Alex’s previous post was written from a private hospital. His medical team had no knowledge of AO. So frustrating. (Would it be too much to ask medical schools to hold required seminars on military exposures to toxins, etc..?)
“How to pick a good hospital” and “medical transparency” are hot topics today. Some online rating tools are available now–even for VA hospitals.
In emergencies, we get help wherever we can. Later one may have the luxury to study the hospital compare sites to pick the best follow-up care for one’s condition. These tools are useful to find the best doctors for second opinions. If an insurance company doesn’t pay for second opinions outside of their network, there are services like Medibid to turn to. (LINK)
Consumer Reports Free Hospital Tool for Safety scores/compare (LINK)
U.S. News Best Hospitals 2015-16 (LINK)
Medicare Hospital Compare (LINK)
VHA VISN Quality of Care Measures (LINK); Advanced data in online excel format which I cannot decipher or understand the statistics. (Can you figure it out?)
VA Quality of Care Homepage (LINK)
This site, Why Not the Best (LINK), has some VA hospitals in their database–use “veteran” as the keyword. They also have an awesome interactive map. Good video tutorial (LINK). Created by a The Commonwealth Foundation. Really useful.
Any others you like or have used?
TY for the links Kiedove!
We are praying for you Asknod sure hope that you are back home in great shape very soon be sure to keep a close eye on those Dr.’s..Jerrel
I think outside of VA hospitals you have to ask yourself how far are you willing to travel? The billing is also important. I read that the Mayo Clinic won’t accept assignment of medicare or most medical insurance. This means they send you the bill and then you must get reimbursement from medicare and your private insurance on your own. This I automatically don’t like. The best hospital in my area is sort of in the middle nationwide. Not the best, but not the worst by far. There are two better hospitals in my immediate area. One honors your Medical POA and one does not it being a Catholic hospital. All these hospitals fear lawsuits and will cave to any family member who has any standing and go the limit to snatch a person from death even if they bring back a vegetable. I was told to go to the Mayo Clinic in Minn. but that is a long trip and like I saw their billing leaves a lot to be desired. I have gold plated medical insurance but I still think I would have a time getting all the bills paid. I don’t like fact that certain of these big medical center hospitals don’t take assignment of Medicare or Insurance. This means they want all the money and probably don’t accept the fee deals Medicare and major health insurance companies negotiate with most providers. They have clout while we just have big insurance bills and the illness. As has been said none of the medical providers I have seen in or out of the VA know squat about AO. Really shocking at the VA hospital here in Tampa.
Interesting that you mention Mayo Clinic. Last year we lived in MN. When a VA Xray showed a small lung nodule, we were scared with their “wait and watch” advice. So we used his cheap Medicare Advantage plan (Humana I think) and saw a private PC at a small regional Mayo hospital, who referred him to the big hospital in Rochester. That specialist looked at the scans from the VA and agreed with the “wait and watch” advice. We were glad to talk to a pulmonary specialist because that was not offered to him at the VA. The Mayo doc interpreted the scans and we were relieved. Meanwhile, he sent a letter to his VA PC who was upset that we got a second opinion! Really acted insulted.
But if you want a five star hospital consult, I would call the business office to be sure they will accept assignment and that Medicare approves the procedure/visit. Also, doesn’t Mayo have a clinic in Florida? Jacksonville perhaps. I think in Arizona too. Cleveland Clinic is also very good.
Oh, we had one problem with the billing dept. at the Mayo regional hospital. They gave my husband a tetanus shot which Medicare wouldn’t cover. But they didn’t bill us at the Humana negotiated rate–they billed us the retail rate. I had to make one phone call, and wrote a letter, to be billed the Medicare rate. The difference was about $60 but this was a case of balance billing that I thought was unfair since he had insurance.