evil doctors...

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by sisterpine, Jun 29, 2005.

  1. sisterpine

    sisterpine Goshen Farm Supporter

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    :grump: Several years ago I had the unpleasant opportunity of visiting a local neurologist. I took all my tests and records with me and during the visit the doctor: did not look at me even one time, did not examine me, did not look at my medical test results, spent less than 3 minutes with me and told me to see a neurosurgeon because "you must have surgery". For this service he charged me like 350.00! My insurance paid 315.00 and I refused to pay the rest. I wrote a letter explaining why I would not pay and told them I would see them in court if they passed my bill onto a collections place. And there it stayed for about 5 years. Now my local doctor wants me to go back to this AH and have a nerve conduction study done on both of my arms. I called AH's office to make an appointment and was told that I would have to pay 500.00 up front for the test (though my insurance would pay 100 %) and then I would have to get reimbursed from my insurance company because I had filed BK on my previous bill! There is no other neurologist within 150 miles so my choices seemed limited or I would never have even called his office. Needless to say I was bouncing off the walls (did not file BK) and gave the very rude office manager quite a ripping. Now I am wishing I had told my insurance carrier not to pay the bill either! And....I will be making an appointment for the test to be done in Missoula inspite of the gas costs etc. A very irritating experience...I am learning to dislike those doctors more each day! Just ranting and thanks for letting me!
     
  2. Becky H.

    Becky H. Well-Known Member

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    Sorry about your evil doctor you have a right to go see who you feel comfortable with! I wouldn't want them to benefit off me either if I was very displeased to be there. Good for you for making a trip to see someone else. It's your choice! Combine that trip and make some good out of it too. AM fun stuff, PM appt for the doc, and you'll get something done in the city.

    I've had some horrific doctor stories too. Earache, but wanted to sqeeze my privates sorta thing. Gotta watch yourself nobody else gonna do it but you. Good luck.
     

  3. Misty

    Misty Misty Gonzales

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    Thankfully, most of the docs are NOT like this. I worked for family practice docs for 9 years before going off and trying something new...(I am back in family practice and have a GREAT doc to work with.)....
    The first opportunity to come across was plastic surgery....The surgeon was great, but her husband, the office manager was HORRIBLE. I was given the opportunity to be employed by a neurosurgeon. I took it. Big mistake.

    The office manager is still there from all I know, but this guy is a gem....... :no:

    Sorry you had such a bad experience. Hopefully there is other things to do at the neurologist where you are going now...
     
  4. texastami

    texastami Zone 7B Supporter

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    Absolutely agree with you Sisterpine!!! We have spent many hours in the neurologist office with my middle son and I have seen my share of rude, irritating and condescending drs!!

    Our latest run in with the neurologist occurred in 2003 after the baby was born... insurance was paying 100%, deductible had been satisfied for the year, and we wanted to have DS in for a checkup (hadn't seen one in about 3 years) wanted to know the status of the "mass" in his brain and get him off his meds if possible (they doped him up severely)

    Well, after I wait for 30 days to get an appointment with someone who came highly recommended- they scheduled me with the WRONG dr. and I had to see the woman Dr. instead. She is rude, treats me like I not worthy of her time - I brought all of DS records and information regarding his medical history and meds he has been on in the past.... She was very condescending and got snotty with me. Tells me she is going to put him on another "new" drug and when I question her choice says that I DON"T HAVE A CHOICE in the matter.... this is what he needs, she says!!

    I was very irritated with her, her bedside manner, etc - walked out of that appointment and swore I wasn't going back!! I paid my $20 co-pay and left. About 6 weeks later, I get a huge bill from them stating that they never received payment from the insurance and the bill is now my responsibility... plus I didn't pay my co-pay!! I called them, talked to their office manager 3 times, spoke with my insurance company TWICE and found out that they had billed the insurance 3 different times with three different dates of service!! (but the insurance only paid for the first time - the other two were in "review") For almost $500 each time!!! I was furious!! When I called them back and confronted them with this information, I was told it was an OFFICE error and things would be handled... 4 weeks go by, I get another bill stating they are sending me to collections now for this past due account... so round three starts... and they refuse to admit that THEY screwed up!! Once its all said and done, I get a demand letter for my $20 co-pay!! I paid it on the day of my visit!!! UGH!!!
    I told her I wouldn't pay it again, and unless they planned on taking me to court, they wouldn't be getting any further payment from me!!
    She informed me that my account would be cleared of the $20, after almost 4 months of this crap going on... but then said that my account would also be flagged for any further services and I would have to pay IN FULL CASH UP FRONT for any services from this point forward, with my account being credited for anything my insurance covered after the fact! NOT!!! I won't ever go back to them again and I told my insurance company about it as well..... stupid DR's!!

    I may have been born at night, but it wasn't last nite!
     
  5. homebirtha

    homebirtha Well-Known Member

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    That's terrible.

    I had one thought. Is the nerve conduction test for carpal tunnel??? If so, you might want to try to find a orthopedic specialist instead. They also treat CTS and usually have the equipment to do the test. It doesn't have to be a neurologist.
     
  6. texican

    texican Well-Known Member

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    sisterpine,
    consider yourself fortunate...
    you do have insurance, and you'll be reimbursed by your insurance...although that could take many months...

    You could have the same insurance plan I've got....get hurt or sick? ...stay at home on the couch until you feel better. My dog get's better health care than I do.

    My standard response to anyone who complains about the cost of healthcare, (and I don't mean to sound flip with you)....it sure beats the alternatives. Like the old folks say, any day you wake up on the right side of the dirt is a good day.

    I think back upon my gggranpa who limped for 70 years (a miniball in his hip from one of them dang yankee sharpshooters in the War of Northern Agression), and how he had no choice, as the only surgery they had for his problem was amputation... my point is a 150 years ago, if you got hurt, you just hurt...there wasn't any miracle drugs or cures...get diabetes, you die, heart disease, you die, get sick, die! So no matter how expensive the care, it's better than the alternatives, which is either a dirt bed, or a lifetime of unremitting pain...
     
  7. Marilyn in CO

    Marilyn in CO Well-Known Member

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    So true, texican, but I do believe that the out of control insurance/gestapo AMA/politics of the whole doctor thing in the US has created a system that leaves a good/compassionate doctor in the dust. That is WHY the farmer and I stay as far away from doctors as we can.......we use them for ER but not for anything else. Haven't seen a MD for over 20 years. I go to naturopaths/chiropractors/acupuncturists and I am a trained herbalist. I like the non intrusive/nutritional/immune boosting type of health care.

    We have health insurance but have the highest deductible available. AND we have never had a flu shot.

    Don't get me wrong.......antibiotics are wonderful when you really need them and thank goodness for morphine.

    The farmer's wife......
     
  8. MorrisonCorner

    MorrisonCorner Mansfield, VT for 200 yrs

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    Ok, my .02 on this one...

    We fired a hospital. Sent them a fax in 40 point type so there would be NO mistake, sent a copy to our insurance company, and told everyone who has ever asked "what do you think about the Fletcher Allan Hospital in Burlington, VT" IT SUCKS. In this case, the doctor was actually fine... but the support staff wasn't. They were absolutely abysmal. From the clerk at the desk to the "nurse" (she may have been another clerk), to the accounts receivable department who.. yes... see people above... tried to bill multiple times for one visit.

    I finally called them and said "this is fraud you idiots! you can go to jail for this!" And guess what? Seems it went clear to the top because the CEO IS going to jail for another form of fraud!

    I LOVE my little local hospital (Copley in Morrisville). And I like my local doctors... from my long suffering PT to my neurologist who keeps telling me to give up coffee and knows it ain't happening.
     
  9. antiquestuff

    antiquestuff Well-Known Member

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    Ahh, don't feel bad....one doctor when I was little could of made me lose one of my eyes had I not been brought to an eye specialist, who fixed the problem (I had a very bad pain in my eye and the bad doctor was totally wrong, gave medication prescriptions, which of course did some damage...). You only got hurt in the wallet and the nerves.
     
  10. Tarot Farm

    Tarot Farm Well-Known Member

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    We have some bad doctors here in Illinois too. I had a ruptured appendix and had walked around with it that way for over a week....ok, I have a high tolerance for pain. But this was 'after' I had already had a 9mm go through my chest. :D

    Well, they finally got done with the tests, found out that I had not insurance, made me sign another 45 minutes worth of forms 'before' they could start my 'emergency surgery'... :haha: I finally got to sign the little paper telling them that it was ok with me to cut on me for a grand total of three small inches.....and I woke up later 'butchered like a cow'! No lie, the surgeon cut me from 'as high as he could go to as low as he could go'. Not to mention the fact that I had some 'stitches left in me that were not the kind to disolve on their own' and spent the next three years having abcesses form and having them to cut the plastic stitches out.

    Plus, I got billed three times for the same surgery! As I had to explain to them and the collections agency later on....a person only has one appendix and there is not any way that I had the same appendix operation on Feb. 26, Feb. 27 and Feb. 28th!
     
  11. sisterpine

    sisterpine Goshen Farm Supporter

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    Well, as usual, you are all correct! I guess I get hurt and upset partly because I do such a crappy job of standing up for myself on most occassions. And then when I finally am able to gather all my spirits and take a stand it comes back and bites me LOL. I am in fact going back to the ortho surgeon in another city who did all the nerve compression surgeries on both arms and he will perform the nerve test and do an evaluation for my work comp, long term disability stuff. Thanks for letting me rant - lost enough hot air that I was actually able to think clearly and come up with a plan!
     
  12. Misty

    Misty Misty Gonzales

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    St Mary Corwin Hospital in Pueblo CO....nuther one.
    Sent us to collections twice for 1. blood work I never had performed. Had an xray that day, insurance paid it. They can't produce results...2. Sent to collections 4 MONTHS AFTER my insurance had paid!!! No joke.
    Tried to bill me for a $50 copay after an outpatient surgery. I have two insurances....they paid the total amount billed. The broad at the billing office couldn't understand that the x amount billed-insurance 1 payment, - insurance 2 payment=0.00!!! She insisted I had a $50 copayment.
     
  13. fellini123

    fellini123 Well-Known Member

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    OK I have another horror story. Hubby was grinding and got a very small piece of metal in his eye. We normally go to the VA hospital in Salem VA. I called them, because, of course it was after hours. They said they did not have an eye doctor on call, and that hubby should go to the local hospital.

    So off we went to the ER. He was seen and taken care of. We have Champus, and told the ER that. A few months later we got notice for the hospital bill, Champus paid most of it and we owed 249.00. I paid it and I thought that was that........silly me.

    First of all I fine out that the MOST we were supposed to pay was 199.00 so I did get a refund from the hospital. Yeah But then we get the bill from the Doctor, for 350. I tell them to bill Champus. They do......Champus does not handle this claim but sends it immeditely to Medicare. Hubby does not have Medicare, never has. Medicare agrees with this and sends the bill back to the doctors office.

    The doctors send the bill to us, I tell them to send it to Champus, Champus sends it to Medicare and Medicare sends it back to the doctors!!! This has gone on about 8 times. It has been over a year now and the doctors office is sending the bill to collection. We have called both Champus, who admits that they are responsible for the bill, but for some reason they keep sending it to Medicare, who admit that he does not have a Medicare account. :bash:

    Ends up we are going to have to pay it. I am SOOOO frustrated. And of course hubby doesnt want to deal with it, and none of the agencies will talk to me because I am not the party that had the treatment!!!!

    Talk about a catch 22!!!
    Alice in Virginia
     
  14. foxtrapper

    foxtrapper Well-Known Member Supporter

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    You met a lousy doctor, told him/her where to go, and refused to pay.

    Fast forward, you attempt to visit the same doctor, and are surprised that they aren't thrilled to see you again.

    You're surprised?
     
  15. sisterpine

    sisterpine Goshen Farm Supporter

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    Nope not surprised one little bit! Was just surprised that they would not perform the test without payment upfront by me since my insurance has agreed to pay 100%. Folks living in very rural areas often have fewer doctors to choose from so those that are bad can get away with staying that way as they have a captive client base! No more for me, just made appt with a great doc I know in a town small city 2.5 hours from my home.
     
  16. GeorgeK

    GeorgeK Well-Known Member

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    EMG's are not part of the residency for ortopedic surgeons, there might be someone out there who is an orthopedist and did a fellowship in EMGs, but in general EMGs and Nerve conduction studies are done by neurologists and physiatrists. As for doing Carpel tunnel surgery, yes many orthopedists as well as general surgeons and neurosurgeons, even a few plastic surgeons do carpal tunel releases


     
  17. GeorgeK

    GeorgeK Well-Known Member

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    If your appedix ruptured a week prior, there is no way to drain that kind of an abcess through a standard appendectomy incision. the standard incision is for when the appendix has not yet ruptured, but is only inflamed prior to the rupture. Your options at the point you showed up in the drs office or ER was,
    1. Do nothing, in which case you might (A) get septic and die a slow painful death, or (B) it might form a contained abcess and eventually erode through the abdominal wall and drain on its own.
    2. Stay on antibiotics which can lessen the risk of 1A and increase the likelihood of 1B, but is not considered standard of care
    3. Wait for the abcess to get big enough to see it on ultrasound or CT and have a percutaneous drain placed by a radiologist. Usually this takes multiple outpatient visits, and requires multiple CT's, well into the tens of thousands of dollars.
    4. Have a formal exploratory laparotomy through a stem to stern incision, wash out the infection, and you may still have recurrent abcesses requiring options 1-4 again. Also when doing surgery for an abcess, depending on the situation, some times absorbable sutures are not recommended, but monfilament sutures are (not braided), depending on how well stocked the OR is there might not have been another option.

    Pain is there for a reason, it is to tell you there is something wrong. To ignore pain can increase complications


     
  18. GeorgeK

    GeorgeK Well-Known Member

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    Unfortunately all fields, from Drs to Lumberjacks will have some bad eggs. If what you say is true, it could probably be corroborated by reviewing the chart, and comparing that to his schedule book, and then reviewing the insurance claim. A three minute, first patient contact without an exam would be a level 1 visit, if he charged you 350$ that sounds more like a level 5 visit. Now to be fair, he may have received records from the primary care doctor and reviewed them prior to entering the exam room. To bill a level higher than provided is sometimes simply a clerical error, and in other cases insurance fraud.


     
  19. GeorgeK

    GeorgeK Well-Known Member

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    Ok I'm nitpicking, but that is the insurance company, not the dr that you should have the beef with. the whole thing, our whole country, every occupation has been invaded by beaurocrasy


     
  20. Jenn

    Jenn Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Sorry you ran into some of the bad doctors, best you not go there again anyway, SP and TT.

    I recommend you all keep in mind what my favorite author, Miss Manners, says about doctors. She reminds us that in the societies we envy/emulate when we give certain groups higher status; only those who don't work for a living (nobility etc lords queens knights) are above the rest of us. Doctors, no matter their pay/income/net worth, are servants for the nobility and in the USA for all of us. Why should we consider them better than any other group in our society?

    So when you go to a doctor behave as if they are working for you- they are after all!- and insist on value/service for you or your insurance company's money and be as careful as you would with your plumber builder mechanic etc. maybe more so becase it's your BODY you're talking about. Of course they can't sell you a new one if they can't fix it for you but you deserve an explanation that you can understand of whatever the doctor thinks should be done (and discussion not commands) and explanation if you are not actually sure that they understand the problem (not looking at the records etc would not be reassuring at all).

    That said I certainly don't satisfy all my patients but hope I've never come across as these docs did to you.