Monday, February 22, 2010

Health Care Hazard

     I am having a most unfortunate problem with the health care system. Not nearly as difficult a problem as the Republicans are making for Obama. Annoying, though. Very annoying.

     I am not even sure of the questions to ask to find the solution, or even what to do if I finally frame the questions.

     First off, know that the problem has nothing to do with my provider. Medigold is an HMO under the auspices of Mt. Carmel Hospitals. They do everything right; we joined when it was first offered eleven years ago and have not had a problem through MDs and RXs and Hospice and Home Health Care, routine visits or ordering meds through the mail. They are very available on the phone. Everyone should be so lucky!

     At first, I thought that the constant ringing of my phone, only to hear the beep, beep of a Fax machine was the fault of my phone provider. After many attempts to use my *60 to block the calls, I eventually went far enough up the chain, to corporate, to report this. They sent a technician to the house, and it took him a long time to block the three numbers who had been frequent callers.

     One of the barriers to blocking the calls is to insert the offending number super-fast. I have a caregiver who can do it; I simply cannot. I suggested that perhaps the blocker might be given three-seconds more to make the report. It is still barely one-second.

     Now I have six blocked numbers, and they all have been made by health-related facilities.

      One the first faxers was Ohio Psychiatric Hospital. I called them on their real phone and was given a helpful hint.He thought the person running the fax machine had not used the 1 or the 614 before dialing, and by being one digit off, the call came through to me. I so alerted Altercare and blocked them.  I thought I had blocked Monterey Nursing Home, but they are at it again.  Consulting the yellow pages, I find multiple Montereys in the state of Ohio. Different facilities, different personnel, different fax numbers.

     My theory is that they are all ordering medication. Some have pre-set their machines to send at 1:00 a.m. My phone has been quiet all morning. But when this happens again, I am only allowed 14 more numbers to block.

     Would I change my phone number ?  Never.

     Could I add an amendment to the Health Care bill that all medical supply companies, all pharmacies, everywhere use the same fax number, which then would be able to direct them to a specific supplier? Who would care how long the queue? Who would care how long Fax 1 waited to be sent to the supplier of their choice?

     If only I had a congressman who would listen to me.



  1. Could you take your phone off the hook when you go to bed?

  2. Kathy, I did turn the ringer off at night for a long time.. so I wasn't bothered after that And I do think they are all temporarily blocked until some nursing home, somewhere in the world, uses their fax wrong again.