The next crucial decision was to choose which medical center would perform this surgery. It's a decision that involves many aspects like finances, quality of care, program quality, program benefits, surgeon reputation, hospital reputation, location, and others.
Originally, I did not think UKHMO, my insurance company, would pay a cent for any of this medical service. So I entered this with the notion that I would pay for all of it. While that's not a good thing, it certainly knocks down many of the hoops one has to jump through to get the procedure done. Comparing the prices of the two centers - Georgetown Community Hospital and St. Joseph Hospital Lex-East - I found there was not much difference.
However, St. Joe's staff pointed out that it is likely UKHMO will pay for the pre-op tests which is a nice chunk of change as long as I do them at UK, then just send the results to them. Great!!!
Both places have earned the Excellence designation (see seal above) and both seem to have top notch surgeons; although, Gtown only has one.
The programs for pre- and post-op are similar, but I feel St. Joe's is more in depth. For instance, I will meet with a physiologist at St. Joe and work on exercise programs - a key ingredient to success. I was unable to find that Gtown offered the same service.
Also, Gtown requires that you do the insurance investigation in the beginning yourself; whereas, St. Joe's takes over dealing with the insurance company from jump.
Of course, Gtown is a good 15 extra minutes from Richmond, and I pass by St. Joe's twice a day five days a week already.
Also, I have friends and family that work in the St. Joe Lex system, so I can get some inside scoop!
I think both places have great staff and surgeons with promising programs; however, I think St. Joe's is the best fit for me.
My first appointment with them is scheduled on Aug 27 - and we're off & running!!!
Have a great weekend!