My thoughts on everything from albacore tuna to zebras
Hah! Bet you didn’t even know it was a real word.
Anyway I am completely and utterly flummoxed. You see I have Sleep Apnea, Diagnosed and treated these past twelve years or so. I use a CPAP machine at night when I sleep. Problem solved. At least I thought it was.
When we moved to Harrisburg back in November, my wife, bless her heart, shouldered the majority of the burden of updating addresses etc. To her also fell the duty of arranging for medical care. Since I work for the state I am part of PEBTF – Pennsylvania Employees Benefit Trust Fund. I won’t go into details about whom I think the fund is benefiting but lets just say they haven’t been my favorite people lately. You would think that since the PEBTF represents state employees statewide that you could move one hundred fifty miles with relatively little interruption of ones medical needs. Apparently not.
In Ebensburg, I was covered under PEBTF by one branch of Blue Cross Blue Shield called; I believe, Keystone Select or something like it. They in turn contracted with a place called Dick’s Home Care to provide me with all my CPAP needs, filters, hoses, masks etc. They did a fine job.
Moving to Harrisburg we had to change to something called Capitol Blue Cross Blue Shield and they contracted with a place called Praxair to provide all my cpap needs. Heh, yeah, right. My wife called Praxair last week to order new filters for my machine. She was told I need a doctor’s prescription before they could send them to me. Called my old doctor in Johnstown and he faxed down a prescription. Waited. Nothing. Called again and was told: “Nope, sorry, we don’t carry those filters; your machine is too old.” A quick google search revealed a half dozen sites where I could still buy the filters. So I called. Sorry, no can do. “Well, what do you suggest” I asked. “You need a new machine,” was the reply.
Now, I’m from the old school. You know the one. “Waste not, want not. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it.” I had a perfectly functional machine and they’re telling I’ve got to get a new one because they can’t get me a lousy two dollar filter. I pondered.
The new machines are much nicer. More user friendly. Smaller. Easier for traveling. So I knuckled under called my doctor in Johnstown. He faxed another prescription down for a new machine. I waited. Nothing. Called Praxair and was told, “Your insurance won’t pay for a new machine until you go to see a neurologist and have a sleep study done. Here’s the name of a good neurologist.” I’ve had several sleep studies done over the years. They all come back the same. I’ve got sleep apnea and need to use a cpap at night to sleep. Same machine setting every time.
Today my wife called the neurologist to make the appointment so that she could order the sleep study so I can get a new cpap machine to replace the perfectly functional cpap machine that needs a two dollar filter that I can order over the internet and was told,
“Sorry, only your primary care physician can make an appointment with a specialist.” (This was a change from our last plan also).
Luckily, my wife did manage to make an appt for us with a primary care physician a couple of months back, it’s coming up in about three weeks.
Where’s my Visa?
Think this was bad? Tomorrow I’ll tell you my wife’s story.