Thursday, June 16, 2016

Doctor, Doctor



Yesterday, I finally broke down and called a local doctor trying to find a new doctor in my new home. So I called the doctor everyone suggested (he's kinda cute, too) and asked about getting an appointment as a new patient. I was told that three of the four providers in this office are taking new patients. The woman took down all my information, including the drugs I'm on, what conditions I have, and who my previous doctor was. Then after all of that, she says that she will give this information to the doctor and he will decide if he will take me on as a new patient.

What...the...fuck! He's accepting new patients but apparently there is an application process. Has anyone else run into this kind of thing? I didn't think a doctor could refuse you as long as he's accepting patients. I could understand if he didn't take my insurance, but they didn't even ask that. Apparently, this is normal procedure in Vermont.

Getting a new doctor in Alabama was so simple. You called the office and asked if they were taking new patients. If they answer was yes, the doctor's office asked what insurance you had. If they took your insurance they made you an appointment. I have never had to wait to see if the doctor would actual take me on as a patient.

I was told that the decision should be made by the end of the day, but the office never called back. If I don't hear by mid morning, I'm calling them. This is my health on the line. I need to know. I also need prescription refills, which is why I am calling now. I have two more refills and then I will be out of medicine.

Why can't life be simple?

UPDATE: I was approved to be a new patient. I'm glad I don't have to search for another doctor.

6 comments:

silvereagle said...

Welcome to another stage of Obamacare....and you aint home in Alabama where things may be backward according to some, but things are simpler in many ways...

Anonymous said...

Glad you wrote. This happened to me in Missouri a year or so ago. They took 10 days to get back with me and wanted to accept me. I said no for a couple of obvious reasons. I didn't have a doctor yet but wasn't going to put up with that kind of disservice..but the expected doc wasn't cute so that might figure different.

nikki said...

You passed your audition! So crazy but glad you found a local doc.

doreus said...

This tends to happen north of the border in Canada as well. I had a physician who had no problem taking me, but she would not take young women who were planning on having babies, as she did not want to have to deal with the kind of hassle that deliveries engender. Physicians sometimes refuse patients for a variety of often highly personal and discriminatory causes. Patients who are HIV+ (even with undetectable viral loads)are often refused by ignorants who are afraid of dealing with attendant issues. Or if you are not white (my husband is Indigenous), that's another ringamarole, which probably is as common in Alabama as it is elsewhere.

Michael Dodd said...

Glad this worked out for you. This, incidentally, is not the result of Obamacare but of the American health care system in general. And apparently in other places as well. The cherished myth of pick-any-doctor-you-want (before, during or after Obamacare) is like so many things, a consoling myth with no roots in reality.

Anonymous said...

Funny you mention that.... my current doc did that - they wanted to know what meds I was on, what conditions I had, etc before they would consider taking me on as a patient. I asked about that on my first appointment and the doc said "sometimes I get people that haven't seen someone in like 20 years and that kinda gives me an idea of what I'm starting with...."

He did say that some insurers are fussing at the doctors if you don't reach "wellness targets" (smoking cessation, weight loss, etc)... and he's had to basically encourage some other patients to seek help elsewhere (apparently the practice can get banned from some insurance companies if patients don't hit these 'targets'.

It's a "whole other world" out there....

Alan
Chattanooga, TN