By Russell Baskett
“If you are here for a consultation and don’t have insurance, a fee of $60 is required before you are seen by the doctor. If you are here for a procedure and don’t have insurance, a fee of $125 is required before you are seen by the doctor. Arrangements to pay the balance must be made before you leave.”
This is the message engraved on a large plastic sign mounted on the wall beside the sliding-glass window of the reception area at the plastic surgeon’s office where I waited for my consultation. I had been diagnosed with a melanoma (confirmed by the Mayo Clinic pathology lab) on my ear, referred to this surgeon and was about to put my fate in his hands — I was frightened. But I wasn’t worried about the cost.
Baskett, of Moneta, is a retired professor of life sciences. He works as a volunteer providing community service in the Smith Mountain Lake area.