Healthscare: Making a Money Mountain out of a Mole

4 Aug

Healthcare Fun

Let’s make a money mountain out of an itsy bitsy, teeny weeny mole!

Healthcare: Making A Money Mountain out of a Mole

“Holy Moly!”


News Flash

I notice a new? mole on my neck.

Being hyper vigilant (and vain) I hop online and compare my mole to images of other moles.

(BTW it is disturbing how many pics of moles are posted on the web. Way too much sharing!)

The Web MD Symptom Checker

scares me enough to make an appointment with a dermatologist.

Mole Timeline

Feb. 17: I call for an appointment. I am given the first open slot.

June 12: Four months later, I wait an additional 52 minutes in the dermatologist’s office. I pay $20 (co-pay).

The doctor takes a cursory (0.5 seconds) glance at my mole (which I’ve become rather fond of by now), shrugs her shoulders, and says it looks like a harmless mole… BUT let’s “zap it off” and send it to path “just to make sure.”

Since I am a hopeless Obliger* (especially when I’m buck naked in a drafty office),

I say, “Sure! Okay!” as if she just offered me a bag of chocolate creams and a glass of chardonnay. (Duh)

A half hour later, the doctor returns wielding a metal canister that resembles a fire extinguisher. She rubs a wet gauze pad on my mole, scrapes it rudely with an Exacto knife, zaps it with an icy spray (this takes 2 seconds), and slaps a band-aid on the remaining red spot. (Slam. Bam. Thank you, ma’am.) “We’ll send you the path report. Toodle-oo.”

healthscare: making a money mountain out of a mole

“Wait ’til you see your bill!”

Money Mountain

August 1: I have received  four f!*#king bills. I am charged for the office visit, a mole biopsy, pathology services, a laboratory fee, a pharmacy fee, and an observation fee (whatever that is).

I’ll spare you the full accounting, but to have one (perfectly harmless) mole removed, the total cost was $1,722. Insurance paid $840.15 and I paid $591.16 (OUCH! It’s called a high deductible because you need to be stoned to pay it.) “Adjustments” (WTF?) were given to the insurance company by the hospital.

No more “Out Damn Spot!”

The next mole I find anywhere on my body? I will consider it a beauty mark… and keep it.


See you on Twitter! I’m @HaBarb

Don’t forget to check out my new humor book, The Misery Manifesto, on Amazon!

*Obliger Pre-order Gretchen Rubin’s new book The Four Tendencies 

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