Saturday, July 21, 2007

The TB Test Snafu

Wow. I just got off the phone with a certain medical group practice in a certain town near a certain hospital. Got it? My parents have been going here for awhile, and last year got me on the bandwagon – namely because I needed a TB test before starting my summer job (remember, this is a year ago). So I go in, and I’m pretty sure I didn’t have to ‘become’ a new patient since I didn’t fill out any forms. I used our family insurance plan and bam, TB test done. Wait the two days, and back I go to make sure I’m TB-free.

On the return trip, I didn’t even see a doctor (they still charged me money of course), but a nurse who verified my goodliness. She ran off with the form and had the doctor quickly scribble down his signature so that I might secure my summer employment. So merrily I walk away, unaware of the horrible time-bomb that was planted that day.

Yes, yes, today a year’s worth of time has elapsed, yet I still can’t seem to get these bastards to sign my TB test on UIC’s medical immunization form. I mentioned this form many months ago, and I had it dropped off at this office over my spring break. They signed off on EVERYTHING except the TB. You know what is amazing though? Everything else was done somewhere else. The only test I had done in this office is the only thing they have no record of.

So what is the deal? Did the dumb nurse just not write everything down and get things figured out? Oh wait, perhaps the nurse is not to blame at all. Maybe the smart nurse simply has too much other shit to do or maybe it wasn’t her job. Was it a dumb secretary? Was it a dumb doctor? Was it a dumb me? Did I never actually get a TB test? That is what these idiots would have me believe.

So while I tend to get agitated when people claim I am lying, I was quite friendly over the phone. The lady had no idea what to do and kept pretending to look for things. “Oh, but feel free to come and get another TB test anytime.” Hah, I could probably sue them for malpractice seeing as it is illegal to not keep records. But I suppose the problem with that is that I don’t have any actual records. Oh yea, and I’m not a douchebag either; I wouldn’t join our lawsuit-happy society over something as dumb as this.

But wait! What if my employer from last summer held onto the only proof that exists!? Ah-hah, the plot thickens. If I can get my hands on this document, I will smugly strut into that office and state, “Give me TB, or give me death.” No I don’t mean the actual illness, you know what I mean, stop trying to dissect my rant – I’m on a roll.

I bet this paper won’t count as proof somehow anyways though – because they ultimately just want me to pay them for another test. Screw that, I’ll get it done for free at one of the medical schools here if I have to. Hell, forging the signature would have saved sooooo much time. Damn me and my scruples. I am one signature away from completing all this paperwork; no incompetent office shall stand in my way!

In all seriousness though, this really isn’t that big of a deal. But it sure is annoying, and simply reinforces my already negative opinion on our healthcare system. It sucks.

You win this round TB, but I have not lost the war.

In other news, research ends next week and I have to give an oral presentation on what I have done. While my results were not what I was looking for, they are still legitimate results. I’ll dedicate a future post to the research program. Oh yea, and we get the other half of our stipend at the end too….MONEY!