Category Archives: Cleveland Clinic

Cleveland Clinic – a cautionary tale

Today, Monday, was the date for my colonoscopy so I’d had nothing to eat since Saturday night, I was out of bed before 5 a.m. this morning to take the pills and mix the laxative drinks which, I have to say, worked extremely well. So far, so good, but then we arrived at Cleveland Clinic where my wife has had treatment and I’ve seen one of the doctors. Both of those visits were billed as out-patient. Today, we arrived and registered, and then my wife just happened to say to the man who was handling our registration, “I booked this directly with the gastroenterology clinic so I don’t understand why we are having to register here, in the hospital. This will be billed as an out-patient procedure in the clinic and not as a hospital won’t it?” It turned out that no, despite calling the gastroenterology clinic’s direct number, we had, effectively been transferred by that department from a doctor’s practice to the hospital’s practice – although it would have been the same doctor carrying out the procedure – (at a difference in cost to us of around $800) without anyone telling us that this was happening.

It seems that, yes, Cleveland Clinic does indeed provide the excellence it claims, and which both candidates in the recent presidential election praised, but, it also appears that it is not uncommon for patients to be sent for tests by their physician (clinic outpatient) to what appears to be another department within the clinic but is, in fact, the hospital facility which, at least in our case, costs the patient significantly more. It also appears that patients are often ignorant of the fact that by walking down the corridor for the test, within an organisation which trumpets its comprehensive integration of facilities, they are actually changing from one system to another.

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Filed under Cancer, Cleveland Clinic, colonoscopy

2nd Opinions

So today we went for a second opinion from Doctor Hoffman of the Cleveland Clinic. I found it very hard going as I’ve had a couple of very tough days. The appointment was for 3 p.m. which meant we were travelling at a time when my body usually takes an hour out for a nap, whether I want it to or not. The journey itself was tiring, the walk from the car to the clinic was¬†excruciatingly¬†slow. I looked so rough that staff wanted to get me a wheelchair but I was determined to make it on my own two feet, or drop to the ground trying! I made it but was wiped out – all I wanted to do was sleep. My mouth was so dry that I found it difficult to speak and my wife kept assuring people, “He’s not usually this quiet: it’s the chemo”. How right she was! Anyway Dr Hoffman basically confirmed Dr Tache’s treatment plan and then went through the process step by step, starting with what happens at the end of my four months of chemo. At that point I will go for another PET scan which will, hopefully, confirm that there is no longer any sign of Hodgkin’s Lymphoma or any other type of cancer anywhere in my body. That much I knew and, if I’m honest, I’ve been looking forward to the day after that scan for quite a while now. It seems I am foolish to do so. What Dr Hoffman said, and which I now have a vague memory of Dr Tache telling me some time ago though the memory hadn’t stuck as there were other more immediate things to take on board at the time, is that even if the PET scan comes back clean then the usual follow-up is another two months of chemo. This means that, assuming the treatment works properly, I’m now five weeks into chemotherapy and further from finishing it than I thought I was on the first day of treatment!!

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Filed under Cancer, chemo, chemotherapy, Cleveland Clinic, Hodgkins Lymphoma