As you already know, Judith's been using her SmartVest for about a month. The "honeymoon" is definitely over with it, and she's been having mini tantrums when I want to put her vest on. Once we start the treatments, I distract her with Disney Jr. and her shape sorters (or another toy), and she's generally ok.
During the last month, I've been bracing myself for the insurance denial letter. Electromed actually has something in place where you can sign a waiver for them to handle all of your insurance issues for the vest, and we took full advantage (who wouldn't want to do that in this case?). I wasn't sure if we'd actually see the denial letter or not, and I didn't know how the payment negotiations were going. Well, today we got our answer, in the form of our regular statement, which means that our primary insurance paid their portion (it's always a crap shoot to see what Medicaid pays since I rarely get statements for stuff, and so far they've covered everything).
So let's have some fun and play a game! These airway clearance systems aren't cheap, but most people may be shocked at the actual cost. Small side note: I don't think ours is quite as expensive as The Vest by Hill Rom - I read blogs and know some parents who use this vest on their child(ren), and it looks like it costs a bit more. Anyway, to give you an idea, here's a list of different things I could buy for the cost of Judith's SmartVest:
311 Economy Plus packs of Pampers Cruisers (size 4 - Judith's current size)
1,167 6-packs of Pediasure
82 Island Treasure steak & seafood combo packs from Omaha Steaks
21 shares of Apple stock OR 733 shares of Facebook stock (prices at close on 8/30/12)
350 copies of Paper Mario: Sticker Star for the Nintendo 3DS
4 tickets in the lower level for the Pittsburgh Steelers
111 season passes to Hersheypark for 2013
1 used 2008 Toyota Corolla
Ready to hear the grand total?
Yep, that's a comma in there.
I knew this sucker was going to be expensive, and to be honest after reading what other people's vests have cost, I was a little surprised that the figure was that low. Still, that's a pretty hefty chunk of change. Our primary insurance picked up the bulk of it, and now the rest is being submitted to medicaid, so we'll see how much they end up paying.
It really does blow my mind how much this disease costs to maintain. But I'll gladly look at all of the statements if it means Judith will be as healthy as possible, and we'll pay whatever we have to to help her.