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No Medical? No camp. No Refund.

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  • #31
    Yeah, as I said, mine will pay for routine.. We did better with the routine though, when we thought our insurance would pay for the fix if needed.. Now, it is more, what we don't know, won't cost us. So routine, is not so good either.


    • #32
      Scoutfish, "routine" doesn't help when your kid's troop leaves for Camp on June 18th and his physical from last year "expires" on June 19th. As I mentioned, the camp wouldn't accept any form that wasn't "current" for the full week of camp, regardless of what RichardB posted about forms being good through the end of the month. Their camp, their rules. Fair enough. Meanwhile, insurance wouldn't cover a physical until June 20th.

      So we had the following choices:
      1. pay out of pocket for another physical before June 18th
      2. convince Dr. to fill out a new form for this year, w/out actually having an appointment, based on a physical that happened close to (but not quite) a year ago.
      3. don't send him to camp.

      Happily, son doesn't have any health issues, isn't due for immunizations, and so we were able to go with #2. And son will get his annual physical again in the fall. My sense from RichardB's comments, though, is that it has probably been a long time since he had to deal with this stuff as a parent (if he ever did). And Richard, that's ok - just know that it isn't quite so simple as you seem to think.


      • #33
        At this point I'm just thinking about how to do better next year.

        This year was a medical form bust in so many ways. Amazing how a seeming intelligent and conscientious group of parental units can utterly fail in so many ways just filling out a form. We had to call parents back in for lack of parent & Scout signatures, no immunizations listed, no medications listed, no insurance card, no doctors signature, no date of physical exam, or just nothing submitted at all. Most fixed the problem when called on it, but a few had to be called back repeatedly, and one added new mistakes each time, then lost the forms entirely. Gasp!

        And as I said in the OP, this despite a significant number of messages going out since February on the importance of the medical form being filled out correctly and turned in on time. Obviously I need to rethink how to get the message across.

        As many said here, a big issue is the timing of the physical exam. But if that were all, I wouldn't mind forms coming in a few days before camp or even the day of -- if they were filled out correctly! I almost feel like we need to hold a class for the parents on how to fill out the forms!!!

        National, if your monitoring this, perhaps you could assist by offering some kind of guidance we could pass on to Scout parents on filling out the medical form correctly... or maybe a springtime article in Boys Life so Scouts could help their parents understand the importance of medical forms and help do them fill thing in correctly. Or is there any online guidance we could link our parents to? Like a little class or powerpoint that goes step-by-step?


        • #34
          Lisa, I said "routine" physical. Not routine camp policies. Meaning a regular physical that you get each year.

          MOST insurance companies will pay for one as a means to catch what could be a big issue before it gets big.

          Think of it as preventative money spending on the part of the insurance company.

          It has nothing to due with camping dates or when a scout goes to camp. Get one every January or the week of the scouts birthday.

          Point being, everybody should call the insurance company to see if their plans covers it. Ours does, but the insurance company doesn't go out of their way to advertise it. They are hoping you pay for it yourself.

          So in my case, I can get a yearly physical - including lab and blood work - for free. I just bring along Part C of the med form and have the DR sign off at the same time.

          No extra cost for that by the Dr. And I have a form good until the next time I get a yearly physical.

          THis applies to my wife and son too since they are on my insurance plan.

          Why schedual them to take place around the same time the scout has to leave every year.


          • #35

            Sorry LB your assumptions are far from reality.....but if it makes you feel better to assume, please assume the best......

            Every time a member of the clan go see our medical providers we take along a form of some kind, sometimes two or three. They update a health history every time we go in anyway. Need an exam completed, make it easy on your provider, updated forms are easy to complete.

            Provider won't help, doubt they care enough to be my provider.

            Little secret - my doc loves to see active lifestyles - makes him happy we care about our health. Loves to hear hiking, swimming, paddling is part of the plan. Doc not in, guess what the NP's and PA's have the same thoughts. That's how we have managed this for the last 11 years which includes the time prior to 2008 when camps and councils used their own forms......remember those days?

            So whats the real problem? The planning and effort required? None of this is secret is it? Even the membership application says complete the AHMR and give it to you leader. No surprises from day one. Most councils do leaders meetings and as other threads indicate they are poorly attended. Is that a medical problem? Do a paperwork workshop? Why not. Training? Lots of health history training In our current program. Taken the new safe swim?

            Could the issue be Ineffective communication of expectations between leaders and parents or youth?

            Ever look mom or dad in the eye and explain how their son or daughters health is important and they are concerned with their kids health and safety as much as you are right?

            Never had a mom or dad argue that point.


            PS: 95-99% of "national" questions are asked and answered on the FAQ's. The AHMR page is on of the top two web page hits "nationally" May thru July.

            (This message has been edited by RichardB)


            • #36
              This thread is interesting. I haven't read all of it (I will), but I wanted to post my recent experience.

              My son was attending summer camp for the very 1st time (he just crossed over in the Spring - yes I need to change my forum name now ) and we were told repeatedly about the health form. So we marched on over to the doctor, got the form and *I* personally walked into the lodge and handed it IN PERSON to the scouter in charge.

              Day of summer camp check-in, dad is dropping off at the lodge and he calls me in a panic telling me that "they" don't have son's form and he can't go. Just. Like. That.

              Of course, mom (even though I have obviously never been a boy scout) was prepared. I had made 5 extra copies of the form before handing it in. Rushed in and delivered it.

              Moral of the story: never hand in the original, always have extra copies on hand.

              Also, it is not ALWAYS the scout's fault. Or the parent's fault either.


              • #37
                Oh absolutely M2C!.. Volunteers are not perfect..

                And sometimes they divvie up the jobs in ways you wouldn't think of, don't know who the person in charge of the Lodge is for you, but it may have been the wrong person for you to hand it to.. Or, if it was the right person, you could of handed it to him when he was wearing a different hat then Med Form collector, and so not having his med form packet, he threw it into his "what-ever-he-was-working-on" packet, with thoughts to move it later and never does..

                I think I myself made 3 or 4 copies.. Sometimes you also have non-scouting events that will take any type of med form as long as it has a Dr signature, this has been helpful on those occasions also..


                • #38
                  Moose, having been on the other side of volunteering too, I DO understand that mistakes happen, and paperwork gets misplaced. What I was pointing out, is that the whole no medical, no camp, no refund thing can be harsh when it was NOT AT ALL the parent or the scout's fault.

                  The person could have said (at check-in), I cannot find his form. When told that it was personally handed in, person should have said, do you happen to have another copy? I cannot find it, and BSA is very strict about that. I'm sorry. But NO. Son was told no medical, no camp. Even though it wasn't his fault that medical form could not be found.

                  And WHAT IF I had handed in my only copy? He doesn't go to camp? Even though it wasn't MY fault or his that they didn't have his form?

                  I think there as a MUCH better way to handle this instead of being a hard a**.

                  And in answer to your question, I handed it to the right person, right behind a line of parents doing the same thing. Mine got misplaced. Others did not. Not saying it was the person's fault, but saying there's no need to be a jerk about it unless you know the circumstances. A scout is also KIND.


                  • #39
                    Multiple copies are critical for the medical form. We tell parents not to give us the original - only a copy. If they turn it in the day of departure, we require 3 copies. If they get it in earlier, we make 3 copies. One stays in the Troop files, one is for the camp, and one stays with me, the SM, just in case.

                    In your case M2C, the Troop should have verified they had a medical form for each Scout going to camp BEFORE departure! There is no excuse for such a loss!


                    • #40
                      Richard: I asked whether you had kids because what you wrote isn't the normal experience for folks I know in my area who have kids and who regularly deal with the camp physical-sports physical- school physical - extracurricular physical etc. paperwork. So I asked. You responded. We're good. Always nice to know that folks have different experiences.

                      Scoutfish: I don't think we're in any sort of disagreement about the desirability of routine physicals or that many insurance policies will pay for that routine physical. My insurance, like most, only covers one a year. It isn't a secret. That's fine, except when the dates suddenly don't align with when you actually need another one for a particular form to be considered "valid." Just a feature of our current system and sometimes, a little bit irritating. That's all.


                      • #41
                        We have to pony up a form fee. Those add up.
                        I think it has to do with insurance negotiating lower exam fees.

                        I think most folks with kids have a hard time keeping ahead of the paperwork. Unless you're a scouting pro, that kind of thing is not routine.

                        Definitely I tell my crew to keep their originals and only turn in copiers. Keep in mind half of them are in two units and some years they are more active with one than the other, so I always try to return copies. It's a bit of a hassle recollecting them, but I figure the chances of me catching a need-to-know update (new med, seafood allergy, physical restriction, etc ...) is higher if I do that.


                        • #42
                          I'm kinda on RichardB's side here (not that we're choosing sides). My boys are now in their 30's, and I remember the days where the parent could "self-certify" the forms, and if they were currently enrolled in school, it was assumed their immunizations and physicals were up to date. When I reached "scouter senior citizen" status at the magic arbitrary age of 40, I had no problem scheduling an annual physical with my doc, usually in March/April/May time frame...not a bad thing to do anyway with my family history and risk factors. Filling out the form was painless and they always kept a copy in my medical record. Yes, my insurance is good and I got by with a $15 copay (now $20). I just pulled up the new form...why are we cluttering it up with such things as "Talent Release" and "Adults allowed to transport my child"? What's that got to do with medical status??? And are we actually enforcing the ht/wt chart? Is the physician supposed to be the bad guy and refuse to sign if we exceed the "maximum allowable"? I agree the form could be simplified. My advice to parents? Camp comes every summer...program a reminder into your iPhone for January to get an appointment for your camp physical...I have no sympathy for last minute procrastinators, because I am one, and I managed to get my butt to camp every year. And I don't even have a smartphone.

                          PS: and if they DO have a smartphone, I don't wanna hear about how they can't afford a physical. I can see what your priorities are.(This message has been edited by papadaddy)


                          • #43
                            Yeah, I don't think anyone is against what RichardB is saying, so much as saying "It doesn't work that way here."..

                            Different camps do things differently, perhaps just because THEY do it differently, perhaps because state laws do it differently.. Everyone's doctors do things differently..

                            RichardB. has a very nice Dr. and a camp that follows the BSA rules, perhaps because BSA rules were written in the same state RichardB. lives in so the BSA rules work hand in hand with the state laws.. Perhaps because the camp is so close to National, they have many National employees taking their kids to the camp, and they can correct (with authority) the camp directors and the camp nurse who wish to do things "their way"..

                            But, then with his Dr. seems like RichardB. just lucked out in that department..

                            So.. we don't begrudge RB his luck.. Wish we had it.. But people are just stating it don't work that way all over the country..(This message has been edited by moosetracker)


                            • #44
                              Here are few suggestions I can think of to make this a little easier.
                              1. For those who can't get a physical within a timely matter due to insurance reasosns: Schedule an appointment with your child's pediatrician or doctor. Give a medical reason for the visit ( sniffles, sore knee, etc. something minor will do) while the Dr. is seeing your child, give him or her the physical form. I've done this on several occasions with my son's pediatrician and never had a problem. It helps to have a friendly relationship with your child's provider first.

                              2. If, as other posters have stated, the local minute clinics can do a physical for $50 ( sometimes 30 with a coupon) , why not schedule an official troop outing to the minute clinic? Let the clinic know way in advance. Then the scouts who need a physical only need to have a parent present and the 30-50 bucks for the physical. Perhaps the scout could use his personal scout account to help pay for the physical.

                              3.Lastly, is there a scout- friendly Dr. or physician assistant that might be interested in setting up a quickie clinic at your meeting place? Some of the parents may know someone that might be willing to do this. A bit of a long shot, I know.


                              • #45
                                I am curious if our local drug store has physicals (as one poster mentioned..) But, sad to say all of our walk-in clinics rolled up their sidewalks years ago.. Luckily they were healthy when my son was small, I used them at least one or two times a year then.