Thursday, May 6, 2010

I Promise I'll Shut Up About It Now

Okay, I promise this is the very last post about my "decision" about Punkin.

So, one thing y'all need to know about me is that I am easily swayed. But before I go any further, I also need to say that there have been months of worry, wringing of hands, back and forth, and conferences with teachers before I made my decision about not pursuing treatment for Punkin.

But I got so many reasoned emails and comments yesterday suggesting "what can it hurt" that I decided, you know what, what can it hurt? Other than the $350 for the appointment, it wouldn't hurt at all.

So, since we had never officially declined the appointment I called yesterday and talked to a lovely woman at this renowned autism institute. And she kindly informed me that the procedures had changed since I called last August. Now, in addition to the one hour appointment with the developmental pediatrician (for $350), there was also a two hour mandatory psychological test. For $1400. Of which my insurance will pay not one red cent.

In fact, the very nice lady on the other end of the telephone informed that only one insurance company that they had encountered so far would cover this testing (Aetna, if anybody's interested) and I have to wonder why this renowned center would make this testing mandatory and make it so expensive when no one's insurance will cover it.

In my eyes, it's almost criminal to charge people that much money, especially people who are generally desperate for answers and/or help. Am I wrong?

I turned down the appointment officially this time. I don't have $1400. If I thought that Punkin had a serious problem, I would have found a way to scrape up the money but I can't justify the cost at this point.

Also, my thoughts are that this place isn't our only option. The very nice lady on the other end of the phone totally understood my reasoning and suggested that the school system can help us once Punkin starts school if there continues to be problems/issues, though she did say the school's testing wouldn't be as thorough as theirs. My plan now is to go back to my pediatrician and ask for his advice, based on my new opinion about Punkin's problem, or lack thereof.

So, there you have it.


CassJustCurious said...

Holy Crap - that's so wrong to make something that expensive - it's almost like they're discriminating there services based on a segmentation of the population. This seems very very wrong to me.

Lauren said...

Wait, seriously?? $1400?? Mandatory?? WTF? Ew.

Mir said...

We've done both testing through the school and testing privately, and honestly I'm not sure the $3000 price tag of the private testing we did was worth it. The schools are pretty thorough (they have good motivation to be -- if you feel they haven't done an adequate job, you can request an outside eval and they have to pay for it!) so I wouldn't let that part of it bother you.

I'm sorry about this crimp in things. I misunderstood the public/private thing earlier, I have to say. I thought you were deciding on a referral the preschool was paying for (EI or something). Well, you can always wait and do it once she's in school, as you say.

Aunt Crazy said...

To me, it's just immoral that those kinds of fees are charged KNOWING that insurance won't help!!!

Good for you on making a decision and being happy with it! I always say, it sux having to make decisions about our kids and we are so lucky when we only have two options cuz then we are given a 50/50 chance, but what about when we have 3 or 4 or 5 options to choose from, the odds are stacked against us.

The best thing is going with your momma's intuition!!!

Katie said...

Oh, I hope you didn't mistake my intentions in my comment - that was just what *I* would do. I don't think anyone other than someone actually in the situation could know all of the reasons behind a decision. For isntance - the RIDICULOUS $350 co-pay - or the $1400 co-pay for the other test! Good gracious! If that wasn't a sign, I don't know what else would be.

Hope it all works out...

Leslie said...

Well, I'm sure you've heard about our battles with the insurance company. And that was AFTER the testing and diagnosis. I still think you made the right decision for you.