" X-Rays of John's Spine - 4 March 2015 "
XRays taken at Boundary County Hospital

For about a week now I've been experiencing sharp pains down my leg, emanating from the small of my back. This sciatic nerve pain initiated the need to solve the source of pain, and although I really didn't want to go to a chiropractor to solve the problem (more bending seems so very painful), I didn't want to go to a doctor, either, because what could he do?.
But I went to a chiropractor who said, up front, there has to be an x-ray taken. The hospital was called, an x-ray taken, and I haven't been back to the chiropractor because how can a chiropractor stuff that missing disk back between two vertebrae?
So, what's next?
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picture of John

" More of what is happening "
Working with Choice

What is 'Choice'?:
Specifically, 'Choice 40' is a US Department of Veterans Affairs program for VA benefits to be provided by other than a VA facility, if one lives more than 40 miles from the nearest VA facility. As stated in their informative letter of explanation, 'This is a new, temporary benefit allowing some veterans to receive health care in their communities rather than waiting for a VA appointment or traveling to a VA facility." I qualify as one of those 'some veterans', since I live more than 40 miles from a VA facility.

Today is Monday, March 23, 2015. It seems to take 5 to 7 business days to get an approved appointment, but it isn't clear who notifies whom and how the medical resource acquires the approval confirmation.


VA Michael McIsaac, PA-C (Kaniksu Clinic, Sandpoint, ID) suggested I initiate the appointment process with Choice, and that he has authorized the treatment. I asked Choice to contact Boundary Community Hospital (208 267-3141-4258) to schedule an MRI, and was to wait 5 business days for that to happen. I never heard back from Choice, and the hospital says they haven't either. The hospital contacted McIsaac again, and McIsaac again suggested I contact Choice. I called Choice just now, and they said I must wait 5 to 7 business days to hear back from them concerning an approved appointment. I said that I made this call 2 weeks ago, at which time I gave Choice the Boundary Community Hospital phone number and was told the same thing, that I had to wait 5 to 7 business days and that I would be contacted with the approved appointment information. The hospital is aware of the request, and knows that McIsaac has authorized the procedure. The hang-up seems to be related to having Choice let the hospital know that the procedure is approved. The hospital has set aside a slot for this Thursday so that I can get the MRI, if it is approved. Apparently the Choice person had no idea what I was talking about, saying the MRI has not been approved so how could I have an appointment? I told her that I did NOT have an appointment until it gets approved, and THAT was the reason for the phone call, to initiate approval.

The hospital has an MRI machine available 1 day a week, on Thursdays; a scheduled appointment is tied to this once a week schedule for MRI availability. Calling on Monday and having to wait for 5 -7 business days pushes the approval process ahead such that a wait of at least 1 week is the result of this procedure. Accepting this, I made the necessary call weeks ago, and still have not received an approved MRI from Choice.

At this moment, I have been waiting more than 4 hours while the Choice representative said she would have her direct manager call me. I told her I had some scheduled appointments today, and that I would appreciate her expediting this return phone call from her manager.

By the way - waiting for an MRI is not like waiting for a bus: it is like waiting for a dentist while suffering from a toothache; and the MRI doesn't kill the pain, it simply suggests the correct form of continuing medical treatment necessary to treat the condition causing the pain. NOBODY anticipates having to wait more than two weeks to have a toothache looked at, and I assure you this is no walk in the park.

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