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The VA, St. Vincent's Hospital, Cody Regional Health and AFLAC

OK, for anyone that uses the VA, I know there are tons of complaints about speed and efficiency both of which are non-existent in most parts of the country, but our amazing President, President Trump, fixed that for us disabled veterans. I am forever grateful to him for that! I am also so grateful and thankful for our VA in Wyoming. We truly do have the best VA in the nation and they truly care about us veterans here. I have been so well taken care of by the staff in Sheridan, Cheyenne and Cody. I truly love these people who don't get much thanks in their jobs. Please let me say THANK YOU Wyoming VA staff! You are amazing and we are lucky to have you!


So this is part of my navigation through the incredible inefficiency of getting anything accomplished when you move from one hospital and entity to another. Remember, I have an aggressive and fast growing cancer and speed and efficiency are key to getting my treatments and surgery scheduled. Maybe they are trying to wait me out... So the next scan they give me at Cody Regional Health will probably have the pink juice that they use for euthanasia for the pain in the asses who continually call. (That would be me). Matt is on notice to check on me this afternoon and make sure I'm still alive after my scan.


Not trying to throw anyone under the bus but AFLAC was my first hurdle. I have cancer insurance and short term disability through them. OK, Cool! I get to use my cancer policy!!!! YAY!! So I filed all the necessary documentation and just had to wait for the pathology report. OK, Cool. 24 hours and they will send a check. NOT SO FAST!


I checked on it and it was still pending 6 days later. OK, let me call my local representative and see what's missing. Bottom guy first, right? Us military people know our chain of command. No names to protect the guilty but he looks on my claim (I have mine open too) and he says I still have to send in documentation. No, the letter says, they have received my documentation and they will be processing my claim. He says, No, it says you still have to submit documentation. Wait, I'm reading the same thing you are and it says "We have RECEIVED your documentation and will be processing the claim". He says, No, it says... He was sucking my brain cells out of my head and I had to hold my hand over my other ear so he didn't get them all, I still need a couple.


I then directed him to the part of the pages that showed all of the documentation that shows everything I submitted. He says, "Well, all I know is what I see". Are you reading what you see or is this too difficult to understand. After all, it is your website, I'm just a visitor here. OK, he's not interested in investigating this further. Like a good soldier, I decide to go up the chain of command.


I contacted the headquarters and told the next higher person, probably the civilian equivalent to a corporal. I am trying to find out the status of my claims. (This must be their standard answer, well, I see here they are still waiting for documentation). Sir, I am reading the letter and it says, "We have RECEIVED your documentation..." I can hear Charlie Brown's teacher in my ear now...Wah, Wah, Wah... OK, let me direct you to YOUR page on YOUR website that shows the documentation that you have RECEIVED. OK, are you there? Yes. OK, do you see the part that says "PathologyReport.PDF" ??? Yes. Do you see the little column that says submitted? Yes. OK, that means I have submitted the pathology report to you like you asked for and you now have it.


OHHHHH!!!! You are right! (Of course I am, but I am of the lesser female gender and there's no point going down that rabbit hole, I know my place). OK, he says, let me get this over to the adjusters so we can get you paid. Thank you very much for your investigation into my claims and getting this moving. I just love it when people are so helpful and know their jobs and can just take the lead and get stuff done and I just have to have faith that they will take care of it. OK, anyway, it's done and it is being processed....I think....


OK, back to the chest scan that is holding up the whole surgery process. I contacted Cody Regional Health three days ago because I need this chest scan to make sure there is no other cancer anywhere else. OK, Cool, this is going to be easy.


Radiology tells me that they don't have the Authorization from the VA. But wait! They had the authorization on October 22 for a CT scan of my abdomen. Same order from the VA. Oncology had already spoken to them about the authorization and the VA had already approved the authorization on October 22, when they first found the cancer. The authorization is good until April 21, 2021 and good for 999 scans, tests, etc as long as they share the results and it is in conjunction with all my surgery stuff related to bladder cancer. Sounds easy, right? NOPE. They don't have the order. OK, let me make some calls, I'll be back with you in a few minutes.


Called St. Vincent in Billings and got an awesome lady named Ambrosia who is a VA expert with billing, authorizations and everything else under the sun. She's AMAZING like the heavenly Thanksgiving salad. I'm buying her flowers when I go back to my next appointment along with some Ambrosia salad.


OK, anyway, Ambrosia tells me that Cody Regional Health has the authorization and she has a copy. So Ambrosia offers to call Radiology in Cody, send them the Authorization that they already have and highlights the section that says there are 999 scans authorized and I have only had two. I still have 997 scans left, right? Now I'm no mathematician but I asked my friend and she thinks it's right too. OK, Amazing Ambrosia calls them and the VA and the VA confirms that the Authorization is valid and I am good to go to get the scan. Ambrosia sends me a scanned copy of the Authorization (Aha! Now I have evidence too!) Add that to my records so when we go down this path again, I can be my usual helpful self and provide them with a copy and explain that I still have 996 scans left.


I called Cody Regional Health Radiology. Well, you can't have a chest scan until you have a surgery date. UMMMMM - Dr. Faaborg can't schedule a surgery date till he has the Chest CT Scan. Does anyone else see a problem or am I just making too much out of this? I advised them that I have a copy of the authorization and so do they. Nope, they don't have it. Wait, Ambrosia just faxed you a copy. Nope, don't have it. Um, she faxed it to me too. OH! well do you have the authorization number? Yep, here it is.... OK so can you come in at 3 pm today to get your CT chest scan today. Why yes! Yes I can! Thank you so much for all of your help!


I have told all of my department that if I am on duty and if I get shot, DO NOT TAKE ME TO CODY REGIONAL HEALTH. Take me to Powell Valley Healthcare. If I die on the way to Powell, it's OK, I'm good with it. If you take me to CODY REGIONAL HEALTH and I survive, I'm killing all of them. Sorry, it's all about the money and not about the healthcare there. They are not good to their employees and I feel sorry for my friends who work there. Anyway, enough of that rant.


OK, so I am becoming an expert at maneuvering through the extensive red tape of this system. So, if any of you need help maneuvering through this mess, call me, I am THE expert of the day. I can help if they don't euthanize me today at 3. Matt is the only one who has the authorization to have me euthanized and I don't think we've reached that level in our relationship....yet. Give it time....



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