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Thread: Free Care For Children

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Hanover, MA
    Posts
    34

    Smile Free Care For Children

    Something worth looking into:

    Any child under age 18 may be able to get free care for scoliosis at the Shriners Hospitals. You do not have to be affiliated to Shriners, financial status is not considered, and you are often treated by some of the top Orthopedic spine specialists.

    For a list of hospitals and an application go to www.shrinershq.org.

    For anyone who has used Shriners please post and let us know if you were satisfied or not. Thanks.
    Best Regards,

    JOB

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    massachusets
    Posts
    13

    i am going to look into shriners

    i live in massachusets and was refered to boston children's hospital. the people they have on the phone seem so inconvenienced by the phine calls and are rude. I felt that with my 7 year olds situation the last thing i need is rude mean people taking care of her. I called shriner's in springfield, ma. the woman on the phone was so nice and i got an appointment in one week. that is much better than the 6 months i was given by the other place. Have you received any coments good or bad about shriners? where would they be posted? I remember being treated there as a child, but I saw so many doctors I have forgotten which were where. I do not however remember any bad experiences at any hospitsl or care facilty. thanks for the great advice.
    jolynn

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    virginia
    Posts
    5

    Thumbs up shriner's

    I have had nothing but good things from Shriner's.
    One of my daughters had a back ache, we say the doctor and was diagnosed with adolescent idopathic scoliosis. I have the same thing. She was in the mid teens and the first doctor said " once a girl has started her menstural cycle bracing can not correct anything" He went on to comment that a 16 degree curve in the lower back is not a major deal.
    I contacted Shriner's under the advice of a friend and they got her into the Kluge Childrens Center in Charlottesville Virginia.
    The Doctor was professional, spoke in words we could understand and started her in a treatment program.
    Now thanks to medication and physical therapy to strengthen her back muscles she is staying under 20 degrees and very active and pain free.
    Shriner's made it possible for her to get the best there was in our area. And I had no insurance at all.
    Every time we see them in a parade in their little cars we cheer and wave. They are awesome in our eyes.
    f.r.o.g.g.i.e.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    brooklyn ny
    Posts
    43
    Does anyone know how long the wait is? We just applied 2/4/05 and mailed an applications but our daughter need surgery in 3 months because her first fusion failed and the wire they placed in her spine has broken. Is there a waiting list? Do they tell you right away if you were denied? thanks Cindy and Gregg

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Northeastern Oregon
    Posts
    515
    The wait at Shriners will depend on a number of things. How serious is your daughters condition and who her doctor will be. My daughter's doctor is also Chief of Staff at the Portland, OR Shrine Hospital. He also teaches a lot of these surgeries all over the world. She saw him the middle of October and has been waiting for a surgery date. Hers is not life or death, so those that are come first. She was scheduled for 03/15/05 for surgery, and that has now been postponed. Some get in to see a doc within a week or two, and depending on who their doctor is, have surgery shortly thereafter. So, it just depends. Since she is having problems with hardware, it may be sooner than you expect.

  6. #6
    Mary Lou Guest
    My 13 y.o. daughter was seen by Dr. Betz (Gregg, I think Carmell suggested Dr. Betz to you if I remember correctly) at the Shriners in Philadelphia. Although she was only seen there once, we were very, very pleased with everything involved with Shriners. We waited for over three hours past our appt. time, but as it was explained to us, Dr. Betz spends as much time with each patient to make sure they get the care they need. That was reassuring to me because that meant we weren't going to be rushed out the door in 15 minutes. When we saw our current doctor for the first time he said the same thing to us and we've never been rushed out of the office. I'm finding that some of the best surgeons at Shriners are also the Chief of Staff (Dr. Betz is) which makes them very busy and that tends to make the wait for appts. and especially surgery, seem very long. However, Dr. D'Andrea also works at Shriners and I know you get into her surgery schedule much sooner than you would with Dr. Betz. Several months ago, I talked with a Mom on this forum who is from NY who's then five year old son was treated by Dr. D'Andrea and she had nothing but great things to say. Best of luck.

    Mary Lou

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Kannapolis, North Carolina, near Charlotte
    Posts
    373
    I am curious to know why everyone would not go to the Shriners for free care? Does anyone know why? Unlike free clinics for general health care, there seems to be no income restrictions at Shriners. Am I missing something? Thanks

  8. #8
    Mary Lou Guest
    I can't speak for others, but the reason why we didn't go with Shriner's is because we were lucky enough to find an awesome doctor just 20 minutes away from our house. We went to Shriner's because the doctors there are awesome and some of the best work is being done there. However, Shriner's is two hours away from us and we would have traveled there if we hadn't found the doctor we did. I had to also take into consideration the fact that I would be two hours away from all of my family/friends and would not have had the help and support that I needed while my daughter was in recovering from surgery.

    Mary Lou

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Kannapolis, North Carolina, near Charlotte
    Posts
    373
    I have just found out the approximate cost I am looking at: I had guessed around $10,000-$20,000, but was apparently way off: does $100,000-$200,000 sound more realisitic? That may be one reason some people go to Shriners. Our insurance is $5,000 deductible. The other, as you just said, is the distance: 40 minute drive home from surgery vs 3 hours. Follow-ups are 20 minutes away for my doctor's office, and I assume 3 hours for Shriners. It will probably cost around $7,000 total, after reaching our max, for surgery, vs free at Shriners. If I compare all the incidentals and who pays for things like me to stay while my daughter has surgery, not to mention the uncomfortable ride home, I wonder which is actually going to be better. I imagine alot of people decide purely because of distance. Thanks for your response.

  10. #10
    Mary Lou Guest
    $100,000 is pretty reasonable for the surgery itself. Jamie's bills total just over $101,000 for the surgery and hospital stay. You also need to consider the cost of follow-up visits (she has had two in the three months since surgery) and she is also in p.t. twice per week. Also, your doctor may want an MRI and/or CAT scan before surgery and they aren't cheap. We are very lucky to have great insurance and although it costs us $25 every time we go to the doctor, it is still much cheaper than the expense of traveling two hours each way, the cost of eating out, the gas, the turnpike tolls both ways, etc.


    Mary Lou

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Houston, Texas now live in Colorado Springs, CO
    Posts
    543
    Kris,
    My total bill including doctors, hospital, and everything else came to $250,000. That was 2 weeks in the hospital (it was only suppose to be one week) and 2 operation days.
    Theresa

    April 8 & 12, 2004 - Anterior/Posterior surgery 15 hours & 7 hours
    Thorasic - 79 degree down to 22
    Lumbar - 44 degree down to 18
    Fused T2 to sacrum
    June 2, 2005 - Pedicle subtraction osteotomy @L3 7 hours
    MAY 21, 2007 - Pedicle subtraction osteotomy @ L2, extended the fusion to S2 and added pelvic instrumentation 9 hours

    FUSED T2 - SACRUM 2

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Kannapolis, North Carolina, near Charlotte
    Posts
    373
    Therea and Mary Lou, I just heard from my insurance agent: It will cost $7,000 for surgeon and hospital if I go through my local surgeon. That is $7,000 more than Shriners, if I understand it right. What do you two think, is this about the amount you had to compare for location and comfort, etc., or is there alot more that I am missing? I assume both place pay for me to stay in her hospital room? Am I fantasizing? Thanks.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Houston, Texas now live in Colorado Springs, CO
    Posts
    543
    Kris,

    Is that $7,000. your portion that you would have to pay out of your pocket? I just reread your post and saw that it was. My husband wasn't charged for staying in my room at the hospital. You will also have expenses for your own food, reading materials, snacks, parking. Little things like that that add up. I think that I would choose to go the Shriner's route and you would probably be able to do follow ups with a local doctor. Would you be able to get the time frame that you are looking at with going through the Shriner's? That's just my idea, but if you have the money and it's no problem and you feel comfortable with the local hospital then go there. Just remember that sometimes things end up taking longer and costing more than you originally thought.
    Theresa

    April 8 & 12, 2004 - Anterior/Posterior surgery 15 hours & 7 hours
    Thorasic - 79 degree down to 22
    Lumbar - 44 degree down to 18
    Fused T2 to sacrum
    June 2, 2005 - Pedicle subtraction osteotomy @L3 7 hours
    MAY 21, 2007 - Pedicle subtraction osteotomy @ L2, extended the fusion to S2 and added pelvic instrumentation 9 hours

    FUSED T2 - SACRUM 2

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Kannapolis, North Carolina, near Charlotte
    Posts
    373
    Theresa, thank you for your thoughts! How much do people usually end up paying out of pocket? Someone I know who used my daughter's surgeon said she felt also has $5,000 deductible. You are thinking a little like me, is the trip so agonizing to blow $7,000. In other words, 3 hours is a long drive if you have bolts in your spine, but is it worth $7,000, when it will be at least 40 minutes drive at the closest hospital. Also, as you said, I wonder if the Shriners surgeon has to do the follow-ups. I can't seem to get a call form the doctors, of course, so I am finding most of my info via this web site. Thanks, Kris

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Houston, Texas now live in Colorado Springs, CO
    Posts
    543
    Kris, I was lucky that our insurance covers in-hopital care at 100%. Do you feel more comfortable with one doctor or the other? Is one more highly recommended? How complex is your daughter's case? These questions would all have to play into your decision as well. I had a 45 minute drive home from the hospital (Houston traffic and roads are not known for being very good) and I don't remember any of it. My husband said that I chatted with him all the way home and didn't have any problems.
    Theresa

    April 8 & 12, 2004 - Anterior/Posterior surgery 15 hours & 7 hours
    Thorasic - 79 degree down to 22
    Lumbar - 44 degree down to 18
    Fused T2 to sacrum
    June 2, 2005 - Pedicle subtraction osteotomy @L3 7 hours
    MAY 21, 2007 - Pedicle subtraction osteotomy @ L2, extended the fusion to S2 and added pelvic instrumentation 9 hours

    FUSED T2 - SACRUM 2

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