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Thread: Appt. with Dr. Boachie tomorrow!

  1. #16
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    Dec 2004
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    After two weeks had passed from my appt. with Dr. Boachie, we still had not heard anything from the insurance nazi. My mother called her and very politely asked her if she had heard anything back from my insurance company. In her words:"You people apparently don't understand that I don't work on weekends so it hasn't been long enough." My mom reminded her that if had been over two weeks, past the seven to ten days that she told us it would take for her to get something out to my insurance company. Her response was that my folder was sitting there with everyone else's waiting for surgery and when she got to it, she got to it. Low and behold two days later we received a copy of the letter that she had sent to my insurance dictating what procedures would need to be done and the cost, which was $170,000 (surgeries only).

    After some discussion with my family and soul searching on my own, I decided to go ahead and see if my doctor in Pittsburgh, who had originally sent me up to NYC for another opinion, would be able to do the operations. He replied that basically he wanted me to get the opinion of one of the top surgeons in the specialty and to see if his findings and treatment plan matched Dr. Boachie's. They did. I live one hour from Pittsburgh, six from NYC. The cost to my family would have been huge besides my having to be seperated from my toddler for at least six weeks. So my doc is now going to do the anterior revision on April 14th and the posterior on the 21st.

    Although I was very, very impressed with Dr. Boachie, I did not feel comfortable after meeting with Theresa, the insurance woman, and I physically don't think that I can survive until late summer which would have been the earliest it would have been done. My bottom curve that has broke loose from the revision of last year has gone from 56 degrees in Oct. to 68 degrees as of Jan. 17th.

    So, if any of you are having insurance problems, tired of the run around, etc..., I recommend my doctor in Pittsburgh. He is the Chief of Spine Surgery at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. He trained with and is a good friend of Dr. Boachie's also. His staff is very nice, and returns calls promptly.
    All orthopedic rooms are private and the hospital is very easy to get to. If you would like more info, please e-mail me.

    I sincerely hope that Dr. Boachie is aware of what is going on with some of his staff. It is a dark spot on such a brilliant surgeons practice. I'm sure that a lot of those who are sent to see him are at their wit's end both physically and mentally. The chronic pain of scoliosis is debillitating not only to the patient but to their entire family as well. To be treated with compassion and understanding at this difficult time is not to much to be asked of.

  2. #17
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    Had opportunity today to ask a gentleman who makes and fits braces for a---business in Amarillo, TX. .....if he could give me a name of a orthopedic adult socliosis surgeon. He quickly related Dr. Michael LaGrone...Very fortunate to have him in the north-west part of Texas, since other locations certainly could be considered a higher market area. Was good to hear that news.

    Kim

  3. #18
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    I have to speak up in defense of Theresa, who handles insurance for Dr. Boachie. Firstly, "bitch" and "nazi" are ugly words and useless to the dialogue people seek on this forum as they decide how best to address serious health and cost issues. It is well known that Dr. B does not participate in insurance plans. It is also well known that Dr. B works with people and writes down surgery costs for many of his patients, let alone his prodigious charitable and educational efforts. Many insurance plans have horrible out of network benefits. When that is the case, Theresa has to be the bearer of bad news. I have posted before that there are many fine surgeons who do accept some insurance plans. So please people, do your research and don't shoot the messenger. In my experience with Theresa, she worked tirelessly and was always available to help me with the fees for my wife, which ultimately required an appeal to the NJ insurance commission before a suitable payment was made.

  4. #19
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    Well Joeb-z, good for you. My reference to nazi was in parody to The Soup Nazi on Seinfeld. Yes, Theresa may be the bearer of bad news but she conducted herself in a most un-professional manner on the day I dealt with her. There is no excuse for that and I am not the only one to be on the receiving end of her tirade.

    I was employed by a hospital for a long time prior to my revision last year and if anyone in that orginization had treated a patient like she did they would have been reprimanded at the least.

    I am not very "politically correct" in my description of many things so if you find yourself offended, well too bad. When you have walked or should I say hobbled not a mile but only ten steps in my shoes, then you may begin to understand the frustration that I deal with on a daily basis. If you would like to continue your reprimand of me then by all means bring it on.

    I have only been treated with kindness, compassion, and empathy on this board until your post. It is and will continue to be a place of information and notes from the handful of people in this world who happen to find themselves in the same boat that I am in. I am facing two huge surgeries and I would like to thank you for make a bad day even worse today. Krysi

  5. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by joeb-z
    I have to speak up in defense of Theresa, who handles insurance for Dr. Boachie. Firstly, "bitch" and "nazi" are ugly words and useless to the dialogue people seek on this forum as they decide how best to address serious health and cost issues. It is well known that Dr. B does not participate in insurance plans.

    Did I somehow miss "bitch" in the original email? It's not there, and the post has not been edited. And "nazi" is an "ugly word"? Wow ... I've been so clueless! Or maybe a LOT less sheltered.

    Personally, I don't care how many people sing the praises of Boachie, there is no way in HELL I'd put up with the treatment from his office I keep reading about here.

    He may be the greatest surgeon to walk the earth, but his talents nor his altruistic endeavors abroad don't really make a rats a** to me if he allows his staff (especially the infamous insurance nazi ... there - I said it! nazi, nazi, nazi! Get over it ... it's not even a proper noun in that form) to treat patients so unprofessionally, disrespectfully and uncompassionately.

    You cannot TELL me he's unaware of all this. If you truly think he IS, you people need to speak up and let him know!

    Pam
    Fusion is NOT the end of the world.
    AIDS Walk Houston 2008 5K @ 33 days post op!


    41, dx'd JIS & Boston braced @ 10
    Pre-op 53, Post-op < 20
    Fused 2/5/08, T4-L1 ... Darrell S. Hanson, Houston


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  6. #21
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    Oh ... and hang in there, Krysi. Behavior like that is inexcusable ... I totally agree.

    Amd seriously, perhaps some of you who "kiss the ground" and all that need to inform him how his staff represents his practice!

    And nevermind, I found the missing "bitch" ...

    Pam
    Last edited by txmarinemom; 03-03-2008 at 06:10 PM.
    Fusion is NOT the end of the world.
    AIDS Walk Houston 2008 5K @ 33 days post op!


    41, dx'd JIS & Boston braced @ 10
    Pre-op 53, Post-op < 20
    Fused 2/5/08, T4-L1 ... Darrell S. Hanson, Houston


    VIEW MY X-RAYS
    EMAIL ME

  7. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by joeb-z
    I have to speak up in defense of Theresa, who handles insurance for Dr. Boachie. Firstly, "bitch" and "nazi" are ugly words and useless to the dialogue people seek on this forum as they decide how best to address serious health and cost issues. It is well known that Dr. B does not participate in insurance plans. It is also well known that Dr. B works with people and writes down surgery costs for many of his patients, let alone his prodigious charitable and educational efforts. Many insurance plans have horrible out of network benefits. When that is the case, Theresa has to be the bearer of bad news. I have posted before that there are many fine surgeons who do accept some insurance plans. So please people, do your research and don't shoot the messenger. In my experience with Theresa, she worked tirelessly and was always available to help me with the fees for my wife, which ultimately required an appeal to the NJ insurance commission before a suitable payment was made.
    Ahhhh, Pam - you beat me to the punch. But I'll nonetheless add my two cents (although you said it VERY well).

    Being the bearer of bad news is one thing, but the treatment Krysi (and her mother) and a lot of others received from Boachie's staff (particularly "Theresa") is disgraceful and disgusting. (And, yes, OF COURSE he's aware of it - how could he not be?? We see Dr. Betz and I can tell you he knows how EVERYONE on his staff behaves toward families - basically with extreme compassion - and he demands nothing less from them).

    I honestly don't think nazi, in the context it was used, or bitch was overstating the issue. In fact, I think Krysi was being kind. And it saddens me that she, or anyone, was treated this way.

    Joeb-z, I am sure you're not actually telling people that being treated this way is acceptable???? Because if you are, that is far more inappropriate than anyone using a few choice words on the forum.

    And by the way, I posted once before on this topic that this lovely "Theresa" must have been the same woman I spoke with several years ago on the phone when my son was first diagnosed with scolioiss. I was a terrified mom with a newly-diagnosed child and she had the same ugly attitude that day (on the topic of insurance) that others are describing here. We never made an appointment.

    If Boachie is as wonderful as some people seem to believe, he should prove it and fire her miserable a** so that maybe his patients can finally be treated with the dignity and respect they deserve.

    I can't imagine having to deal with one's health issues, or the health of their child, and then have to deal with crap (I hope that word is acceptable) like this on top of it. If I had to deal with this BS, I can tell you that "Theresa" and I would have had it out long ago.
    Last edited by mariaf; 03-03-2008 at 08:14 PM.
    mariaf305@yahoo.com
    Mom to David, age 17, braced June 2000 to March 2004
    Vertebral Body Stapling 3/10/04 for 40 degree curve (currently mid 20's)

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  8. #23
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    When I visited my scolio specialist/surgeon on Feb. 21st, it was decided (after I had to ask to have x-rays taken) that I should have a myelogram done. I was told by the docs staff that they would call and set up the appointment and send me a letter in the mail with the appointment time and instructions. By this last Friday, I was a little frustrated at having not received the letter yet and decided if I didn't get it on Saturday, I'd call on Monday and get the details. When I called this morning, I told the receptionist who I am and why I'm calling, and after being put on hold she came back and asked when I had been in last. This sent up a small red flag. After being put on hold again, the office manager/insurance lady got on the phone and said she was going to try to work on getting that set up today. Now, I'm not by nature a confrontational person, but as I revealed to someone not long ago, I am a redhead. I said something along the lines of "I was in 10 days ago and nothing has been done?" Her rather huffy response was along the lines of well, we've gotten backed up but I'll try to get on it today. I don't think she said anything else but I'm not sure since I couldn't hear anything for the steam coming out of my ears!

    I've included this incident on this particular thread to make a point: what happened to me today was miniscule compared to the way Boachie's insurance NAZI has treated most of the contributors to this forum that have had to deal with her. I felt minimalized and totally unimportant at best, so I can't imagine what it must feel like to have to discuss insurance with Boachie's office.

    Maybe my feelings are closer to the surface because of the minute-by-minute pain issue, or maybe the fact that these doctors are specialist in a field that deals with chronic pain, heightened emotions and difficult decisions that leads me to expect a level of care, respect and concern above what is given to a total stranger at the neighborhood AM/PM clinic.

    I do want to add that overall, I am pleased with the doctor I've chosen. I'm just in the mode of 'move forward, move forward' and now I feel like this is just 11 more days further from a decision.

  9. #24
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    How *FUNNY*, Becky!

    Not long ago, I ALSO revealed to someone that I am a redhead, but I'm not the *least* bit confrontational.

    (I started out looking for the deadpan emoticon, but if it's here, I'll never find it ... I'm laughing too hard.)
    Fusion is NOT the end of the world.
    AIDS Walk Houston 2008 5K @ 33 days post op!


    41, dx'd JIS & Boston braced @ 10
    Pre-op 53, Post-op < 20
    Fused 2/5/08, T4-L1 ... Darrell S. Hanson, Houston


    VIEW MY X-RAYS
    EMAIL ME

  10. #25
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    Guymon, Ok.
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    So sorry to hear about your delay. Hopefully this week you will hear from the office.
    It's very difficult when our body is being flooded with pain. I even can tell a difference in my memory and thinking process on days when have less pain.
    I know it's hard to think positive when we suffer set backs...but try to tell yourself it will all happen at the right time.
    Keep me posted......Take Care
    Kim

  11. #26
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    We are not victims

    Surely all of us have dealt with unpleasant, curt, or rude people in our lives before now. I know that for me, the best way to disarm such a person is to speak up at the moment of their rude behavior, to say something like, "Do you really have to speak to me like that?"

    I personally did not have the bad experience with Theresa that some of you did. I am NOT minimizing the experience of those of you who DID, but I don't care how much pain you're in, or how bad you're feeling, there is always something you can DO about such an encounter. I know that for me, I would not have let one staff person's behavior turn me away from one of the best surgeons in the world. I am glad I chose Dr. Boachie and I would have put up with almost any inconvenience to avail myself of his expertise. I don't worship the man and I don't kiss the ground he walks on. I simply respect his abilities.

    ALso, if I HAD experienced treatment that's been described here, I would have made a point to speak to Dr. Boachie about it personally. He was excellent about returning the few phone calls to him I made early on (sometimes in the evening) when I was afraid I was never going to get better. I simply can't imagine that he would not be receptive to sincere complaints about Theresa.
    Chris
    A/P fusion on June 19, 2007 at age 52; T10-L5
    Pre-op thoracolumbar curve: 70 degrees
    Post-op curve: 12 degrees
    Dr. Boachie-adjei, HSS, New York

  12. #27
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    Feb 2008
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    Hello everyone.

    I dont post very often because I am a terrible writer, but I just have to add my two cents in on this subject. I agree with txmarine and mariaf. There is absolutely no way this Dr Boachie cannot be aware of the HIS ins. NAZI. I am a full believer in calling a bitch, A Bitch. When you have been treated horribly enough times, it gets very easy.

  13. #28
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    This is just why I had decided not to post for awhile... but then couldn't keep from it as I've followed this post. We all have enough problems and challenges without battling amongst ourselves. This is the old Trojan Horse problem-- we are attacking ourselves. We are already the "wounded" -- and then the blasting continues. And I'll probably get attacked for saying this. Sometimes it's ok to just disagree-- and it doesn't mean you have to do more than just agree to disagree.

    I think it's because we all wear our emotions on our sleeves, so to speak. Even me. And I'm feeling fairly discouraged right now anyway. I love you all, but can't stand the bickering. I'm taking a break from it. And I hope you can sort this out peaceably and not continue to blast away on the "inside"-- save your strength for the real battles.
    66 and still heartbroken...
    2007 52 w/ severe lumbar stenosis & L2L3 lateral listhesis (side shift)
    5/4/07 posterior spinal fusion T2-L4 w/ laminectomies and osteotomies @L2L3, L3L4
    Dr. Kim Hammerberg, Rush Univ. Medical Center in Chicago

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  14. #29
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    Very well said, Susie -- thank you.
    Chris
    A/P fusion on June 19, 2007 at age 52; T10-L5
    Pre-op thoracolumbar curve: 70 degrees
    Post-op curve: 12 degrees
    Dr. Boachie-adjei, HSS, New York

  15. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Susie*Bee
    This is just why I had decided not to post for awhile... but then couldn't keep from it as I've followed this post. We all have enough problems and challenges without battling amongst ourselves. This is the old Trojan Horse problem-- we are attacking ourselves. We are already the "wounded" -- and then the blasting continues. And I'll probably get attacked for saying this. Sometimes it's ok to just disagree-- and it doesn't mean you have to do more than just agree to disagree.

    I think it's because we all wear our emotions on our sleeves, so to speak. Even me. And I'm feeling fairly discouraged right now anyway. I love you all, but can't stand the bickering. I'm taking a break from it. And I hope you can sort this out peaceably and not continue to blast away on the "inside"-- save your strength for the real battles.
    Susie,

    I understand what you are saying but I don't see this thread as "bickering" at all. Folks are sharing their experiences (which is how we all learn and I, for one (and I'm sure others), want to hear how different surgeon's offices operate in case we ever need that knowledge when choosing a surgeon, etc.)

    I think folks who like Boachie are just upset at this sharing of information but that doesn't make it "bickering" or wrong to post. There are several personal stories on this forum that depict deplorable treatment by his staff and perhaps if it's brought to light enough something will be done about it. Should we pretend it doesn't exist and hope it will go away? I'm really not trying to be sarcastic - I just can't see why anyone would be upset at people openly telling of their experiences - even perhaps venting a bit, which in this case was warranted IMHO.

    As far as anyone being "victimized" I agree that one should not allow it - and anyone that knows me will tell you I have NO PROBLEM putting someone in their place if they attempt to mistreat me or a family member (and I'm not even a redhead - LOL!).

    We have a theory in my office (I work at a large law firm with lots of, um, "difficult" attorneys). My supervisor once said, when assigning me to one of them, "I know you can handle it" - I said "yes, I can but I don't wish to subject myself to the BS OR waste my energy trying to get someone to act they way one should in the first place".

    The same could be applied here - I don't see it that these brave folks are allowing themselves to be victimized, but why should they have to waste their time putting Theresa in her place. Shouldn't she already know how to act?

    We ARE all in this together - I agree 100%. And each and every one of us deserves to be treated with dignity and respect.

    My best wishes to all,
    Last edited by mariaf; 03-04-2008 at 08:44 AM.
    mariaf305@yahoo.com
    Mom to David, age 17, braced June 2000 to March 2004
    Vertebral Body Stapling 3/10/04 for 40 degree curve (currently mid 20's)

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/ScoliosisTethering/

    http://pediatricspinefoundation.org/

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