I'm not suppose to regret anything, and I'm especially not suppose to write the thing I regret; but here it goes. I hope this doesn't sound like a huge rant, but the heart of it is huge rant. Hopefully this process helps me come to terms with the problem, or help me find a solution.
I regret going to the doctor. I have spent $2000 in less than five months for doctor appointments. Granted, without insurance, the bill would be over ten grand. Still, most of these visits never needed to happen.
Here's how it goes down. I have low blood platelets, always have, but it triggers me as a high risk patient. So the doctor recommends I see a specialist in Seattle. First, I have to take time off work, because these people can't provide the customer service and have appointments in the evening or on weekends when most of the population is actually available. Next, I want to know how much it's going to cost. No one knows exactly. My insurance advertises that office visits are just $25, but no one knows exactly how much it will cost until after the appointment when the doctor codes the visit, then the insurance processes the visit, and then I get a bill in the mail months later. My decision to do anything is based on how much it costs, and then I evaluate if it is worth it for me. Because I know my health well, I can fairly evaluate for doctor appointments too.
I'm thinking of one specific appointment, but this is basically how they all go. I take the day off work and travel to Seattle. I wait for the doctor, and when she comes in we chat for a while, she checks some vitals, and shares with me about pregnancy or my blood condition (which I've had for 20 years now, so I'm aware). We are about to leave and she tells me she wants to see me again in two weeks. Not sure why, because we didn't really do anything productive in this appointment.
Months later I get a $100 bill from UW Physicians for the doctor appointment. I call and question why I'm not charged a routine $25 for an office visit. Well, it's a specialist and that's just the way it was coded. Fine, I pay it.
Weeks later I get a $211 bill from Seattle Cancer Care Alliance charging me for the same doctor visit. I call and claim I have already paid for this visit. I find out that the doctor charged me from her UW Physicians employer, but SCCA charges me a facility fee for using their building, office, lab, elevator, etc. And parking is extra. Is this for real, all these charges? So I just paid over $300 for a worthless doctor visit. If I knew that's how much it cost for a casual doctor meet and greet, I would have opted to stay at work at that day.
I just feel like it's a scam and that I'm being taken advantage of. Maybe the system works better for people who are really sick and actually need treatment. Maybe when you get some value from the doctor appointment, then it's worth the $300 or more. But for healthy me, I feel like I just wasted $2000. I did enjoy the ultrasound appointment, but all the others have been worthless. These doctor appointments have not been the best use of my time or money. But they say it's for the baby, and it's good that at least I go and have nothing wrong with me. I say that the system is broken and health care needs to find a better way to treat their patients.