And Your Dog Would do it for You
I am always interested how people arrive at decisions. Many weigh out pros and cons.
Some are influenced by advertising and others by what their family and friends think.
No matter how you make a big decision in your life, you learn to realize you have to
live with the results, sometimes permanently.
We have covered a lot of topics in these blogs, including the fact that we do not take
health insurance. We still get calls from people who are very upset by this. They think
we are elitist or greedy. Neither of these are true. We do not take health insurance for
the simple fact we do not want to run a practice where people in suits, who have never
met you, let alone examined you, make the decisions on how we treat you.
We understand when people say they cannot afford to come here but sometimes you
can’t afford not to. We charge $600, if you prepay, for an hour of a board certified
surgeon’s time. With that, you get an unbiased opinion, an education on your spine,
and if you want to go somewhere else, the questions you need to ask to get the most
If you have a dog, you most likely have to pay to have a vet to see him/her. I have never
stepped into a vet’s office without spending at least $250 and I don’t resent it. It is the
cost of taking good care of a pet. I had one dog who required knee surgery (twice).
$3000 later, I still looked upon it as what a responsible pet owner would do. Most people
I know feel the same way, so why do we treat our dogs better than ourselves?
A second opinion is one of the most important things you can get if you are having
elective surgery. You want it from someone who doesn’t have to see 80 patients in a day
and have to do surgery on 50% of them to pay for their surgery centers, staff and
imaging equipment. You want it from someone who will say, “Let’s try conservative
treatment first” or “you need surgery, but if you need to use your insurance, here are
three reputable surgeons I would let operate on my family”.
It’s your spine! Everything you do to it, every decision you make, has long term
consequences. Do not let temporary pain or a pushy salesperson influence you in to
making a decision you will regret later. Treat yourself, or your family member, at least as
well as you treat your dog. My bet is that your dog would do it for you.
Please note; at ShimSpine, we give you a receipt for you to send to your insurance
company to receive reimbursement under “out of network” providers. Also, the hospital
and surgery center we use accept most major medical plans, and insurance can be used
for surgical costs incurred there.
Article by Catherine Nicholson based on over 30 years as a Registered Nurse and 15 years as a practice manager in a spine practice.