Friday, 24 May 2013

The English Diplomat

When we last left our heroes... IUI#2 resulted in a BFN, so Jane emailed her RE's office to determine if the logistics surrounding the upcoming Memorial Day weekend would permit her to proceed with another IUI attempt. Meanwhile, there was a looming threat to the potential procreation of their baby as her claims had not been paid by her insurance company and they could have been stopped from any further IUI procedures...

Hours later I received a response from the office manager informing me that I needed to speak with the billing coordinator before I could proceed. My chart had been flagged and was successfully cock blocked. I sent a reply indicating that I had addressed my balance with her when I discovered that all my charges needed to be re-submitted to my insurance. Also, I was inquiring as to whether or not the cycle would be feasible before pressing the issue of my balance.

This was the awkward situation that I was hoping would have been avoided if the prior IUI had been successful or if my insurance quickly paid the outstanding claims. I wanted to make my case, but felt that I needed to tread lightly. I was struggling to find the words that would tactfully present my argument. 'It's just not fair!' resonated on my mind, but I didn't want to come across as a petulant child. I find it hard to accept that we are being penalised for something beyond our control. As I know we are ultimately responsible for payment, I began to wonder if I should be been more proactive. To be honest, when I get my explanation of benefits I just look for the note of "patient responsibility" and don't pay too much attention to the dates of service. I hadn't received any bills from my RE's office and we were only alerted of this situation two weeks ago. Is it possible to grant us a courtesy...

I put my pen down and tore up the scrap paper I was jotting on. I may be a good wordsmith, but it dawned on me that I was overlooking one of the greatest assets I had at my disposal.  A naturally charismatic husband with a dashing English accent. This was a job for the Geico Gecko himself. It was now 4 PM and my spotting had started, I needed this to be resolved ASAP. I texted Husband that I still had a few patients to see and asked if he would call the billing woman. I received a one letter reply, -K. He knew his assignment: this was a charm offensive mission. Ten minutes later I received this text message: Sorted. We pay half, you have an appointment tomorrow at 9:30.

He recounted the details of his negoiation when I arrived home much later that night. The billing woman resubmitted the claims and had confirmation that they were received by my insurance company, but it would take about 30 days to process. Naturally, she was most concerned about the $2000 surgeon fee from my hysteroscopy and the recent IUI charges and less so about some earlier office visits. Due to the amount of the balance, she wouldn't budge and could not permit us to proceed without payment. Husband asked if we could pay the outstanding charges now and receive a credit once the insurance payment came through. This was her response, "Oh, that's a great idea! Why didn't I think to suggest that?" Seriously! You're in accounts receivable and didn't think about having someone pay their bill! (okay, I'll shut up now) Then she offered that she would be comfortable if we just paid half. I was reluctant to use this word earlier, but I felt that was completely fair. We had a deal.

I recently wrote in my post Present and Accounted for that I wondered if our partners sometimes feel like they're bystanders in this process. I felt reminded of just how much they are invested with us. Husband often comments, "you have to go through so much (physically)". While true, it certainly is easier having him by my side. It is hard to express my gratitude for all the support he's given me, and when called upon, he stepped up and took one for the team. He may not have to go through any invasive procedures, but he does his part by managing the financial matters of this venture, as well as being a rock of unwavering emotional support for me. I'm so glad he came to terms with male factor infertility and divorced the notion that sperm are a reflection of masculinity. Honestly, it's probably the least defining factor in a man. I wouldn't want to procreate with anyone else.

It had a been a really good day for Husband as he received his assignments for umpiring field hockey games in the fall collegiate season, and he was thrilled to have been awarded several games with nationally ranked teams and one or two may be televised (on the PAC-10 network or ESPN 5). I asked him, "Shall I be in the crowd holding a sign that reads 'I'm doing the Umpire'?" "No," he paused. "It should say, 'I'm I-U-I-ing with the Umpire'."

I just can't express enough gratitute for the role our partners play. Especially when it's just finding a way to make you laugh.


  1. There's not much that a charming British accent won't fix. I'm so glad you managed to get this figured out. Let common sense prevail!

  2. It sounds like you have a fantastic catch. I am so glad they allowed you to proceed with the cycle. GL to you!

  3. So glad it worked out! As good as it would've felt to take that woman to task, it's nice to have found a solution that doesn't put you at odds with accounts receivable at your clinic. ;)

  4. so glad that that accent got it all sorted out for you! ;-)

  5. I am so happy you got this solved so quickly! Do a happy dance for english accents!! Hope the cycle is successful!!

  6. I really hope you make that sign- that would be hilarious!!

    Yay for awesome husbands!

    1. Ha! I totally should, only a handful of people would understand it!

  7. I have never had to encounter this. Typically, it is understood that the insurance company must pay their share and it's not our responsibility. Perhaps, it's because IF insurance laws are different in CA? I too fantasize about getting pregnant, so I never have to go back to the clinic again. When we did our first IUI, Adam waited with me for the doctor and stated with surprising defiance, "We're done with this place." You're right. We forget about them and their participation sometimes.

  8. I'm so glad your husband was able to take the bull by the horns and get this straightened out!! Also, kudos to him for getting big games to umpire!