The bills have started trickling in. So far I have received the following bills:
service, billed to insurance, what I paid
anesthesia, $3,150.00, $427.00
epidural, 2 of 5 days, $540.00, $73.20
x-rays during surgery, $47.50, $4.92
ultrasound of legs (checking for clots), $111.00, $11.68
rental of hospital bed, 30 days, $71.54 , $14.30
rental of CPM machine, 21 days, $495.72, $60.40
hospital charges from surgery day , $169,773.90, *$970.62
total, $174,189.66, $1,562.12
*I have not paid this bill yet. The amount listed on the bill was $1,919.82. My out-of-pocket limit on my insurance is $1,500. When I saw the bill over my limit, I called the insurance company, Group Health. It took a while for her to track down information and figure out what had happened, but after being on hold a few times she figured it out. The hospital sent a bill to GH, GH paid the hospital…then the hospital amended the bill and resent it…then they amended the bill again and resent it. That explains the extra grand in the bill. Once the third bill from the hospital is processed I should owe about $900 to get me to my limit.
I have received the explanation of benefits for the surgery day bill and find some of the specific costs very interesting. These are my favorites:
service, billed to insurance
private room, $14,496.00
implant support (screws), $44,475.00
OR services, $72,314.00
anesthesia services, $7,080.00
recovery room services, $6,744.00
Since my last post I have been walking in my hilly neighborhood. I’m up to about a mile in about 25 minutes. I’ve been riding by bike on the trainer in the basement a bit. It’s sort of like a stationary bike except the position is more aggressive since it’s an actual road bike. The “aggressive” position means I’m bent over at the waist more than a stationary bike. Right now that’s a bit uncomfortable. If I sit up, without hands on the handlebars at all, the hips feel better but the saddle is less comfortable. Can’t win. I’ll deal with the sore rear so I can get the exercise.
Thursday was my first appointment with the same PT, Dan, I saw last year. He had moved to a different clinic farther away but I decided he was worth the drive. Why mess with something that worked so well before? I wondered if Dan would remember me. He did. He said he recognized my name when he saw it on his schedule. He even remembered a few little details about me, like Steve being really into cycling and that I’d had some weird numbness in my hand last year.
The first appointment consisted of a lot of measurements to determine my range of motion. Dan also watched me walk with the cane and without. Right now the official PT orders have some restrictions (no straight leg raises, no abduction) that I think were included as an oversight. Because of that there are a few exercises he doesn’t want me to do until he clarifies the restrictions (not worth him risking malpractice if something bad were to happen). I did go home with instructions for a trunk stabilization exercise (lie on back, knees bent, heels dug into the floor, lift butt 1-2 inches off the floor, hold 10-20 seconds, make it harder by squeezing a pillow between knees). I also have 2 thicknesses of stretchy bands for a seated exercise (close knot in bands in door, sit on chair facing door with band around ankle, pull leg away from door 20-30 times or sit with back toward door and kick leg away from door).
When Dan hears back from Dr. Mayo’s office lifting those restrictions, I’ll have a standing exercise called the 4-way hip. To do this one the band is in the door and you start facing the door and pull the band away from the door, rotate your body 90º and still pull away from the door, then repeat the last 2 directions.
I also went home with 3 sheets of “Dan’s Rule of Four. Return to Activity Guidelines,” one for walking, one for the trainer, one for cycling on the roads. He wants me to do a certain duration 4 times before going farther/longer. So I’m walking a mile now. He wants me to walk a mile 4 times, then walk 1.5-2 miles 4 times, etc. Same for the bike. I’m riding on the trainer 15-30 minutes now. I’ll build up to 30-40 minutes 4 times, then 50-60 minutes 4 times, then I can start riding on roads for 30 minutes.
I’m really pleased to know now what I have to do to get back to road cycling. Also, since Dan knows I’ll do the work on my own and since it’s a much longer drive, he suggested I see him once every week or two. Last year I started with appointments twice a week. He said he was flattered that I followed him but also understood the challenges of his new location given where I live. I’m 100% confident I made the right decision to follow Dan to his new clinic.
I was hoping to have x-rays to post by now, but there have been some problems with the software. First, it does not work on a Mac, so Steve has had to use his PC at work. He has been very busy at work and doesn’t have a lot of extra time available. On two different occasions he has tried to open the desired images the software has quit. Hopefully he’ll be able to get it to work, otherwise I have no way to see my pictures. Might have to ask a favor of the IT guy at work.