Well, I can't even go to the FFC at this point

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by GBHope, Jan 11, 2006.

  1. GBHope

    GBHope New Member

    I tried applying for their credit card that you can use for your visits since you have to pay up front, and because of this stupid illness and my not being able to work, we had to apply for bankruptcy a year ago, so my application was denied. Not sure why, as we have purchased new vehicles and gotten new credit cards, just two. How frustrating that the insurance companies make it impossible for these centers to get reimbursed and you have to pay up front. I'm not knocking the centers because it is not their fault, just wish there were other options. I want to get well so badly. I guess I will just have to try and work with my chiropractor as much as I can and my own trial and error with supplements right now.

    GBHope
  2. GBHope

    GBHope New Member

  3. GBHope

    GBHope New Member

    That's what I thought too. It just wasn't meant to be and maybe wouldn't have worked for me. I think I need to try and go as natural as possible at this point which is what I'm doing still working with my chiropractor and reflexology through him. It is helping slowly. I'm quite a bit better than I was a month ago other than having this influenza B right now. I am still foggy sometimes and I still have trouble with dizziness at times with balance and still get fatigued, but none of it is as near bad as it was a month or so ago. Very encouraging. I couldn't believe what the receptionist told me at the FFC Center that I would at least spend probably close to $2500 for the first couple visits. Wow!!! I guess it's great if you have the money. By the way, how are you doing? Hope well. You said you were going to start treating again after the holidays. How is that coming?

    GBHope
  4. jane32

    jane32 New Member

    Soory to hear that. We have good credit and I was actually denied too. I wasn't working so I called the customer service and talked to their manager he got me approved! I look at it if you really want somethign you ahve to fight for it so I would not give up especially when it comes to the possibility of getting your life back. We don't have the money but we put some on credit cards and borrowed some from my family members. If there is a will there is a way:)

    But try some of the other natural things and if you don't feel better in another 6 months to a year reapply-you never know!
  5. TwinMa

    TwinMa New Member

    I really wish it could have worked out for you. I think the good thing that is going on is that you have access to this board and a wealth of information. So many here do NOT go to FFC and ARE getting better. Stormyskye, Elsa, Jeanne-in-Canada, Mikie and many others. Tap into their knowledge. And keep reading the FFC posts to get ideas.

    You can make many many positive changes without spending loads of money.

    Somehow the FFC door may yet open for you. There are always options. It's the old "One door closes and another opens."

    Thinking of you
    Katy
  6. GBHope

    GBHope New Member

    Thanks for your encouragement. I am trying to educate myself as much as possible and learn from everyone on this board. I plan on taking the list of testing to my doc and see if I can get anywhere with him or even an Infectious Disease specialist. I saw one early in my illness, but he was of no use. I want someone who will check things out some. I figure it just isn't the right time or maybe never to go to the FFC. Is the FFC helping either of you? I know you said you go to the FFC Jane? I can't ever remember who is doing what. I just wish the FFC was more afordable. I can't believe you had good credit Jane and they denied you guys. That place must really be strict. I understand they are trying to make money, but when we're sick like this, it is really hard for some of us. I'm not saying anything bad about the FFCs, just food for thought.

    GBHope
  7. jane32

    jane32 New Member

    Yeah I know. They are expensive but did you ever look at some of your drs. bills and the portion that is not covered? That is crazy esp. b/c no Dr. was any help to me. They just made me feel worse. We feel at least we are using the money for something towards getting me better instead of just test after test and getting no where. I am getting treated and that is just so much stress lifted off of my shoulders. My plan will cover 70% once I hit my deductable and now that the new year started I have a long way to go.

    I was feeling 30% and now I am up to 50%. This is my average. I think really knowing what I have helped me. There are a couple of things I can recommend-fatigued to fanstastic drink mix, proboost-3x's a day, NADH -10 mg (gave me my mornings back) and pacing! They are all pricey bu these I started before the FFC and they helped.

    I still have a lot to add to my treatment protocal and I am taking it slow. I hope to be up to 65-70% by summer. I have stayed this way for a couple of months-some days are good and others are very bad. I have more flu-like symptoms and fevers.

    They tell me it will get worse before it gets better so we will see! I am hopeful. These boards are amazing.
  8. hopeful4

    hopeful4 New Member

    Hi GBHope,

    I totally understand not being able to afford health care, but I'm just wondering if you have all of the facts about the costs at FFC, and insurance.

    First, do you have any type of insurance at all? Many on this board are going to the FFC, paying for the appointment at time of service (or using a credit card), and then taking the bill and submitting it to their insurance for reimbursement, at whatever level that particular ins. pays for.

    I do realize that the paying up front is difficult. I had to wait until my SSD was finally awarded to me.

    The labs are separate from the office visit. They use Quest labs. They accept insurance. You just give them your insurance card and they will bill directly for you.

    So, if you have any insurance coverage, the $2500 that the FFC receptionist told you about most likely would not be your out of pocket expense.

    The first office visit is $325. The doctor is scheduled with you for one hour, and most spend more time than that. The second office visit is 1/2 hour and costs $165.

    The first set of labs was the most expensive. Mine were about $2000, for 18 pages of results. So, if you have no insurance, it's mighty expensive.

    I have Medicare as my primary. They did not pay for the office visit, but have paid for all of my labs to date.

    The IV's are about $100 depending on which one. These are optional, you do not have to have it.

    The supplements are pricey, even buying them elsewhere. These are also optional, you could start with whatever you can afford.

    Then there are prescription medications, some from compounding pharmacy. This would of course depend on what you are being treated for. The payment on these would depend on your insurance.

    I hope this helps in some way.

    Take care,
    Hopeful4
  9. GBHope

    GBHope New Member

    I have definitely not ruled out going to the FFC. I just may have to wait a little while to get the money together financially. No, I could not afford the IVs. Right now I function probably at about 40 to 50%. It would be nice to get up to 70 or 80%. I have learned a lot of things that help me through the years too though. We'll just have to see how things pan out and go from there. If I can do it at some point, I probably will because like you, I would really like to know exactly what I'm infected with.

    GBHope
  10. sleepyinlalaland

    sleepyinlalaland New Member

    that MEDICARE COVERED YOUR QUEST LAB WORK!??? I went to an FFC a few months ago and declined the lab work (tho I WAS interested), because I just assumed Medicare would not cover it. I am very new to Medicare and figured it would only cover more conventional stuff!

    When I did visit an FFC I also used money from my Soc. Sec. award. I was very reluctant to part with too big a chunk, because I need this cushion for awhile and...actually I have doubts as to whether the tests would be that helpful to me (money being so precious, I'd like a money-back guarantee!)

    My priority was to address my profound and long-term sleep problems, so I went just to request Xyrem. I've been researching it for 5 years and was determined to see if it was my answer. My thinking was...if it was successful, all my hormonal information would change anyway, because the restorative sleep Xyrem can provide helps you produce all that good stuff (growth hormones) on your own.

    Well, I did get the Xyrem and nobody pressured me to do the lab work, but I would be very interested in those tests and perhaps I WILL have them done if they can be covered by Medicare.

    Sleepy (still)
    P.S So far the Xyrem is not exactly a quick fix and my experience with is is worthy of a separate post.
  11. hopeful4

    hopeful4 New Member

    Dear Sleepy,

    I completely understand the concerns about paying for health care. I'm in a similar boat to everyone else in this regard.

    And YES, you did read that correctly. The Quest lab is a separate operation from the FFC. Many Drs. offices have separate labs onsite.

    I just gave Quest my medical cards, Medicare and my secondary insurance. They completely took care of the billing. It was my first time using Medicare.

    I figured that what Medicare didn't pay, my secondary would. That wasn't even necessary. Medicare paid for my labs, at their contracted amount with Quest.

    I received a Medicare benefit summary notice. Quest charged $2152 for the labs. Medicare paid them at the approved amount of $362. I was not billed or responsible for anyother payment. My secondary insurance was not billed.

    Yes, you read it right. It seems unbelievable. Its really unbelievable that the lab charge is so high, and that the contracted Medicare payment is so low, and is accepted by Quest.

    I've had subsequent labs done, and the same thing -- Medicare pays, I don't.

    About addressing the sleep, I understand what you're saying and thinking, but I beg to differ with your conclusion.

    Have you read or been given from FFC a summary of their approach? Their approach to diagnosis and treatment is what gets results for people who have suffered for so long. I'll just paste in here what is in my opinion important to consider. It's from fibroandfatigue dot com
    PLEASE NOTE THE LAST TWO PARAGRAPHS ESPECIALLY.

    OUR APPROACH

    At FFC we take a patient centric, holistic (meaning treating the whole body, not just the symptoms) approach to your treatment and plan of action.

    Our six step integrated program looks at not only helping to relieve your symptoms but address the underlying etiologies that cause those symptoms so eventually they can be kept under control with a simple maintenance plan.

    Treatment needs to be individualized, so phases may occur in different orders and multiple phases are often done simultaneously, but simply put these phases can be broken down as follows:

    1. stabilize the patient by addressing pain and sleep disturbances;

    2. promote energy by enhancing the powerhouse of each cell, the mitochondria;

    3. balance hormones by evaluating hypothalamus and pituitary function;

    4. enhance immunity and treat underlying viral infections;

    5. address unique etiologies such as neurotoxins and coagulation defects;

    6. provide each patient with an individual maintenance program with the minimumally necessary medications and supplements to assure absence of symptoms.


    Masking the symptoms by utilizing only the first phase of stabilizing the patient is usually as far as most physicians get when dealing with FM and CFS.

    At FFC we implement the full six-step approach with each patient and significant recovery or complete resolution of symptoms is the rule rather than the exception when this multifaceted treatment plan is instituted.


    Best wishes,
    Hopeful4