Monday, July 7, 2008

The First Care Conference

So much for next Monday. We learned a lot at the care conference today. The home nursing company that tried to staff Mikan's care backed out today. Therefore, we are left scrambling for home nursing once again. This is disturbing for a couple of reasons...
It means we won't go home until awhile later.
It means the nurses at Memorial who went to Valpo to apply and go through testing to be employed basically wasted their time.
It means that we have wasted the last week pursuing a company when we could have been pursuing other options.

Our insurance has approved for 16 hours each day for 30 days. However, our social worker has not found a company capable of staffing those hours. Therefore, we may have to make some choices...
1.) We could try to have our doctor write for only 8 hours a day for 30 days.
2.) We could leave Mikan in the hospital for an undetermined amount of time until he does not require home nursing.
3.) We could try to negotiate with the HR at New Prairie to see if they can get the insurance company to change the 16 hours for 30 days into 8 hours for 60 days (easier to find staffing for).
4.) We could live out of bags at Ronald McDonald until kindergarten. We're not sure if the bus would pick him up from the NICU. Maybe our doctor could write for that.

We feel uncomfortable making decisions about requesting less time with home nursing because we are not sure about what it feels like to care for him around the clock. We will be caring for him from tomorrow morning until Thursday morning "on our own." After this, we may feel more comfortable about making decisions about how much nursing we need at home.

I am hoping for 8 hours a day for 60 days. 16 hours seems like too much and not a realistic transition. Especially because the nursing company that was originally going to staff planned to have the same person cover 16 hours each day, with no backup in case of illness.

Mikan had an MRI on his brain today, we'll know the results tomorrow. MRI's are standard for babies this premature, just to make sure everything is revealed before he leaves the hospital.

1 comment:

Aunt Deb said...

Hi John and Jenna
Haven't commented for awhile but read the blog everyday. Dealing with insurance is frustrating. They will always say no and hope you go away.If someone tells you no, ask to speak to their supervisor, if they say no, ask for theirs. Something about "a squeaky wheel" You will have a better understanding about how comfortable you are after the next couple days of caring for him alone. Don't let them convince you of anything if you are not feeling good about less nursing help at home. When I was trying to get insurance companies to pay for things for patients and they kept giving me the run around, comments like "so you'd rather pay for another admission to the picu or emergency room then help us keep him healthy at home" might work.
It is far less costly for nursing care than an admission to the picu.
My interactions usually went something like "so, the doctor ordered this test to determine if she has cancer and you are denying the claim, what is your name and title, I am documenting it in her chart so that in six months when she has cancer, I can use your name in the malpractice suit." I usually won the battle. He is so cute!