April 27, 2009


I want to murder my doctor and everyone who works for him.

(Despite that intro, this will be a boring post about playing telephone tag.  But I have to bang it out or I will go crazy.)

Last Tuesday when the doctor hit me with the bad news, he told me to call Tricare Referrals the next day.  (As per the discussion at the conference of making your blog non-military friendly, that is our health care system.  To be seen off-post by a civilian doctor, I need a referral through the insurance before I can make an appointment.  I have never had to do this before.)

I called Tricare Wednesday: no referral in their system.  Same Thursday and Friday.  The prerecorded message said it could take 72 hours, but on Friday I found a customer service rep to talk to.  She informed me that, despite the fact that my home is most definitely not located in that region, that I was calling the wrong number and should be calling the North division.  Hung up, called them, they didn't have the referral either.

Called back Monday morning: still no referral.  Got grumpy.  Left a cranky message with my doctor's secretary to check again and make sure the referral was made because we've already wasted a week of precious time.

The secretary calls me back hours later to say that, whoopsie, I wasn't supposed to be calling Tricare after all.  Who told you to do that?  Us?  Our bad.  You just need to confirm your referral in our own hospital.  Here, let me just transfer the call...yep, disconnected.

I wrote during the second miscarriage about how it's impossible to reach an actual human being in our medical system.  So she had disconnected me, and all I could do was call her back, leave another pissy message on her machine, and wait several more hours for her to call me back.

I finally get the right number to get connected where I'm supposed to be, and that is also an answering machine.  I leave a message, she calls me back an hour later, confirms my referral, and then tells me that it will take seven days from today until the referral shows up in Tricare.

At this point, I don't know whether to scream or cry.

We don't have time for this.  My husband deploys in less than three months, we've been told it will take us at least a month to get an appointment with this geneticist, and we just wasted a week playing phone tag?

What in the holy fricking shizz is wrong with my doctor?  Why did he quite clearly tell me to call the wrong place?  And I told him flat out that I have never had a referral before, so he knew I needed instruction.  They dropped the you're-a-mutant bomb and then shoved me out the door without even bothering to tell me which phone number to call for follow-up, so I wasted a week that we simply do not have time to waste.

At this rate, my husband will be gone before we can even get this process started.  And, ahem, we kinda need him around for the process.

I swear, these people are gonna scream so loud when I set them on fire.

Posted by: Sarah at 03:48 PM | Comments (12) | Add Comment
Post contains 553 words, total size 4 kb.

1 I didn't expect your new blog to start with ... this.
She informed me that, despite the fact that my home is most definitely not located in that region, that I was calling the wrong number and should be calling the North division.Do you mean your "home is most definitely located in that region"?

What consequences do these people face for such non-service? None, I assume. Hence their lack of incentive.  They don't understand how urgent your situation is and I fear they never will.

Posted by: Amritas at April 27, 2009 04:37 PM (+nV09)

2 Man, that sucks donkey balls!  And while none of it is funny - I totally heard that last line about setting them on fire in Cartman's voice!  

Posted by: Beth at April 27, 2009 05:41 PM (7t5CD)

3 Holy hell there's something wrong with this whole system.  You know what I've been through... am STILL effing going through.  Perhaps we need to declare blog jihad and take on the military healthcare system.

Posted by: Sis B at April 27, 2009 07:20 PM (GFl+S)

4 Is it jerky of me to love the fact that when you pretend curse, you use one of my favorite words? 

I'm so sorry you're dealing with all this customer no-service.  Nothing like dumping all this on you only to abandon you to voice mail hell.  That is ridiculous.  And, it super stinks that the time is always an ever-present factor for you and yours.

Let me get over this bug I have and then I will be happy to pack up the socks and the nickels and head your way.

Posted by: Guard Wife at April 27, 2009 08:11 PM (Bfea2)

5 I have matches. {{Hugs}}

Posted by: Susan at April 27, 2009 08:20 PM (EU2Wl)

6 I was going to offer matches but maybe I should just make it coals to Newcastle since the matches are already offered.
Anyhow you know the intent, we are with you all the way.

Posted by: Ruth H at April 27, 2009 09:55 PM (hBAQy)

7 Note to self: let Sarah borrow plasma cannon once I actually acquire one.

Posted by: Patrick Chester at April 28, 2009 05:23 AM (RezbN)

8 Oh, good grief.  I'm so sorry to read this.  I had hopes that maybe the Tricare Referral Office in your region was better than the ones I've dealt with in the past!! Guess not.  This really, really stinks. 

Posted by: Courtney at April 28, 2009 05:31 AM (jx8rD)


And people think gov't healthcare will be the greatest healthcare ever. I ponder over this daily.  Especially when forced to deal with tricare until my eyes start to twitch.

good luck getting it all straightened out!

Posted by: the mrs. at April 28, 2009 06:50 AM (NJQf+)

10 Little do the doctors know that Sarah probably has access to a real life flame thrower. Maybe just pointing it at their feet and making them dance would get the point across?

Posted by: Mare at April 28, 2009 07:46 AM (y9A8i)


Come on doc, seriously.  You know the system...help the girl out!

Posted by: stacy at April 28, 2009 01:42 PM (3Xy/L)

12 Par for the course.  That's why WE call it "Tri-and-get-care."  I could write pages and pages on this topic....  I feel so bad for you and the salt being rubbed into your wound....

Posted by: Allison at April 30, 2009 07:33 PM (m0MUk)

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