Tuesday, July 10, 2012

THIS Is My Discount?!?

I have made it very clear to the doctors at MedVet that money is a HUGE issue for me at this point.  They have all seemed very understanding and sympathetic and have been telling me since I brought Lexie back last Thursday that they were going to do everything they can to make the charges "as minimal as possible" for me.  I wasn't required to leave a deposit this time, either, so I trusted that the doctors at MedVet really were going to cut me a break.  After all, they had sent Lexie home before knowing she had TWO different bacterial infections (staph and serratia), which they later told me were the reason why Lexie's stitches burst.  Furthermore, not only was Lou sent home with the wrong antibiotics for her type of bacterial infections, but she was also sent home without an E-collar to protect her stitches, even after I specifically requested one!  (The vet tech, Amanda, told me that they "generally don't think an E-collar is necessary" and added that "it may get in Lexie's way as she tries to find her way around the house.")

So, I really wasn't THAT worried about cost at first, but every time I asked a doctor for an estimate over the phone, I was told that they "didn't have one yet."  I started to get a little concerned when I learned that Lexie's surgery was being pushed back another few days AND Dr. Kennedy was recommending she have a mastectomy.  I specifically told Dr. Kennedy that I wanted an estimate so I could decide whether or not I could afford to have the mastectomy performed at this time.  Dr. Sawyer told me yesterday that Dr. Kennedy had spoken to Administration, and they had given him the go-ahead to discount Lexie's services.  She said that he was going to "crunch the numbers" that night, then call me with a cost estimate for everything today.  She also said, "Believe me, we're doing everything we can to help you out, so you don't have to worry...."  I truly believed at that point that I would end up owing maybe $1000-1500 when it was all said and done, which is still a lot, but I was trying to stay realistic.

Well, I waited all day today, but never got a call from anyone at MedVet.  So, I called a little before 6:00 p.m. to find out what was going on.  After all, Lexie's surgery is scheduled for tomorrow, and I didn't want them to perform the mastectomy if I can't afford it.  Mind you, I have NO money left.  The only way I'm able to "pay" for this next surgery is because my brother, Zach, was kind enough to open a Care Credit account for me to use (I was turned down for one).  His credit limit is $3000, but, like I said, I was pretty confident that I'd only need about half of that.

Well, I was wrong.  First of all, Dr. Sawyer said that Dr. Kennedy had a family emergency today, which is why he didn't call me.  He told her to tell me, though, that the estimate for Lexie's surgery, AFTER the discount, is going to be around $1800!!!!  That includes the mastectomy, but does NOT include the charges that have accrued from Lexie having to stay there for so many nights.  Dr. Sawyer said the balance for Lexie's care and overnight stays so far was at around $1400, but she also said that a discount has not been applied to that amount yet.  Even so, Lexie still has to be there for two more nights!

I told Dr. Sawyer that I was expecting to not have to pay more than about $1500 TOTAL because everyone has been telling me this whole time not to worry about the cost and assuring me that Administration was going to "help me out."  I also explained to her that I HAVE to stay under Zach's $3000 Care Credit limit, to which she replied by assuring me that they'd do all they can to keep my total under $3000.

REALLY?!?!?!?  Gee, THANKS!!!!!!  I know that $3000 must not seem like a lot of money to these doctors or the big wigs in Administration, but that's almost two whole months' salary for me!  How can they not take into greater consideration the fact that I just paid MedVet $3500 (thanks solely to the generous donations of others) last Tuesday, plus a $1250 deposit a couple nights before that, AND I paid them around $1000 during two separate visits prior to Lexie's enucleation surgery?!?!

Seriously, I cannot freaking believe they are acting like they're doing me a favor by ONLY charging me another $3000 to repair her incisions, which never should have opened in the first place!!!!!!  WHY did they send her home one day after her surgery before they even knew the type and extent of her infection, especially knowing that infection sometimes causes incisions to pull open?

Ladies and gentlemen, I am not happy.  I'm in shock.  This can't be right, can it?!?!  I keep thinking that this additional 7-night stay and need to perform an additional eye surgery could have all been avoided if the vets had simply kept Lexie there for a couple of days while awaiting the results of her bacterial cultures.  I am SO disappointed right now because I truly do believe that MedVet provides excellent medical care.  Therefore, it's such a shame that my opinion of them may now be tainted due to their inability to accept more responsibility for all of this.


  1. No. After care should be included. That's part of why the service is so expensive to begin with . Be assertive and tell them you aren't paying anything for any side effects from their not handling her post op better.

    This is just wrong.

    1. Thanks, Christi. Believe me, I've got a big list in my head of all the points I plan to make if it comes down to an argument, which it very well might.

  2. oh boy this is not good news..i went away for a couple of days thinking that everything was good and then check ur blog to see how you guys were doing and found this ...maybe you should bring lexie up here i am sure it would be cheaper... i did talk to my vet and they would not have let her go so early after that extensive of a surgery because of infection...damn it with the exchange on money i am sure it would have been cheaper....to bad ur so damned far away...maybe yuo should go to the press and let them know everything you have been goin thru with this ...maybe medvet might not like the bad press and take some responsibility..
    ares and i have you in our thoughts

    1. Believe me, I also wish that you had come back to find nothing but happy updates about Lexie's progress, but alas... I feel so bad that this doggie-drama is still going on, even though I know it's not my fault. Still, I can't help but feel bad for all the kind-hearted people, like yourself, who gave so generously to help pay for Lexie's second surgery. This latest unfortunate turn of events feels so unfair to all of you, too. Hopefully, once we get throgh this third surgery, I will be able to start giving happier updates. I'm almost afraid to even say that, though, with the luck my poor Lou has been having. :-/