Health-care the A-Rod way

So Alex Rodriguez got himself shot full of steroids. For those of us Barry Bonds haters, this is a big deal. We’ve been marking time until Rodriguez hits enough homeruns (and he will), to wipe away Bonds’ drugs-enhanced record for career homers.

But I’m wondering something else, today: How much do ballplayers pay for a shot of steroids and is it more than the great unwashed pay?

This month, we at the Bank of Casa Collins have been receiving an education on the way the health care organizations game the system by padding the route between diagnosis and cure with a series of “services” and “consultations.”

I had a sore shoulder that left my fingers numb in November. After $325 in visits to the chiropractor (two) that didn’t help, I went to my regular doctor ($220), who gave me some steroid pills ($6.99). “How’d they work out?” he asked me on a follow-up a week later ($145).

They cleared it up, briefly, but the pain and numbness returned and I was starting to get discouraged that my chances of breaking Barry Bonds’ homerun record were slipping. He gave me a week’s worth of pills the next time I saw him and on the followup ($220), he sent me off for an MRI ($1,473), and referred me to a neurologist to get a shot of steroids for the pain.

At the office visit, the neurologist (The bill hasn’t come in yet, but let’s assume $400) said I’d need a shot of steroids, and gave me a referral to a pain clinic.

At the pain clinic, a nurse looked at my paperwork, took 5 minutes to explain the workings of the spine ($406) and said I’d be getting a shot of steroids. A doctor then walked in ($1,323.93) to tell me I’d be getting a shot of steroids and after about 10 minutes, I was led to a room where I got a shot of steroids ($1,273.80) and an appointment to do it all again in another two weeks.

Two weeks later, I canceled the appointment for a second shot and kept the follow-up appointment with the nurse ($195), who arrived 45 minutes late to give me a referral to a physical therapy clinic (also owned by the same health care company), that I had no intention of using.

Total cost for one shot? $5,988.72.

This week, the shot started wearing off and the pain started to return. I’m going to learn to live with it.

Alex Rodriguez makes $28 million a year. The steroid-delivery system is made for guys like him.

  • CaliGuy

    Well, no.

    If you’d have gotten your steroids the “A-Rod Way”, you’d have contacted your personal trainer who knows a guy who knows a guy who gets his supply of HGH or anabolics across the border in Mexico. Since you never want to actually be in possession of the stuff, you’d let your personal trainer take care of gaining possession — which would probably happen the next time your team goes on the road to play a three-game set in So Cal (preferably San Diego, natch, but LA/Anaheim will do just fine). You’d bring your trainer along for that road trip, and somewhere along the way, he’d meet up with that third or fourth-party connection mentioned previously. Then, your trainer would get you started on your cycle, and off you go! Easy as that.

    Sadly, that doesn’t have much to do with your story (apples and oranges and all), but it was a good attempt to try to link two completely dissimilar experiences, like your corporate health care (and your corticosteroids) nightmare to A-Fraud’s ill-gotten performance enhancers (like anabolics and HGH).

  • Joanna

    dude, see the physical thereapist! In my experience with frozen shoulder (so painful I couldn’t lift my hand above waist height) the steroids reduce the inflammation and it’s the PT that helps you recover. Seriously, there is no reason to live with it; my pain is gone now. PTSOI on Chicago near Lake is great.

  • Bob Collins

    CaliGuy, so A-Rod’s steroid shot costs how much, do you think?

  • pops weets

    Just like everyone who has more money than a drunken sailor can spend…he gets them for free…in exchange for a marketing deal