It’s New Year’s Day, so I’m celebrating with the usual cleaning of a few closets, getting rid of stuff, etc, etc. One pile of paperwork which was excavated is quite interesting – insurance company statements from two of my hospitalizations for depression. (Like most misdiagnosed Bipolar II peeps, I sought help when depressed but never when hypomanic.)
In the same calendar year I was a guest at two separate hospitals. The garden-variety-ER-walk-in resulted in one overnight in their psych ward. The finally tally for that sojourn was $3200. But the eight day stint in a private facility later that year came in just shy of $25,000.
Twenty-five thousand dollars??
In retrospect I cannot fathom what part or how what was provided as a whole justifies such huge a pile of cash. I had a bed, three squares a day, art class (!), group therapy and medication. But I still had to harangue the staff every single day to see ‘my’ psychiatrist and get a plan in place. That took three and one half days, and I was pumped full of the worst med possible for BP II while I waited for ‘the expert.’ Oh, yes, the med did start tipping me into hypomania, but I was discharged before the full onset – which is great fodder for a future post.
My gripe is after eight full days, all the damn group therapy and $25K, I could have and should have been diagnosed correctly. In hindsight, my answers to the standardized intake questionnaire clearly pointed to a form of bipolarity. Instead it would be another 6.5 months after discharge until the correct diagnosis was arrived at.
It makes me wonder how much the hospitalization cost for those who were there before I checked in and remained after I left finally amounted to. And, what percentage of them were correctly diagnosed and/or correctly treated during their stay.
Our mental health care system – as well as our overall health care system in the US – is, quite frankly, totally busted.