One of my longtime friends who I met years ago through a common interest in the Moody Blues just happens to work in health insurance. She shared with me about a service many health insurance providers offer that I never knew existed: something called a “health partner”, and suggested calling our health insurance company and asking about it.
Turns out Highmark Blue Cross/Blue Shield does indeed offer this service. In our area they’re called “health coaches” and are organized under a program called “Blues on Call”. Health coaches are experienced RNs who take the time to listen, empathize, answer questions, and help prepare a patient for whatever lies ahead. I spent better part of an hour on the phone with my new health coach on Monday, and she was very helpful… answering questions, looking things up for me, and telling me when I needed to pass questions on to my doctor. I look forward to talking with her again in the near future.
Meanwhile, another friend (who is also, interestingly enough, a Moody Blues fan) works for a group of doctors who have expertise in what I’m dealing with. She arranged for me to meet with one of them to get some questions answered and to get what would be sort of an informal second opinion. Again, he took time to talk with me, ask questions, and review my case. He also spoke with one of my surgeons and then called to confirm that what is being recommended is indeed the right course of action.
The net result is I now know a good bit more (I still have a few unanswered questions, but they will need to be addressed by the surgeons themselves) and I feel more confident about moving forward.
(Moral of the story: Moody Blues fans are good people to know. 😉 )
I don’t have a surgery date yet but I am hoping to have one by the end of the week, and I am hoping it will be early September. Will let you all know when the date is set.