Apologies in advance this will be a long rant
Six years ago my Mother fought cancer and lost. During her battle she was aided by her HMO Blue Shield. However, Blue Shield had a contract with another company to supply supplemental support. For the purposes of this post this company will be known as THE FINGER. Many of my friends have seen me give the finger to the vans driven by THE FINGER. My Mother needed to have oxygen in her final days since the cancer had spread to her lungs and had shut down 75% of them. The morning that she died we phoned THE FINGER to let them know so they could come pick up the equipment at the house.
A van was dispatched and collected the 2 oxygen machines as well as the eight portable oxygen tanks. An invoice was given to my father stating that THE FINGER had inspected/removed all the equipment. While taking out the rubbish to the bin my father noticed a regulator that the employee of THE FINGER had forgotten. My dad then proceeded to phone the company, after 15 minutes of being transferred left and right he finally got someone to help him (now keep in mind his wifes body of 26 years isn’t even cold yet). The operator asked what was the problem and my father answered that equipment was left. The operator then responded, “Sir a van was dispatched and picked up all material”. My father answered back, “Fine, so I’ll throw this finely machined regulator in the trash then since all equipment was accounted for”. Another van came out later that day to retrieve said item.
Six years later I myself am in need of supplemental care. I have Kaiser which I love and they have a contract with THE FINGER. After my first surgery, performed the day I broke my leg, I was given a wheelchair from THE FINGER. My physical therapist told me “Keep the chair for as long as you need it then call the number on the side to arrange a pick up”. Three weeks after my first surgery I had a second and week after that THE FINGER called me up to arrange a pick up on my chair.
When the driver of the van came to pick up my chair he saw that I still needed it. Instead of hauling it off he told me to call THE FINGER. I told my Physicians Assistant that THE FINGER was trying to take my chair, he wrote out instructions to give to them if they tried it again. Another week went by and I got another phone call about scheduling a pick up time. This time I told them that my PA said that I was supposed to keep the chair and that I had written instructions. THE FINGER told me that I had to have my PA fax them authorization. They then proceeded to tell me that two doctors, whom I have never heard of, had signed off that I no longer needed the chair.
I phoned my PA and told him what THE FINGER had told me, complete with the spelling of the two doctors names ,I asked him if he could fax over an authorization he said no problem. I did some outside research, Kaiser which I love has an online registry of doctors, I looked up the two doctors and they don’t exist at Kaiser Southern California.
Yesterday THE FINGER called me again to schedule pick up of the chair. I told them that my PA had sent authorization, they said they would call me back. Today my phone rang but I couldn’t reach it in time (what with the broken leg and all). I retrieved my voice mail messages and a woman named Julia left a number for me to call her back at. I dialed said number and was transported to the Robot Hell of THE FINGER. I finally got a human being and told him that Julia had called and told me to call her back. The guy said “Julia isn’t here” I replied with “This is the number she left me” the reply was “Shes not here”. After explaining to this guy what was going on I finally got transferred/relayed to Julia.
I talked with Julia and told her that my PA had sent authorization. Apparently THE FINGER hadn’t received it and since it had been over a month I would have to incur a bill if I wanted to keep the chair. Even though the bill is relatively small I told them to come and pick up the Oedipus-ing chair. I love the mobility that the chair gives me but I hate this company and its bureaucracy. I won’t be able to go out to shops but I am through dealing with this company. Those that know me well know that I never throw in the towel but I am in this case because I am sick of it. On Friday THE FINGER will collect the chair.