Monday, October 12, 2009

Medical Frustration!

Ok so this is a post that nobody will want to read, but still, I am going to write about it because I am so incredibly frustrated. I have dealt with insurance companies and Dr. offices for many years now, but seriously, since moving to Ga I have had to deal with the worst of the worst. I love Ga, I like where I live, but I am beginning to want to move just because of the medical care (or lack there of) that is available out here. It is so frustrating!

Many of you know the story about my OB/gyn dr. and the incredibly lame issues I had with that office (which yes, led me to find another dr. in town). It was the most ridiculous problem that stemmed from my insurance taking too long to pay, and the office being way too impatient to wait 4 days to receive the payment in the mail. Yes, 4 days I was told by the insurance company that the check would be delivered to their office, and still they canceled my appt until I paid in full $556 dollars (which after insurance only was only going to be $52). Canceled my appt! Can you believe that!? My first prenatal visit which took 5 weeks to get in, was canceled 4 days before going in. So yes, I wasn't able to have my fist office visit until I was already past my first trimester...ridiculous! She said on the phone, (the office manager mind you), "we cannot see you until this is paid, and yes mam I see it is a routine checkup that will be covered by your insurance, but this is our policy, you must pay it in full if you want to be seen by your dr., you will be able to get paid back from your insurance later". Policy my A**! Excuse me, but seriously, its policy to kick people out of your office before even calling the company to see what the deal is? Even the insurance company asked me, "why haven't they called us to check their status?" So really, it too is policy to not even accept the amount of $52 that I was told by insurance was all that I would be owed? Dumb. So yes, I was bitter and changed my OB to make a point that that is not how you take care of your patients, especially ones that have NEVER had a late payment in thier history. BLEH!

Ok so this was weeks ago, and I found a great Dr. that I love, so it is totally working out. But today, I get a call from my Pediatrician, (which happens at least one of every three visits scheduled) to say, "um sorry mam, we over scheduled you and we need to reschedule your appt." Not only did they make a mistake (which is fine and easy to forgive) but they didn't catch it for over a month, and now to reschedule it will take another 6 weeks to get in. OBSURD! I talked to the office manager in charge and all she would say was, "I am sorry, our policies are such that we can't fit you in before then because our drs..... yadda, yadda, yadda....." I am sick of these lame A policies that are not taking care of patients. If you all know Syds circumstances right now, then you know it is very important that she sees her dr. regularly. When they made this last appt the Dr said, "please make sure you are back in in four weeks, I really need to see how she is adjusting to these new meds." They scheduled me for 6 weeks out, which now after this reschedule in 5 weeks, puts her 7 weeks past when he wanted to see her. Does anyone else see the problem with this? When I explained this to her all she could say was "sorry" (as if that means anything at this point). I seriously hate that word and how companies such as this use it over and over again and expect it to rectify their mistakes. I have a sick kid and she is being neglected because of your mistakes! "You can take your sorry and shove it!" I am so angry, but because I am pregnant I have just been crying all day. It is pathetic! I am so upset that this is the best we can get out here. Its not acceptable, but some how, I have to accept it. IT IS SO NOT OK! I feel defeated. I usually can argue with the manager in charge to get things changed (it is one of those talents that my mother passed on to me), but even after a hour of me crying about the circumstances and telling them they needed to fix their mistake, she wouldn't budge. She had no sympathy for anything. I could tell her my daughter was dying and she would say, "sorry mam, I understand, but its policy that our dr. only see 8 patients a day...". Unacceptable!

So why are these problems occurring, and so often? I am convinced that its because there are only a few great Dr. in this city and everybody wants to see them. I also think that because we are in an area so populated with poverty, the policies are tighter in order to keep offices from losing money. "But dude, look at my history, I pay my bills people! Make an exception once in a while! DO YOUR JOB!" So yeah, I am officially frustrated with living in a small community. I am frustrated that you have to drive an hour to get a "good" root canal, or see a neurologist. Even the Neurologist that we see in Atlanta is one of like 3 in the state! And he isn't even that highly recommended! Where are all the good Doctors? NOT IN THE SOUTH! (Except the ER doctors...they are great! :) Love you Jas!

I once loved living here, but I am starting to really have issues with it. If I were in LA, or Utah I would have a plethora of great Doctors to choose from who don't treat people like this. I miss it, I miss it, I miss it! I want to go home...wherever that is, and I want to stop fighting for or over our health!


Katie said...

Oh Brit, I am SOO SORRY! I want to cry for you :(. That is seriously horrible and I don't understand how people can be that horrible!

p.s. didn't you just get finished commenting on my FB that we should move there?? NO way!! lol jk. Come move with us somewhere new that is cheap AND has good medical facilities!

Jacki said...

Don't even get me started on that issue. I have felt pushed into a corner MANY times when it comes to health care. I, too, am really loving the South, but feel really ostracized out here regarding medical issues. Stay though!! Don't go!

RussellsRoost said...

That sucks so bad Brit!!! I think that the people that can just sit there and say "Sorry" must have never had a sick child or something! There is nothing that makes a mom more frusterated then when she feels like she can't help her own child! And the people that can, won't. I hope that everything works our for your beautiful little Sydney!
I should have you talk to my insurance. I am not good at talking to people until I get my way. I give in too easy. I wish I had that gift!!

coco said...

Wow....there are no words (except really bad ones) for what they are doing to you. Is there a way you can leave a message with Syd's Dr. and tell him what they are doing to you? If he told you he needs to see her---he should be able to stay late one day and fit her in!
I am home sick today and I have been on the phone for 2 hours about bogus charges on a few of my bills--very frustrating, but nothing like what you are dealing with. Don't back down girl!

Cameron said...

Thanks ya'll for the support. After talking again to another manager (I guess a co-manager, I was told that they could fit her in for a quick check (for her meds) but not for all of the rest of her stuff. I asked if they could wave that fee and of course, nope. So now I get to have two office visit fees instead of one, I get to find someone to watch Dylan twice, and I get to wait in an office twice for 2 hours instead of once. Annoying. can I have more medical bills please...I really don't have enough as it is!