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View Full Version : Anybody know Dr. Jason Thompson, Renton Washington?



knitter
04-09-2012, 01:21 PM
My insurance company gave me four "Centers of Excellence" to choose from for my spinal surgery. I know two of the facilities do not do the major fusions that we all are talking about. They just gave me another choice, Valley Medical Center in Renton Washington. Dr. Jason Thompson's office said they do about two of these types of spinal fusions per month. This sounds hopeful. I can't remember the exact levels I need repaired, but it is pretty much shoulder blades and down. The other two places that I haven't checked yet are in Stuart Florida (Martin Memorial) and Durham North Carolina (North Carolina Specialty Hospital). Anybody familiar with either of these? I'm planning to have my surgery around mid November, as the two months after are very slow at my job and I won't be "working" from my home. I live in western Alaska and there are no roads to where I live. (Alaska Airlines to Walmart, doctor, hair appt., etc) I work at a small Native Health Hospital where I can have physical therapy and some basic services, once the surgery is done and I can go back home. I just need to find a reliable surgeon. Thank you all for your posts. I read them faithfully and have become much better informed about what is ahead. Every comment and question is appreciated. Sharon

rohrer01
04-09-2012, 04:36 PM
You sound like you are in the same predicament as another poster on here from Alaska. Her current doctor is an SRS doctor from Anchorage. I don't understand why these insurance companies from Alaska don't refer you to him and want you to have to travel so far out of state for surgery? I mean length of flight might play in to my decision because you have to get home after the surgery. I don't have any advice as to the doctor's except to look on the SRS list and see if any of them are on it and "try" that one with an initial visit to see how you like them.

knitter
04-10-2012, 01:48 AM
She probably has the same doctor that I have. He's great, but not on my insurance company's list. It seems so silly to send me so far away, when my doctor, who is an SRS doc is right here in the state.

rohrer01
04-10-2012, 03:37 PM
She probably has the same doctor that I have. He's great, but not on my insurance company's list. It seems so silly to send me so far away, when my doctor, who is an SRS doc is right here in the state.

Maybe you are the one. I remember they listed Gundersen Lutheran in LaCrosse, WI as a center for excellence and they don't have a scoli doc there. I have a bad memory when it comes to our "internet" names. LOL Are you an attorney?

knitter
04-10-2012, 03:56 PM
Yes. Because my job is a sit down or walk around at will, I think I can get back to work fairly soon after the surgery. You're right, Gunderson did not do this type of surgery, neither did Pine Creek in Dallas. Those were two of the approved "Centers of Excellence" that my insurance company would approve. I wonder what they would have done if I had gone there, only to discover while at the hospital that they could not do this type of surgery. They won't approve Dr. Eule in Anchorage nor Dr. Lenke in St. Louis because they have "negotiated" rates with these other facilities and not with Eule or Lenke. They will pay 100% of all surgery costs, rehab costs, travel, lodging and per diem for both me and a companion to travel to whichever facility I pick from the list. The problem has come up, though, that the list is not containing the type of surgery I need. I think they just inquired for "spinal fusion" rather than the scoliosis repair type of fusion with hardware that we all need. Looks like this new hospital in Renton Washington may work. I phoned them and they referred me to their ortho surgeon, Dr. Thompson. His office says he does about two of these per month, that he is booked about a month out, and typically the time off work is a minimum of 6 weeks. They also have the rehab facility right there too. I just would like to find someone who has had this doctor or who knows something about him. Thanks for listening, Sharon

rohrer01
04-10-2012, 05:06 PM
I find insurance companies extremely exhausting to work with. My insurance company denied my surgeon, who I had only visited one time, but didn't want to keep changing docs. They wanted me in-network and he is out-of-network. So I appealed and had to meet with the whole insurance board BY MYSELF. There were at least 10 of them there, mosty doctors, I explained that their facility didn't have a surgeon to meet my needs. I had pictures and profiles of ALL of their orthos along with my medical records. I went through each one individually and then told them they didn't have a doctor to meet my needs. They all had a look of shock when I was done. I was sure I had won my case, when the "leader of the pack" chairwoman, who is a respected doctor in the community, piped in, "Orthopedics doesn't handle these types of surgeries, neurosurgery does." So they denied me and I had no more appeals.

They made me see the head of the neurosurgery department who said they couldn't help me there and referred me to my doctor. That's how stupid insurance companies are! They had to pay for the extra visit just to send me where I wanted to go in the first place (Talk about a waste of money!). Then when I wanted a second opinion because my doc made a blunder on a subsequent visit that contradicted his first recommendation to me, making me nervous to continue with him, they said no. I have to go in-network for a second opinion and that UW Hospitals is "their" center for excellence! I wanted to barf when I read that! I'll bet if he'd recommended surgery right away, they would have let me have a second opinion! As it is, he said I was in the "surgical grey area". So I'm supposing if he wants to do surgery, they will insist I get a second opinion even though they deny me one now.

So now I'm stuck with no second opinion and the docs at my hospital are scrambling to try to treat my "symptoms" since there's nothing else they can do. The head of neurosurgery said I NEEDED surgery because of the location of my curve involving my neck. Because of what happened with my surgeon, I'm apprehensive to even go back to him even though I fought so hard to see him! How ironic is that? I hate insurance companies...

Is this doctor you are looking at an SRS doctor? I know there are a couple in Washington because I looked them up for my niece, who also has scoliosis. I don't recognize the name, though. I'm surpirsed that they gave you "new" centers of excellence. That just tells me that they are messing around with you. I would talk to your current SRS doctor and ask him if he will negotiate with your insurance company, that is if you like and trust him. If he will, which many doctors will, you may get to stay in Alaska. That equates to a shorter flight for you.

I don't know how flying is after a major surgery like that. I traveled to North Carolina for a lesser surgery which was quite a long flight with two layovers. It was miserable and I just had an abdominal incision. I lived, but can only imagine it would be much more difficult with a major surgery. What will you do for follow up? Will they fly you back to your doctor? What if there are complications? Sorry, I'm playing the devil's advocate. But these are things to think about and bring up with your insuance company. You may have to fight them on this one. I hope you are able to work something out.

Rohrer01

knitter
04-13-2012, 01:49 PM
Sounds like you've been through the mill, just to get your insurance company to do what it is supposed to do. Thank you for the information. I had not thought of the follow-up visits. I'll check with them on that aspect. This doctor is not on the SRS list, but I did speak with his office and he evidently does this type of surgery. I don't know how to check to see if he does them WELL or not, or whether he is recommended by his patients or not. I'd really like to find someone who has used him already. Anyway, I have a little time to get this investigation done and make the decision. I appreciate all the people on this forum who share their knowledge with everyone. It has been the best help I've had in this process. I'll keep the group posted. Sharon

rohrer01
04-13-2012, 03:12 PM
It still sounds like your insurance company is fickle since they keep changing their "centers of excellence". I would still recommend contacting your own surgeon's office and seeing if they will negotiate with your insurance carrier. It would be cheaper to fly you within state, I would think, AND it would be easier for you all around. Best wishes!

Rohrer01