Thursday, July 08, 2010

Could it be true?

Eden's cochlear implant processor was under warranty for the first 3 years. During that time frame the company (Cochlear Americas) replaced anything that was broken quickly with excellent customer service. The warranty expired on October 2, 2007. During the first year following, we really didn't have many problems and everything worked as it was supposed to. Since then, however, things have been breaking slowly, and we found out the hard way that replacement parts are VERY expensive (like shockingly, ridiculously expensive). But, we have made due with what we have and have luckily not had to invest a huge amount of money in keeping her processor in working condition.

Currently, her system is broken in 3 places. For the past 6-12 months the connection has been getting looser and looser. It shuts off on her at random times, and we have to keep it taped securely together for it to work. I started the process of trying to get a new processor for her last December. I found out that Cochlear had just come out with an upgrade that is compatible with Eden's system, so I wanted to upgrade at the same time that we replaced the broken processor.

For the past 7 months I have gone through the usual rigamorale of red tape...countless hours on the phone, faxing, loads of paperwork...basically trying to coordinate communication between Cochlear Americas, our implant center, our private insurance company, and Michigan Medicaid. None of this was actually too difficult. The frustration came in KEEPING the ball rolling. It seemed like nothing would happen for weeks (even months) unless I kept calling or emailing asking, "What's next?" There were other frustrations terms of misinformation and runaround...but I won't go into detail about that because it is completely boring, even to me.

But...drum roll please...

I got an email today that they got final approval from Medicaid and are overnighting the new processor today! I should have that sucker in my hands sometime tomorrow!!! I am so giddy with excitement. I can't wait!

I know I shouldn't get my hopes up. I'll believe it when I see it, right? But could it be true? Is it possible Eden will have a brand new processor, with a new 3-year warranty, by tomorrow? Before we leave for Conductive Ed camp?

Oh, please, please...let it be true!


Tabetha said...

That is wonderful about the upgrade. Terrible though that your Audiologist did not tell you about the 3 year warranty. My son, Austin was bilateral implanted in 2007. We have had full replacements top to bottom 3 times. Some parts have taken longer than others but for the most part I would just call our Audiology clinic and tellt henm the problem and they do the rest. A friend of mine has the new processor. It is pretty cool. Somewhat waterproof and everything. Please let me know how it works out. We got a letter to upgrade but insurance would not pay. The only thing that my friend does not like about hte new one is that they do not make a rechargeable battery for it yet. She does have Freedom doesn't she?

Billie said...

Actually, our audiologist did tell us about the warranty. We had it fully replaced several times when it was under warranty. I just hadn't worked out what fixing it or replacing parts it would actually entail once the warranty ended! Yes, she does have a Freedom.

Kristina said...

Great news! Emma has the N5s and it is so much easier to keep on her head than the Freedom. And, the warranty is for 3 years on the coils for the N5s (I think Freedom was only 1 year for the coils) as well. Plus, with the new rechargeable battery just approved by the FDA you should be up and running once you get the device. Congrats on hanging in there through the upgrade!

Katy said...

LOVE IT! Dontcha love it when things work out? We are getting ready to change insurance twice in six months and I am dreading it because I know that it takes forever for stuff to go through and we're going to end up not getting stuff because of the red tape.

BusyLizzyMom said...

I hope all your hard work pays off and you get it in time for CE. We were just told Elizabeth's new school is buying her an FM unit but like you I will believe it when I see it as it is too good to be true.
Hope eveything goes well with CE and Eden has fun (despite all the hard work she will have to do).

kate523 said...

Congrats! I feel your fustration dealing with the paperwork. I've been trying to get three companies (insurace, hospital, and pre auth)to talk to each other to get by son's speech therapy billed correctly. It's been a year long project and I'm ALMOST there. If I had to deal with the state as well, I think I would have to be commited to the looney bin!

The girls are as cute as ever. Have a great time in GR.