MAYO CLINIC: Money woes eliminate Medicare & Medicaid patients

Residents in need of specialized health care have been  blessed to have one of  the countries prestigious Mayo Clinics located in Jacksonville; however, recent state cuts to eliminate both Medicare and Medicaid will literally “cut-off” many who have lost insurance and can’t afford to pay “cash” due to the recessive state of our nation’s economy.  Bureaucracy & budget cuts now eliminate access.

I have the good fortune of being a coveted, Mayo Clinic patient. At the beginning of treatment, I was gainfully employed and paid egregious health care premiums to Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama (Corporate headquarters for my former employer).  After jumping through preexisting condition hoops, pushing paper back and forth, and pulling out my few buds of hair, I was finally approved to receive a medically necessary “Neuro-stimulator” to combat nerve damage and chronic pain resulting from multiple, cancer-related surgeries. I am lucky.

The high-tech spinal cord implant is costly and manufactured by St. Jude’s Medical division. The coordination of many medical professionals and representatives was strategic to take me from the initial “trial” phase of the implant to the more complicated neurosurgery. Time lapsed. Blue Cross Blue Shield took their time. My employer grew weary of continuing to afford time off.  By the time I finally completed the trial and had my next surgery, four months and more than $200,000 in total cost has been incurred including office visits, labs, image studies, physical therapy, and I choose to include “out of pocket” expenses for frequently driving to the south’s, sprawling Taj Mahal and valet parking. The latter wasn’t a requirement, but just in case you don’t know anything about Mayo Clinic,  the only thing worse than missing a scheduled appointment is being a milli-second late.  Valet parking saved me on many tight-squeeze days.

Most of the aforementioned is behind me, but my FMLA  ended with reasonable employer notification, and COBRA was gleefully offered. Who can afford to pay $600+ a month for health insurance premiums? No one I know. I was granted Social Security following my initial cancer diagnosis, so I am entitled to Medicare Part A & B.  The latter would be a blessing if I lived in a state with a sane governor or didn’t need my spinal cord implant serviced by both the hospital of my choice and the facility best equipped to monitor its functionality and progress.

There has never been a more important political climate than now for Americans to use their voice regarding the state of health care. This issue directly affects me, and I’m sure countless others you know and love.  Specifically, the elderly population who command the highest need for world class, specialized health care. For this populous, it’s dire. Use your voice!  Write your legislators, congress, and health care lobbyists.

Penny Dickerson 2011

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10 comments on “MAYO CLINIC: Money woes eliminate Medicare & Medicaid patients

  1. I have a blog at tonikresen.blogspot.com that is mainly about Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, and Mayo Clinic Health System – Franciscan Healthcare in La Crosse, WI. There is also a website (with a one-page “placeholder” – with some info on it – while I create and upload the full site) about them. Misdiagnoses, being traumatized, abused, mistreated, and more is also talked about – mainly on the blog. The website page is as http://www.mayolacrossewi.com. You are welcome to read them and use anything from them you may want. All I ask is that the URL(s) are attached to anything you may find you would like to put within an article/blog. Mayo Clinic is doing do much more than you wrote about. I call Obamacare “ObamaMayoCare”.


    • Thank you for your offer, but I respectively decline. My post was written in 2011, and my tone and intent was to convey fact based upon my personal experience as a Mayo Jacksonville patient.

      The case of Mayo, Medicare, and Medicaid is specific in THAT post to the state of Florida and pre-dates the Affordable Healthcare Act. I have much to say regarding the Mayo matter and never doubted their contributions as a medical leadrr. Florida has one of the highest poverty rates. Mayo Clinic is a life-sustaining, highly-specialized facility that those with debilitating diseases cannot access or afford. In Florida it is government driven and legislation impacted. Mayo Minnesota and Phoenix are likely NOT parallel in infrastructure, but again, it was written in 2011. I merely rotated it in my queue.

      Thank you for engaging my work.



  2. That was one point – it started before Obamacare. My blog and website are from my personal horrendous experiences with Mayo in WI as well as information from articles, blogs, and such from others. Mayo is taking over and Obamacare is helping it along. I had just finished a blog post when I received your reply. I then removed it. I am now redacting my offer that you may use anything from any of my sites. AND – Mayo is “MAYO” no matter which state they are in.


  3. What do you think about Mayo now – especially with what you had to pay “out-of-pocket”? (Their “rates” ARE one of the highest in the country!) Now they are closing off access to many Medicaid and Medicare patients and putting ALL the blame on the government. (Mayo is very good at “passing-the-buck”.) So, IF Mayo Clinic REALLY put patients first, as CEO John Noseworthy MD (of the “head” Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN) keeps claiming, they WOULD NOT be cutting off patients that have Medicaid or Medicare just because the government doesn’t pay Mayo enough. MAYO puts REVENUE first – NOT patients! I am NOT saying every single physician, nurse, etc. are worthless as health care providers. I am saying that the “heads” of the MAYO CLINIC COMPANY and the “Mayo Mothership” (as the media in Minnesota has begun calling it) are the ones that put revenue first and not the patients – the “Company” and the “Mayo Mothership” are the ones that run the ENTIRE show – even in Florida! (BTW: My “apology” – see above – reply about accidentally typing redact instead of retract, as I had meant to do, is STILL awaiting moderation. It’s been nearly a year since I posted it. Why is that?)


  4. I’m glad you wrote this because too many people don’t understand the extent of the problems caused by gaps in coverage, funding issues with Medicare, etc. What was not clear to me in this post is the impact to you once the funding was gone. You sort of address it here:
    ” I was granted Social Security following my initial cancer diagnosis, so I am entitled to Medicare Part A & B. The latter would be a blessing if I lived in a state with a sane governor or didn’t need my spinal cord implant serviced by both the hospital of my choice and the facility best equipped to monitor its functionality and progress.”

    Are you saying now you have this spinal cord implant thing and now you can’t get it monitored by the hospital best equipped to monitor it?


  5. It saddens me, literally, that you have had to suffer financially and physically because of “Mayo”. It saddens me even more that it took all that to happen to you for you to change your mind about “Mayo”. I wish people would listen to those who have suffered at the hands of “Mayo” so that they don’t end up having to personally suffer themselves. People need to quit listening to the media AND the duplicitous words coming out of the CEO of the MAIN “Mayo” in Rochester, MN, John Noseworthy MD’s mouth. As I stated before, revenue comes first with them – not patients.

    On a side note: My apology for accidentally typing the word “redact” instead of “retract” that I posted here on May 12, 2014 at 9:15 am is STILL


  6. Sorry about that. What I was writing posted before I finished. So to continue: STILL “awaiting moderation”. I am curious as to why. It HAS


  7. I do not know what is wrong with WordPress, but it posted on its own again. To finish: it HAS been a year since I posted the apology.


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