We’re Talkin’ Healthcare at the Bar

For the love of beer
The perfect place and beverage to share some casual conversation.

If we were having a beer, you’d be interested in my health, but you might have ulterior motives.

“You feeling better?”

“Yes, I’ve been cleared for takeoff by the medical establishment.”

“Good, then you’re buying.”

“Is that all you cared about?”

“I was so startled by those stitches last week that I offered to buy without realizing that I had bought the time before that.”

“Hey guys. Dan, you’re looking much better without the stitches.”

“Thanks Cheryl, I feel better too.”

“So good, in fact, that he has offered to pick up the tab today.”

“OK, then I imagine he still wants a Yuengling, but you might want to step it up a notch.”

“You read my mind, Cheryl. I’ll have a splash of Woodford Reserve.”

“Ouch, it didn’t take long for you to even the score.”

“As Scrooge said: ‘A great many back-payments are included in it,’ so I might have another later.”

“Coming right up boys.”

“You do know that, when Scrooge said that, he was talking about payments he should have made…right?”

“Yes, but I wasn’t going to wait for you to say it. Dickens wouldn’t mind a little Improvisation.”

“Dickens was a writer, not a jazz musician.”

“He was a social commentator, too. He would appreciate any attempt to put out a message about economic injustice.”

“I don’t think he’d approve of a wealthy man using his words to coerce a free drink from a friend.”

“Who says I’m wealthy.”

“Everybody knows your wealthy. Remember the whole ‘wealthy people tip less’ discussion? Anyway, here are your drinks. You boys want any food?”

“None right now, Cheryl. And, I’m not wealthy.”

“Well, as they say, as long as you have your health.”

“Speaking of health, have you managed to pierce the bubble of that high-deductible insurance plan yet?”

“Yeah, I think the ambulance ride put me over the top. If not, I’m sure the ER visit did.”

“I still say, for what you were paying, they should have had the sirens on.”

“Let’s just hope it’s considered a valid use of an ambulance and a valid visit to the ER. Otherwise I’ll be fighting with those bozos again.”

“Again? I wasn’t aware you had to fight them.”

“For the MRI.”

“They didn’t want you to have one?”

“Oh, I could have one, but they wanted me to have it somewhere else.”

“Joe’s Discount MRI and lube?”

“Pretty much.”

“Don’t they have a list of approved providers?”

“Yeah, they suggested an radiology center in Cranston, Rhode Island.”

“Cranston, Rhode Island? Yikes. Do they know you live in Connecticut?”

“I reminded them. They also had centers in Norwalk and Danbury.”

“There you go. The next time you go to Pittsburgh, you can stop in Danbury and have an MRI. Nothing in, say Enfield?”

“The place my doctor sent me is in Enfield. It’s run by St. Francis Hospital. St. Francis is in-network and the radiologist is in-network, but the facility isn’t.”

“Um, the radiologist kinda needs an MRI machine…what the…?”

“They finally found a radiology center in Enfield, but they didn’t tell me about it until the day before my appointment, which was two days before I was flying to Iowa.”

“I guess you wanted to know if you could take that flight.”

“It was a concern.”

“So they let you go to the place where you had the appointment?”

“Not at first. They wanted me to cancel that appointment, then call the other place and tell them I had an emergency.”

“What emergency?”

“My healthcare sucks, I guess. I told them I wouldn’t do that. I reminded them that they approved the MRI, so it should be considered in-network.”

“Did they agree?”


“Did you have any trouble after that?”

“It wasn’t much better with the ear nose and throat guy.

“How’s that?”

“He was in-network, but only in his Bloomfield office. If I saw him in Enfield, he would have been out-of-network.”

“That’s crazy.”

“As crazy as two guys nursing one drink and not having anything to eat?”

“You’re right Cheryl, enough about health insurance, let’s have another round. And, that pizza last week was pretty good, let’s have another.”

“No pepperoni for me today.”

“So, half pepperoni, half cheese?”

“You could put spinach on my half.”

“And you could pay for your half. I’m not buying a pizza with spinach on it.”

“Cheese, cheese is good.”

It’s been raining a lot this week. If you want to read the captions, click on any photo to start a slide show.

91 thoughts on “We’re Talkin’ Healthcare at the Bar

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    1. I’m sorry. I can’t imagine having to deal with this on a regular basis. The caregivers I had were so good, but getting to them was such a struggle. I can only imagine that they’re equally as frustrated by the insurance companies.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Im pretty used to it, but it is a pain. Wouldnt be so bad if theyd just stick with a system for more than 6 months, you know?
        And dont get me started on insurance companies…oh boy.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. I’m shaking my head in disbelief at the bureaucratic insanity of your health non-care. Good grief!

    I’m glad you’ve bounced back, Dan. A whack on the head is never a good thing. I hope you’re now looking at health issues in the rear view mirror.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Thanks Joanne. The really sad pard is how our “representatives” are working hard to make healthcare worse. This is what you get when you put a for-profit entity between you and your doctor.

      I’m hoping that this will be the last visit for a long time. Other than normal stuff.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Luckily we have two major players in town who most all the docs belong to and my insurance covers. One stop shopping for me. And 5 minutes from my house. Maddie–that bone is as big as you, sweet girl!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Maddie likes to make that bone go “squeeeeak”

      My problem is that this insurance company we switched to is new to Connecticut. They’re expanding here, but they are Massachusetts based. We have plenty of local providers, but they need more in this network. They actually had all the services I needed, they just didn’t have anyone who cared enough to help me or my doctor find them.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha ha – I get emails once a week from these guys, asking me to join their “health choices” program so they can tell me what to eat and not eat. I’m pretty sure that would mark the end of these blog posts 😟

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Ah, insurance – now there’s a topic with thousands of stories. I have upcoming eye surgery and was prescribed three different prescription drops. The nurse casually mentioned that if by chance the cost was more than $50 I could call back. Hmmm. So, off I go to the pharmacy to find out the copay was going to be right at $300. I call back, they give me three other prescriptions, and the copay for all three was a little over $60. Interesting. And, the last time I picked up a regular prescription for my husband with the copay being $150, the pharmacist asked me if we had hit the donut hole – ah, no, this is our regular insurance. I think a lot of people are severely challenged by current insurance benefits or lack of same. Now, on a more positive note – Maddie looks adorable and the pizza looks delicious. :-) Glad you are feeling better.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Judy, and Maddie appreciates your comment. I wanted to keep this post short-ish, so I left out the prescription saga. I’ll save it for another day, but the story ended with me paying out-of-pocket for an NSAID gel I’m sure I’m not allergic to, vs. one I’m not sure about.

      Out of those thousand stories, I hope there’s a couple good ones.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. The explanation for all of this is simple…. The person who designed your medical plan was the child of a coupon clipper. Remember them? They were the people who used to visit three grocery stores (all across town from each other) to buy three items.

    Years later, while during a cost-cutting meeting, that person had a flash of inspiration and blurted out, “hey, I got a hell of an idea!”

    Liked by 2 people

  5. About halfway through that conversation, my eyes began to bleed. I don’t get it! Your healthcare system is….is…. I so do not understand it, I don’t even have a word for it.

    Admittedly, I was also a bit confused on the basis that I’ve missed a few posts so I don’t know what you did to yourself but I’m going off to check that out now. Whatever it is, glad you’re feeling better. :)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Two things: I am feeling much better. And, our healthcare system is…exactly as you put it.

      Thanks for joining us at the bar today. The MRI is a couple month old story. I needed it to rule out a tumor as being the cause of a sudden hearing loss. No tumor, hearing is about 80% restored. Stitches are from a cut on my forehead, last week.


        1. Thanks. I’d explain our healthcare better if I could. All I know for sure is that our “leaders” are hard at work trying to make it worse. They have a different system for themselves. Don’t get me started…

          Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Val. The actual caregivers couldn’t have been nicer or more professional. They were simply the best. We have great healthcare, we have crap for insurance (and my employer is pretty generous with our benefits).

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Brenda. I think you’re right about that work connection. I worked in food service, tips weren’t allowed but I still learned how some people can make you feel good and how others can treat you like dirt. I’m glad you liked the photos. Maddie brings me a toy several days a week, but she usually drops it as I get close.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I’ve been fortunate to have decent health insurance for most of my work life, although that has also changed. Higher deductibles and paying for things that were paid for before. My big concern now, though, is the proposed Republicans health care plan and how it could hurt those in need of care or how it might affect my mom’s situation.

    PS: 1,000 bonus points for Maddie and her stuffed bone.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oooh, bonus points – thanks. I’ll use them for dog treats. I worry about the alleged healthcare bills in Congress too. All of my problems were because we have a greedy for-profit entity between me and some dedicated healthcare professionals. The current bills being considered would improve the profits of those companies. There’s something wrong with that picture.

      Like you, I have health insurance that’s bad enough to complain about, but actually not bad if you’re willing to fight. I worry about the people who don’t have care, won’t have care and the people who can’t fight for themselves.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Healthcare is one of those topics that I have VERY strong opinions about, and more often than not, get really angry over. No one needs to hear me rant this early on a Saturday morning, so I’ll do everyone a favour and just say “Beautiful lilies, Dan” and then shut my trap. ;P

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Does that pooch have you pegged or what?! 👏🏻😀Wealth(health)care…🙊🙈🙉😱So many lovely shots. Love your little buddy too. Damn, that pizza looks so gooood. It’s off the menu for me right now. Have a great weekend Dan! Glad to know you are healing up in spite of the insurance company’s best efforst.🙄

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Maddie knows exactly what buttons to push. I keep trying to get water drops ala Cheryl. I like these, but…

      The black squirrels are just so cute. I’m not sure how to ignore them.

      Have a great weekend. I’ll have a slice for you.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ok but please let me know how much I enjoyed it….😕I could never ignore a squirrel. A black one would be a unique event here! Your water drops are lovely. I’m running outside after a rain or early in the morning to get those still clinging to the Allemanda blossoms.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Hi, Dan. I’m very fortunate that all the ERs in my area are connected to full-services hospitals so if an MRI or other test is needed, it can be done right there and right then. Of course, that will all probably change once I’m on Medicare instead of private insurance. I’m also fortunate at the moment that my husband has very good insurance through his company. Glad you’re feeling better.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I think your conversations sound so real because they begin with a topic and, quite logically, wander into a dozen other unrelated topics as real conversations do. Particularly if drinking is involved.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Tummy grumbles and mouth waters with that pizza on my mind …. Question to you, Dan, is there anyone in healthcare that has any common sense or with smarts? As I told someone else, medicine has been hijacked by stupidity and greed. Unbelievable what was suggested to you for the MRI. Seriously? I’m honestly just shaking my head ……

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have s follow-up to this coming on Monday, Amy. I fear I’ve given some good people a bad wrap. The insurance folks, yuck. Most caregivers, thumbs up, in my experience. I know you have had issues there too, but I’ve been lucky.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Oops. Good to know there are people in the system itself that are still caring. And yeah, I do have a chip on my shoulder which in all seriousness needs to come off. Tough to do when I’ve had some really bad experiences to the point I actually died due to a misdiagnosis made by a doctor. Ah, let it go. Today is a new day! 😘

        Liked by 1 person

  12. Our healthcare system is nuts! Canadians and others from more enlightened countries read about what we go through and shake their heads. I think those who say we “have the best healthcare in the world” either haven’t needed to use it or have Oprah’s money. I’m glad to read that you are doing better.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. “Joe’s Discount MRI and lube?” LOL That KILLED me!
    Glad your stitches are out! Yay for pizza and beer :)
    I used my health insurance yesterday and was quite pleased. Whether I’m still pleased after the lab bills roll in is yet to be determined. I know people who examine samples are not paid what I pay for the service…

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Dan, I used to work as a financial patient rep. at a major hospital. My job was to make sure insurance paid their part. Hopefully, you will not need the advice I am going to give you but here it is anyway. When you need the services at a hospital, get to know the business staff, in particular, the billing, collections, and patient rep. people. They can be of immense service to you while you battle with your health.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Glynis. I hope to have a follow-up to this, tomorrow, and it tracks with what you just said. It used to be, you just needed an advocate for your care. I was fortunate to have an advocate in my doctor’s office on the insurance side of things. Thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Ah, Dickens. His books are so enjoyable. “A Christmas Carol,” for example, is remarkably modern in its conversational tone. And you know how much Henry Bemis of “Time Enough at Last” enjoyed “David Copperfield.” Don’t get him started on those names … #MURDstone

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Oops, lost the first thought with a move of my finger!
    I liked the way you gave us elements of beauty and cuteness, so we could get our mind off healthcare issues. My blood pressure was so relaxed in the end of this post!
    I’m very glad you mentioned in a comment kindness and caring shown, as I have had nice professionals help my kids to relax in the E.R. Also, we have had this, throughout the different office and hospital experiences. 💞

    Maddie with her big, stuffed toy bone is so sweet! The lilies are lovely with your “Beatles song” quite cheery and that flower has such pretty variegated coloring, Dan! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Robin. I like to keep the larger picture a bit more upbeat. It’s hard to do when talking about healthcare, especially these days. To be honest, I mention it here more than in the day-to-day world, because it sparks such controversy. I don’t have time for drama at this point in my life.

      I’m glad you enjoyed the photos. The flowers were a gift from a seed company. I think that makes them even more special.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It is always nice to have positives to stay focused on, Dan.
        I am glad you know I don’t dwell on the different parts of what is going on, especially on my blog.
        I don’t hear enough negatives since my fellow workers are sheep who follow (almost blindly) our “leader,” Trump. I hope their trust will create impetus for good results. ☮ 💮

        Liked by 1 person

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