (those and the the things that had personal meanings too).

If it were me, getting something for a friend now, I'd do things like DVDs of funny movies or TV shows, or a netflix membership for three months, with suggestions of movies, TV, etc. I went through chemo in the winter, so silly hats were great too.

The other great thing was food - people would drop off stuff that was freezer ready. Some sent food from companies that came ready for the freezer too (like from Omaha Steaks and a local catering company).

Lastly, the company was always nice - when people took me to my doctor appointments or sat with me during treatment - it just made the time easier to bear.

Kim, I don't blame you for "ranting". Insurance costs have gone thru the roof because of this kind of thing - repeat tests which weren't needed. Probably a CYA thing for the medical personnel involved. Or just no coordination between departments.

I will be thinking of you next week. I wish I had had my ovaries removed when I had a hysterectomy almost 20 years ago - one less thing to worry about now.

I think you should be in charge of health care for the US! So much waste and those in charge either don't seem to notice or are purposefully having wasteful tests done to charge more.

Lisa:

I'm glad you spoke up and didn't have to have the x-ray. Think about how many people don't think about these things.

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