Thursday, 13 August 2009

If It's Medical....MARK IT UP!!!!$$$$$$$

$$$$$$$~If It's Medical....
MARK IT UP!!!!~$$$$$$$

My electric wheelchair's charge is running low so as is my routine, I plug it in at night so it will get a full charge in some 8 to 10 hours. However, next morning the indicator shows only a partial charge. Investigating, I plug in the chair once more and notice the fault light come on the remote charging unit and it promptly shuts down. I call the company (different supplier than my manual chair) and describe my problem to a pleasant customer service lady in the service department. Soon thereafter I get a return call from the actual service technician and I describe the problem to him once again, in greater detail. Told me he would be right over.....and he was.

I had dealt with this service person before and have found this young fellow very pleasant, polite, helpful and knowledgeable. A real treat to find someone who bends over backwards to be helpful, is polite and exudes competence!

That said, I was shocked to find out that the problem lies not with the charging unit but in the small, almost palm sized controller with the joystick attached. The charging plug is located on this unit and the circuitry regulates the charging of the batteries. The shock (no pun intended) was not that this electrical controller was at fault but rather that the replacement price for a new unit is $1120.00. Now, for over a grand, I can buy a completely loaded laptop computer, a audiophile stereo component or perhaps some lackey to physically carry me around for a couple of weeks.

The joystick control & charging unit that is priced at $1120.00

Anyways, the usual scenario follows - a call is placed to my private health care insurance carrier and after the usual 'phone tag' , the customer service person doesn't know much. On hold while consulting supervisors. Returns to phone but still unresolved. Instructed to send in an extended health claims form, a copy of the original doctor's prescription for the chair and a copy of the repair invoice. That done, I wait, knowing that it has taken about 3 weeks for them to reply in the past. I'm not getting my hopes up, also from past experience.

My beef is with the industry and the inflated prices because this is technically a 'medical' item and that every supplier has $$$$ in their eyes thinking that all will be covered by some insurance (and they want their take) or that you've had some huge legal settlement (and they want their take),

The repair technician has bent over backwards to help and may have a few tricks up his sleeve.
In the meantime, I'll be waiting patiently for the insurance companies ruling.

More on this as it unfolds....

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