The cost of friendhsip
Today I had a follow-up visit with my primary doctor about my ankle. With a two hour drive to meet him, I was not certain that I should go. You see, much of the military is out-sourced to include medical- my medical. Not that most of the medical out-sourcing is my case I just want to clarify that part.
Since I can no longer serve on Active Duty Orders and the member must be on Orders to be seen by a physician, I wondered if Tri-Care would cover this visit. Amazingly enough, my fear was correct and they don’t and would not. I spoke to the young lady at the front desk and she was kind enough to contact Tri-Care on my behalf with this question.
Receiving the phone to speak with their representative I asked, “With whom am I speaking”. A very nice and pleasant female voice on the other end abruptly responded, “Tri-Care!!” I could see the direction this phone call was to head.
I explained my situation, that this was a follow-up visit from an injury sustained during deployment in Operation Iraqi Freedom. She explained she could do nothing about my current situation and if I needed the appointment- I must pay for the visit. So, now it appears that all medical needs for an injury that Tri-Care previously covered 100% now falls upon my unemployed pocket. Hey, that’s ok because something absolutely fantastic came from this conversation.
I explained my situation to my Doctor, who established our “Friendship” at being over three years. He said, “I know physicians should not befriend their patients; however, I truly feel that I know and like you. I have many patients, who I’ve been seeing for more than five years and I could not tell you their names if I saw them on the street.” While this quote may sound poor for a physician, please keep in mind that he was the primary physician for an entire Air Force Reserve Base during its mobilization, close to 3,000 members, added to his current patients!
After my visit today, I mentioned to him my desire to continue our professional relationship, and when this is all behind us to be better friends.
Today, I paid $57.00 that a corporation held responsibility; however, I walked away with a stronger friendship. I’m the winner!