Member Story: Compass Helps Member Find the Right Doctor to Perform Cancer Surgery
When 60-year-old Kirby Davis, a crude oil pipeline operator for EnLink Midstream, learned he had colon cancer, he reached out to Compass Professional Health Services to help him find a surgeon he could trust.
Kirby lives in Midland, Texas and has worked at EnLink Midstream for nearly 10 years, transporting crude oil from the tank battery to the pump jacks.
“I’m a typical old geezer,” Kirby said. “I don’t go to the doctor unless I’m deathly ill.”
As a result, he didn’t get his recommended colonoscopy at age 50. He kept putting it off because his previous employer didn’t cover the cost for the procedure – and because he had heard the horror stories about the “prep” process.
This changed when his company was acquired by EnLink Midstream. Kirby learned if he had a yearly physical and had his age-appropriate colonoscopy, he would receive a discount on his insurance premium. So, he found the time to schedule a physical with his primary care physician, who referred him to a gastroenterologist for a colonoscopy.
Unfortunately, Kirby didn’t run the gastroenterologist’s name by his Compass Health Pro Melanie Evans to determine if he met Compass quality standards. These standards include that doctors are board certified, have clean medical records, have courteous staff and have a track record of providing a high value of care.
As it turns out, Kirby lost confidence in his gastroenterologist when the gastroenterologist had to perform two colonoscopies to get a proper tissue sample for the cancer screening.
The tests confirmed the dreaded words no one wants to hear — he had cancer. But luckily, they had caught the disease early – he had Stage 1 colon cancer.
The gastroenterologist recommended two surgeons to perform his surgery, but Kirby didn’t have a lot of confidence in his doctor’s recommendations. He reached out to Melanie – his Compass Health Pro – to conduct some background research to determine if these surgeons met Compass quality standards. He was shocked when she informed him that one doctor had multiple complaints lobbied against him and the other had issues with his medical license.
“I’m here today because I talked to Compass,” Kirby said. “I hate to think of what would have happened to me if I had gone to one of the doctors I had been referred to.”
He ended up going to a cancer surgeon at MD Anderson in Houston, whom Melanie had screened.
The good news was that Kirby’s surgeon told him they had found his cancer in its earliest stages and that he wouldn’t need chemotherapy or radiation.
Last August was Kirby’s one-year anniversary of his surgery, and his doctor gave him a clean bill of health. Kirby will need to continue to have blood work done on a yearly basis and will have another colonoscopy in three years. However, if the cancer doesn’t reoccur, he will be considered “cured.”
“I realize now that the inconvenience of prep was nothing compared to having cancer go undetected,” Kirby said. “I’m a firm believer in Compass and so glad we have this service.”