Congratulations on your surgery! I have some Zen Wisdom for you - Nothing exists but momentarily...One thing flows into another...observe things as they are, let everything go as it goes. This is to put everything under control in its widest sense. --- May God keep you close to his side as you travel your new journey. You will have ups and downs. You can always turn to us, your AMOS family, we will give support, comfort and encouragement. You will find this will be the best thing you could ever have done for yourself as well as your family. I know that was true for me. Don’t forget to update your profile at least monthly. We all like to see how we are doing!!! Make sure you take pictures. It’s great to see the new you emerge!!! Not to mention the look on YOUR face when you look at those pictures and compare them in a few months! It’ll be a BIG WOW!!! Please remember too, that this is a *tool* to use. Make sure you use it wisely. Choose the right foods and measurements wisely! Feel free to look at my profile and see my ups and downs and know I’d not change a thing with anything I’ve experienced. Everything was worth it! Good luck and God Bless!!! RNY 10/31/03 257/140 I’M AT GOAL!!! Posted in Loving Memory of Paula – Momma Angel who passed away 6/10/04 (Note Momma did not pass away from anything related to WLS – she had not had it)
After I have more time, I will finish writing about my outstanding experience in Dr. Johnell's well put together bariatric program. IF YOU'RE STRUGGLING WITH THE DECISION OF WHAT PROVIDER TO CHOSE, I STRONGLY RECOMMEND DR. JOHNELL.
I’d like to share my year long WLS experience with you.
About a year ago I made a well researched decision to have Gastric Bypass surgery. My insurance company at the time was Aetna. I inquired about my insurance benefits and found that the procedure was a benefit as long as a list of criteria had been met. Participating providers were covered 100% and non participating, 80/20.
I then researched participating insurance providers. I wanted a well recognized surgeon and to have the procedure done at the hospital where I work. I found that there were a few participating providers in the area that practiced at Poudre Valley Hospital (this is the hospital where I work), but none well recognized. I also found that Dr. Michael Johnell at a local competing hospital (North Colorado Medical Center)participates with Aetna too. This left me struggling; I wanted to go to the place where I work, but I also had set a standard of care. Therefore, I sought the advice of PVH's Director of Managed Care. He was kind enough to call and ask if the well recognized practicing surgeon would consider me as a patient even though he did not participate with Aetna. He Office Administrator, Gary Johnson, encouraged him to have me call. When I called Gary, my immediate impression was wonderful, he was going to do whatever he could to manage my insurance dilemma. I understood that he would talk to the physicians and staff members about me and my circumstances. If the physicians agreed to treat me, everything would be set up and I could go ahead with my plans. Luckily enough, the physicians agreed and I attended a support group and set up my first appointment.
I was a bit surprised, but not really disappointed that the gal that scheduled my appointment didn’t seem to know my of my circumstances – I thought that she would be expecting to hear form me. I brushed it off and tacked it up to the fact that I shouldn’t be judgmental. When I saw Dr. Pettine the first time, I was introduced to some staff members (who didn’t seem to be informed of my situation either) and the program at Northern Colorado Surgical Center. At the end of my visit, my surgery date was set; I was ecstatic! All that was needed now was for my insurance carrier to approve the procedure. I’d met all the criteria and didn’t anticipate a problem.
A few weeks pasted and I called and spoke to Dr. Pettine’s Bariatric Liaison, who I had met at my first appointment. I was excited to talk to her and find out if she’d heard anything from Aetna. Abruptly, she informed me that they had denied the procedure, that my chart would be placed as inactive and if I was able to file an appeal and get approval, I was more then welcome to call back. I couldn’t believe it, no sorry, no compassion, no nothing. She assumed I knew and that was it. I was alarmed and heartbroken. First of all, she was completely uncaring and I had no idea what I should do. Should I write Dr. Pettine, call Gary, just give in and go to Dr. Johnell. I called Gary, no help there and I called the gal that bills the insurance company for Dr. Pettine. She was apologetic of the other employee’s behavior, however, had no advice for me on how to file my insurance appeal as they did not participate with Aetna.
Several weeks pasted and I had not been able to decide if I should file an appeal, write Dr. Pettine or just give in and go to Dr. Johnell. My deciding factor came last summer. I met an North Colorado Medical Center nurse. She had wonderful praise for Dr. Johnell’s program and strongly encouraged me to seek an appointment with him.
Before I made my appointment, I called Dr. Johnell’s insurance clerk. She was wonderful to say the least; pleasant, cheerful and more than happy to help me. First impressions are very important – they reflect if the office staff is happy, which in turns reflects on the way they are treated by their employer. She was sure she could get Aetna’s approval with the information I give her. I had no doubt; I set up my first appointment. Wow, I was so impressed, even the gal that set up my appointment made me feel as if she’d known me for years. She was so happy that I’d made this decision. She was well informed of the protocol. It was so cool. She gave me all the information and then emailed me it immediately afterwards. Everything was right there in the email for my reference. The email even included a link to a website called Remedymd. The site allows members to track appointments, goals, even has a place for the patient to fill out patient information before the first visit.