Wednesday, February 24, 2010

More Doctor Visits

Stella had her second RSV vaccine shot last Friday. RSV is a respiratory virus that most everyone has already been exposed to and usually causes only mild cold like symptoms, but can be very dangerous to preemies and babies with other risk factors. Stella will get one shot every 28-31 days through April. Very expensive -- almost $1000 per dose. We are "lucky" in that we've met our family out of pocket deductible for the year (in February!) and won't even have to pay our co-insurance on it.

During the appointment for the shot, the doctor heard what he thinks could be a small heart murmur. It was very faint, and only detectable because she was so very still when he was examining her. He also said it could be a murmur in the vessels around the heart or in the lungs. So we see the pediatric cardiologist on Friday to check it all out. It's likely to be nothing -- we hope -- but we definitely need to have it checked.

In related info, we got the EOB for Stella's NICU stay. The initial charge to the insurance for the 20 day stay was over $69,000! The negotiated/allowable amount was more than $24,000. Thank God that we actually have insurance. Even with the insurance, you can see why we've met our out of pocket max. Of course, they never show the patient the whole breakdown of the charges, and during the stay we had no idea what it was all costing. (That is a huge part of the health care problem this country is facing!) Add that to the cost of giving birth and this was one heck of a way to start the year. I'm also contesting some of the charges as the amounts we owe are being calculated differently than they told me they would calculate them. I'll post more on that when/if I have the whole story and if I have any energy left to write about it. The whole process with my HR group and the insurance has been hellish and I've had to work very, very hard to even understand what I needed to to after Stella's birth.

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