Okay, I defy anyone to explain this to me.
As regular readers know, I’m in the hospital recuperating from a nasty fall. I broke my pelvis and my clavicle. I’ve been here 8 days, although the doctors wanted to send me to acute rehab three days ago. (Acute rehab is apparently more intensive, appropriate for people who have been active and can be expected to respond to longer sessions of physical therapy–and thus leave for home more quickly.)
This morning, I was finally supposed to be transferred. But then, Anthem, my “insurance” company (note the quotes) rejected the doctors’ advice and denied the move. According to the caseworker, since the first of the year, insurers have been denying approximately 50% of requested moves to acute rehab. Without seeing the patients, without consulting with their doctors. The hospital can and does appeal, and about half of those “peer to peer” appeals are granted–we’ll see what happens with mine–but even the appeal process evidently becomes a game; calls are routinely returned after hours, for example, when the insurance company knows the physician won’t be available, prolonging the process.
But here’s what is insane: keeping me in the hospital costs more than sending me to rehab.
Why would a company that should want to keep costs down opt for a placement that (1) is medically inappropriate; and (2) costs more? Why did the approval process suddenly become more arduous at the beginning of the year? What is the larger game being played in which I find myself a pawn? And what therapy will Anthem pay for? Anything? Or is my 83-year-old husband supposed to drag me up the stairs at our home and help me in and out of bed when nature calls?