Dear Former Primary Care Physician:
Since you didn’t respond to my first letter regarding your business office, here’s another. Your business office manager is an asshole. The "patient services representatives" all need a pole right up their ass. Your business office’s best practices suck. Your business office is not at all
accessible for people with disabilitiesdisability friendly. In fact, I’m surprised it’s set up to see sick people at all.
Me, your former patient.
DISCLAIMER: Please note there is some explicit language in this post. If you can’t take swearing, pass for the day.
Because I thought he was a great doctor and I was happy with the level of medical care he gave me, I was willing to take a cab to my appointments because I cannot drive and his office is not on a bus line. I was willing to accept the surly and unprofessional receptionist as she was. I could overlook the nurse’s attempts at bullying me to climb on the scale and their impatience with me for wanting to discuss my health issues with the doctor and not them. I could look past the paper signs in the exam rooms that told patients that referrals had to be picked up at the office and not faxed because "too many of them had been lost".
But today was the straw that broke the proverbial camel’s back. This isn’t the first time I’ve had dealings with the business side of his practice and I am done with it and done with "Family Practice". I thought it might be easier to see the same doctor Manthing sees. How terribly mistaken one can be.
When I called to reschedule a missed appointment today, I was told there was a "restriction" on my account. Evidently, even though my new insurance pays out of network benefits, and his practice is not affiliated with a large health care management group to restrict what his practice can and cannot do, the business office refused to talk with my insurance company and make it so that I could continue to allow him to continue to be my health care provider.
ME: "Well, jeez, what would have happened if I had been able to make the original appointment?"
BUSINESS OFFICE: "Let me check your chart. Ohhhhhhhhh, you are a Medicare supplemental patient. You would not have been seen by the doctor."
ME: "Uh, why didn’t your office contact me about this problem?"
BUSINESS OFFICE: "We have a busy practice and don’t call patients about their accounts. That is their responsibility."
ME: "How does one know there’s a problem if the business office doesn’t let you know?"
BUSINESS OFFICE: "Office policy is that we don’t call patients about their accounts. We don’t have time."
Obviously, I was going to get nowhere so, I moved on.
ME: "Okay. You know, I am really tired of all this
shit crap with the business side of things there. For months we have gone back forth over this issue. I’m done. Obviously, the business office could care less about accommodating patients with special needs. I have health issues that need addressing so I’d like to talk with the doctor. to see if he can refer me to another doctor who would a continue to provide me with the quality of care he provides."
BUSINESS OFFICE: "Ma’am, all you need to do is contact your insurance provider who can refer you to a physician in your network."
ME: "I would like to speak to the doctor regarding a referral. I realize you don’t think that’s what I should do however, I would like to speak to the doctor to get a referral. I will look up the name he gives me to see if they take my insurance".
BUSINESS OFFICE: "Well, I’ll send the message back but really all you need to do is call your insurance provider. Our medical staff is very busy."
ME: "What is the issue with talking with the doctor or his nurse? Why does this need to be so difficult? What is the problem?"
BUSINESS OFFICE: "Fine! I’ll send the message back!"
ME: "Thank you. Now I need to speak to a nurse about the prescriptions that need to be refilled so I have a little time to find a new physician".
BUSINESS OFFICE: "I can only send that message back as well".
So instead of waiting around for phone calls that I know will never come, I called my pharmacy who informed me she had called my doctor’s office last week and gotten refills on my current medications. Nobody called to let me know that.
How fucking bizarre is that? Walgreen’s did a better job of getting scripts for my refills than the doctor’s office!
Deciding luck might be with me for a few minutes, I decided to roll the dice, do some research on a new primary care physician and make an appointment. In doing that, I realized I’d need my medical records.
Shit, Piss, Fuck, Cunt, Cocksucker, Motherfucker and Tits to quote a great philosopher.
ME: "I need to speak to someone in medical records to have my records sent to me. How do I go about it?"
RECEPTIONIST: "Medical records doesn’t speak to patients. You need to drop by the office and pick up a form to request your records".
WTF?! The medical records department doesn’t talk to patients either?
ME: "The form cannot be mailed? I am disabled and unable to drive so dropping by is not really something I can do easily."
RECEPTIONIST: "I’ll send the message to records. Where do you want the form sent to?"
I gave her my address but I have no real clue if the form will be sent.
Call me persnickety but I like the idea of being treated like a person instead of a inconvenient commodity. And maybe, I’ll think twice about continuing to see a physician who allows his patients to be treated that way in the future.
Interestingly, the new physician has patient forms on-line so you can download them and have them ready for your appointment or send them back. And she’s a woman.
I need a nap.
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