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New fees for radiation therapy as of 1/7/21

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  • ZoffielZoffiel Regional VictoriaMember Posts: 3,321
    @Maxymoo battle fatigue is very common; that feeling of 'FFS, don't make me fight for this, too. I don't think I have the strength. What is the matter with you people?'

    In the end being $2K out of pocket may not be the end of the world, particularly when you think of the effort it would take to argue. Which doesn't mean that you haven't been treated unfairly.

     We don't get given enough independent advice about treatment choices and by the time we realise we are being screwed, it feels like it is too late to change anything.

    Please don't stress too much about the rads. Yes it's tiring and can be painful, but you will be OK a few weeks after it finishes. My burns weren't too bad until about two days after my last zap. Then they became the main focus of my existence. Then I woke up one morning and they weren't a problem any more. A bit oozy and flakey but they literally resolved overnight.
    Hang in there, just keep plodding. MXX
  • FLCloverFLClover Sydney Member Posts: 1,433
    Omg @Zoffiel you just described me when trying to get out of the radio room quickly without bothering them. Nothing going right, clothes getting caught up, put on the wrong way, dropping everything including my coffee cup and coffee spilling everywhere, dropping my phone and swearing...🤦🏼‍♀️😂. Oh the joys 
  • FLCloverFLClover Sydney Member Posts: 1,433
    @Emma17 mine was the same as you described. I was at a private clinic as a public patient, and they had two machines. At one of the machines where I was most of the time, there was no changing room and I did it the way you described, at the plastic chair. But they did give me a gown, which I mostly didn’t use as there was not point for such a short distance. So I used the towel instead. The other machine had changing rooms, where it made more sense to use use the gowns. At least the RTs were sympathetic and patient most of the time. 
  • FLCloverFLClover Sydney Member Posts: 1,433
    I was at Lifehouse too, for my main surgery. I left because I didn’t like my surgeon, but I did like the hospital and the nurses. I was made to have a covid test when I was supposed to have my second minor surgery cos I kicked up a bit of a fever while in prep, and so the op was postponed. Test came back negative of course. I honestly am glad I left though, cos if I had to have a covid test every time I went in for treatment or for anything really, I’d go ballistic. It’s just nonsense. 
    I had my radio at Genesis, which is private but I was a public patient. I paid nothing at all and the care was pretty reasonable. My oncologist was fantastic and the RTs and nurses were really lovely. They even supplied me with Mepitel after a bit of insisting from me. Anyway, I hope you’re ok and don’t get bad burns. I agree the cost is too much. It’s just ridiculous. 
  • Emma17Emma17 Member Posts: 46
    @Maxymoo and @Ellamary98 I am nonplussed by the high upfront fees demanded by your respective private RT providers. It reveals their expectation that a patient choosing private treatment is awash with cash; that she can easily find a spare $8K or $10K lying around, or has a credit card limit high enough to accommodate an exorbitant upfront fee together with the usual purchases for everyday living.

    Reinforcing the mercenary nature of the private radiation factory I attended, I was issued a bottle of MooGoo with the advice that if I needed more during treatment, I could buy it for $18.  I replied that if I needed more, I would buy it at Priceline Pharmacy where at least I would earn SisterClub loyalty points!



  • FLCloverFLClover Sydney Member Posts: 1,433
    I totally agree @Emma17. It does seem to indicate that they believe women are swimming around in cash. A day before my dmx, I was looking for another parking spot cos I was at the hospital to have all those tests done pre surgery, and the anaesthetist’s secretary called and asked for my credit card number for a payment of $1500. I was stunned. Until then, there was no mention of a separate anaesthetist fee. I had no idea, and here they are demanding it upfront when I was at my most vulnerable. I started stammering and she said she’ll see if I can pay after the surgery. Then I went in to get the 385 tests, and they told me it would cost $950 to be paid then, after which I could claim half back. I just looked at them like what??? Once again, no mention of this cost, and lucky I just barely managed to have the funds. I then sat down in the waiting room and started weeping. I couldn’t stop. And I had no tissues. I just felt so alone and so unsupported. Everything seemed to be only about the money, and no one gave a sh*t that I was about to have both my breasts taken, and then still no guarantee of what would happen with the treatment. My surgeon didn’t even bother showing up before the surgery for support, and I paid him privately out of my super. Just disgusting. 
    So any other ladies faced with this, you’re not alone and it’s not ok! For whatever fees it may be. We shouldn’t just be another yacht for them. And the rules for payment should be the same across the board. 
  • arpiearpie Mid North Coast, NSWMember Posts: 6,149
    I was also told to expect a separate anaesthetic fee, @FLClover but it never eventuated  (and I wasn’t going to remind them!) and $1500 was the mentioned amount, too.  It was all mentioned at my first appt with my surgeon, so at least I was expecting it.

    I can’t understand why they can’t just charge the ’gap amount’ when there IS a gap ... as eventually, that is what you end up paying ... without the added anxiety of thinking your massive payment may bounce or Really stretch you financially.   I guess we have to train ourselves to ask about the charges and payments at the time Of the first appt ... but most women are emotionally spent at that point and probably wouldn’t ‘hear it’ even if it WAS mentioned!  They gave me a printed copy of expected out of pocket expenses.  

    And you’ve got to keep an eye on the ‘cheques’ they send you to pass on to your provider, too! A few months back, I received a cheque to give to our Onc ..... but she had already been paid in full after the appt by ME .... and the reimbursement cheque should have been in MY name, not hers!  So always check the paperwork, too!  Grr  Hmmm, I actually have to check the bank a/c to make sure the replacement reimbursement DID go thru! 

    But the $500 gap in my pathology costs really floored me!  I still don’t know why it wasn’t covered by  either Medicare or NIB. I got it the day I started Rads (so at least 4 weeks later ...) and I was a mess that day, as hubby had fallen off his bike the day before and busted a rib ... so I was up all night giving him Panadol ... which was totally ineffectual ... so I was sleep deprived as well! :( 

    And I STILL can’t understand how (or why) I’ve paid for private health insurance for nearly 50 years and when I need something ... it isn’t covered by either Medicare or the fund.  It may have helped me get an earlier surgery date, but that is about all. (Tho I HAVE had a couple of uppies and downies, with just the excess from NIB to pay .... and that is only payable the once in a calendar or financial year, no matter how many procedures you have.)

    End of rant! 
  • FLCloverFLClover Sydney Member Posts: 1,433
    @arpie you’re right that we should be asking what the charges will be at out first appointment, but you’re also right that we’re not really in a state to think clearly then! We’re as confused and scared as can be! The thing is, I did actually ask my first surgeon how much everything would cost, and his reply was ‘I don’t deal with the financial side, you’ll have to ask the practice manager’. So I did, and she sent me an invoice. It was to pay the hospital privately too, about 12K. I almost fainted. I called and asked if I could be a public patient for the hospital but still pay the surgeon privately so I could be guaranteed it would be him (🤦🏼‍♀️). They said ok and sent me another invoice. And once again the anaesthetist’s fee was no where. Surgery ended up going overtime, and I paid him $2600, on top of the surgeon’s fee. 
    I was also told I’d have to pay for pathology myself, can’t remember for what now, but it was over $600 and I was about to start breaking. Luckily it ended up being paid by Medicare. Very confusing! 
    I’m glad you didn’t end up paying yours! 😀.  And you’re right about checks. Those things should always be checked, as well as the bank statement, because they make mistakes too many times, and if you don’t check you could possibly lose out. 
    Your experience sounds like it was very stressful 😢. None of us should have to be going through that. 
    And this is the reason I don’t have private health insurance. With all the gaps and fees, and excess and things they don’t cover, to me quite frankly it’s easier to just go public or pay myself if I can. 
    I hope the system gets its act together and realises we’re humans, not numbers and definitely not just mortgage payers. 
  • Ellamary98Ellamary98 Member Posts: 133
    I find it hard to complain because I know that I'm costing the system plenty. It has to make sense to me, though. If I have to pay for a scan, that's ok but don't spring it on me when I've been advised otherwise! If radiation therapy is going to cost me $4000, then at least make it  clear and easy for me and my family to manage. I have had some amazing specialists who have kept costs to a minimum without me even asking (my breast reconstruction last year, which I'd put off for several years because of cost fears, ended up costing me $500 for the private surgeon and $100 for the anesthetist, in a private hospital), so I do feel that my treatment costs have balanced out a bit across the years. It's just that inconsistency....

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