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So Confused and Upset Right Now



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I'm supposed to have my surgery on Dec 27th at Mt Auburn Hospital in Cambridge, MA, with pre-op tests scheduled for next week. Today, I get an automated message from my hospital to check MyChart. I did, and it showed my pre-test appointment as canceled. My surgery date is also gone from my upcoming visits. No explanation. Meanwhile, my insurance approval appears to have gone through. I called the weight management center's office and the receptionist mumbled something about surgeries being canceled and someone would call to explain. No one has called all day. I emailed, too, but nothing. Now the office is closed for the day and I'm so worked up over this, I won't get a wink of sleep. It wouldn't be such a big deal if it had to be delayed, except I am currently on an insurance plan through the healthcare marketplace as I am self-employed and my husband has been unemployed for a bit. But he starts a new job in January and I have no idea what the health insurance situation is going to be in terms of coverage. I am so stressed right now I could cry.

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oh no - I wonder if they're having COVID issues or something? That's picked up again. Hopefully this will all work out...

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Oh no! I am so sorry to hear this! This is my nightmare too, that my surgery will be moved to after the first of the year. I hope you will find out what is going on ASAP and that it will all work out. 🤞

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5 hours ago, NickelChip said:

I'm supposed to have my surgery on Dec 27th at Mt Auburn Hospital in Cambridge, MA, with pre-op tests scheduled for next week. Today, I get an automated message from my hospital to check MyChart. I did, and it showed my pre-test appointment as canceled. My surgery date is also gone from my upcoming visits. No explanation. Meanwhile, my insurance approval appears to have gone through. I called the weight management center's office and the receptionist mumbled something about surgeries being canceled and someone would call to explain. No one has called all day. I emailed, too, but nothing. Now the office is closed for the day and I'm so worked up over this, I won't get a wink of sleep. It wouldn't be such a big deal if it had to be delayed, except I am currently on an insurance plan through the healthcare marketplace as I am self-employed and my husband has been unemployed for a bit. But he starts a new job in January and I have no idea what the health insurance situation is going to be in terms of coverage. I am so stressed right now I could cry.

So sorry to hear that. I understand that marketplace healthcare cuz mines changed Dec 1st, that's why I had them do my surgery Nov 27th so we wouldn't have that issue. Pray everything works out for you!

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I don't blame you for being mad ...I'd be steaming especially since you got no explanation. When the office is back open ,I'd just keep making tons of phone calls to EVERYONE . Someone has to know something. I hope you can find out what's going on. ((hugs))

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Oh no, that's awful, to not have any information about it either makes it even more difficult. Hopefully you'll get answers and a satisfactory plan going forward.

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Oh no I'm so sorry to hear that. That is definitely upsetting news. I don't get why they wouldn't make the contact first with a phone call and explain before posting it on MyChart with no further information. I hope you get to find out sooner than later and that there is a revised plan. 🤗

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I called again this morning and the person who answered let slip that the entire weight management center at the hospital is closing. So, I am not the only person impacted by far. He said that a manager is supposed to call everyone to explain, but still nothing has happened. Maybe tomorrow? As for what happens next, I'm not sure. The hospital was recently acquired by another big Boston hospital, which has a bariatric department of its own. I assume they are trying to integrate all of the departments across the system to eliminate redundancies, but their communication so far has been appalling. Why they wouldn't have planned for this by shutting down the pipeline of patients months ago so that all surgeries were completed before the closure is a mystery. I attended my full day immersion class in August and completed all my requirements on October 6. At that point, they were booking 10+ weeks out and there was no indication anything was changing. This isn't an independent bariatric practice where I could see there being management or money issues, but a center that is part of a Harvard Medical School teaching hospital. I find it shocking to say the least. I've spent most of the day wishing whichever faceless bureaucratic suit responsible for this trips and falls into a fiery pit. Clearly emotional intelligence was not a job requirement.

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Oh, I am so sorry! Why couldn't they have intergrated those patients with planned surgeries into their bariatric department? I knew that Mt. Auburn had merged with Beth Israel/Leahy a while ago (it seems like they are swallowing up a lot of smaller hospitals, mine included) But, they had to see this coming. And what are they doing to support the patients that just had surgery?

Did they give you any information as to what happens next? Will they arrange transfer for you to the other program? You have already met all the requirements and done the testing! This is so unfair.

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4 hours ago, CelticSoul said:

Oh, I am so sorry! Why couldn't they have intergrated those patients with planned surgeries into their bariatric department? I knew that Mt. Auburn had merged with Beth Israel/Leahy a while ago (it seems like they are swallowing up a lot of smaller hospitals, mine included) But, they had to see this coming. And what are they doing to support the patients that just had surgery?

Did they give you any information as to what happens next? Will they arrange transfer for you to the other program? You have already met all the requirements and done the testing! This is so unfair.

I wish I knew what they have planned. They are supposed to call me to explain, but so far the only person I've spoken with is the guy who answers the phone, and he probably wasn't supposed to tell me anything. He just said, "unfortunately, the center is closing, so..." The worst part is, I've been a patient there for almost 7 years, doing nutritional and medical weight loss. I love my endocrinologist there, and the nutritionists, the staff. If they are losing their jobs, I will cry. And they are always so busy I don't see how they can afford to close.

I am so mad because I had a chance to move my surgery to right before Thanksgiving, but I had to pass because it was too last minute for figuring out the childcare. Now I'm kicking myself. Literally, my insurance approval is in and everything. I have a pantry of Protein powders and a bookcase of bariatric cookbooks. I have watched every video on the planet. I just needed my final pre-test, which was supposed to be next week. My mom had booked a hotel in Harvard Square to be close by the night of the surgery and take me home the next day. The kids would be off school for winter break. Now I have no idea where anything stands. I will still have my insurance for January because my husband's job doesn't start until a few days into the month so we'll have paid the premium for January, but as of February it'll have to be the new insurance, and I don't yet know what they cover, or even which insurance company it is. Plus, my deductible starts over on Jan 1, naturally.

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How awful! After having such a long relationship with the center and being so close to having the surgery... I would be so upset too! I hear you about the deductible... I was so happy to get this done before Jan 1.

The strange thing is that I looked at their website and they are still accepting applications! They obvioulsy aren't making the closing public yet. I hope that you hear from them soon with a plan.

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Just an update on my situation:

On Wednesday evening, I emailed my primary care physician and asked her if she could look into things because I still had heard nothing. Yesterday, I heard back from her, confirming she had reached out on my behalf and the center was indeed closing. She was shocked I had received no information. This morning, I got a call first from the office of the doctor I had seen at the weight management center up until July, when I moved from the medical to surgical side. She wants me to come in Monday so she can walk me through things, and I think just to see how I am doing with all this because she's really nice and had been my doctor for 6+ years.

A few hours later, I finally heard from the manager who was supposed to be contacting me. He told me the center is officially closing in February, so all remaining surgeries were cancelled, and he told me of three options for centers within the same hospital group (Beth Israel Lahey) that had agreed to help absorb the affected patients. He is supposed to be sending my information to the one I chose, Winchester Hospital, and I also left them a message this afternoon (their office closes early on Fridays so I just missed them).

Praying that I'll have a better idea on Monday how big a delay this will cause and how many new flaming hoops I will have to jump through. Bottom line, reaching out to my primary care doctor seemed to get the wheels turning, so never be afraid to be the squeaky wheel!

Also, I managed to keep my temper in check with the manager because I'm positive this is not his doing, but I would welcome the chance to express my displeasure to the hospital administration. A troop of poorly trained chimpanzees could have handled this with more compassion and competency, and I think that reflects directly on the upper management (upon whom I have been wishing many unpleasant afflictions this week).

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Well done for keeping your cool, that would have been very difficult for me also. I'm hoping everything goes smoothly for you from here on out.

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The hospital administration continues to prove they have handled this in the worst possible way.

I went to see my endocrinologist at the weight management center on Monday. She was fighting back tears as she explained the way news of the closure was handed down, along with a timeline to wrap up the practice by early February that frankly puts profits before patient well-being at every turn.

I have left 2 messages and filled out a contact form with the new center but have yet to hear back from anyone. There has been no official letter from the hospital to explain their decision to disrupt my treatment only 3 weeks before surgery, no apology for having to learn of this through an automated cancelation notice, no indication they care at all about what this is doing to any of us who have been caught in this mess.

Still not sleeping well, experiencing high anxiety, and very worried about how I will have to rearrange my work schedule to accommodate a new surgery date, but of course having no clue when that will happen makes planning impossible.

On the bright side, I have confirmed my new insurance coverage that starts Jan 2, 2024 does cover bariatric surgery and the out of pocket for me will be comparable to my current plan, so I'm no longer worrying about that, at least.

For now, all I can do is focus on healthy eating and exercise. My doctor offered to restart me on weight loss medication in the meantime, but I just think it's one more thing to have to juggle and I'd rather not complicate my life more than needed.

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Oh NickelChip, I'm so sorry!! I was looking forward to seeing you go through your surgery and everything that comes after! I hope the new place reaches out soon, they are probably swamped with end of the year patients, plus a pile of patients due to this closure... It never ceases to amaze me how careless hospital admins and insurance companies can be about their patients.

I recently found out that the network my bariatric surgeon is in AND my orthopedic surgeon are in, are more than likely going to be out of network come January because Cigna is being an asshat about re-negotiating their contract with them. And I was supposed to have a shoulder MRI and surgery in January. This is my second shoulder surgeon as the first one's practice behaved abhorrently regarding my bariatric surgery. Does Cigna care about any of this?? Nope. Are they losing sleep over this? Nope.

I'm really glad you were able to check out the policy your husband will be getting in January and that it covers bariatric surgery. I hate that all your carefully made plans have been wrecked by idiots who allowed surgeries to be scheduled knowing they would never be done. They could have at least finished out the year! And called instead of giving you a chart notification... So ridiculous.

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