If one thing is clear, it’s that our country’s healthcare system is a mess. Healthcare costs are rising, insurance options are more complicated than ever, and implicit bias still affects who receives adequate treatment. So it is with incredible frustration that I was denied treatment at a recent doctor’s visit – due to our profoundly broken system, and that my nurse and others were shooting a complex TikTok dance all in one take.
You see, my doctor had asked me to return to her office to have an abscess drained. But when I got there, the nurse was saying something about how my insurance wouldn’t cover the procedure, but I could pay for it out-of-pocket. Also she was dancing in front of the phone at the time.
I tried to ask her why my insurance wouldn’t cover this basic procedure but she just kept shaking her hips and pointing her fingers at imaginary things in the air.
It wasn’t until my friend texted me later, “Is this you in the background with the IV drip?” that I saw what was going on. The nurse had been filming a TikTok to the song “Dance Monkey” by Stripped Back. And in the video she was playfully brushing the hair back from both sides of her face pointing to word bubbles that popped up individually to spell out “check” “your” “coverage” “before” “you” “get” “to” “your” “doctor’s” “office.”
Then she put her hands on both hips and posed before moving her head back and forth to make room for more words that popped up on the screen reading, “you” “may” “need” “prior” “authorization” “before” “your” “visit”.
I felt so embarrassed and also my abscess was still throbbing. What is this world where a person can’t receive treatment and also must be mocked on it via an account that somehow has seventy THOUSAND followers?!
I still haven’t been able to sort this issue out with my insurance provider. And nurse Jenny is still racking up views. And I don’t appreciate the part at the end where she sassily raises her eyebrow and nods back at me.
Our collective inability to solve this problem hurts. And my abscess really hurts.