Monday, September 14, 2009

Monday Madness

If I haven't mentioned it, one of the advantages to becoming a college student again is that I have the ability to purchase health insurance. As soon as I was dispersed my grants for the semester, I paid up. I am once again insured.

As I haven't seen any doctors for nearly 18 months, it was time to start scheduling appointments. A neurologist to find out whether the RSD has spread. Another doctor for a checkup and an annoying issue that runs in the family. Soon, an appointment with Nurse M to do a baseline, since I haven't seen her in a while.

SSDI is of the mind that if you're not seeing doctors, you can't be that bad health wise and denies the claim. Never mind the fact that I'm hurting and don't have the funds to see my doctors.

So, the neurologist is scheduled-for mid October. The other doctor's appointment seemed too good to be true: I called Thursday and was offered an appointment for this morning. "Are you sure?", I asked. Yes, was the reply. 9:45, in the same building that I see Nurse M. One hour from home.

I arrive at 9:35, give my car to the valet and head to a different floor and wait 10 minutes for a receptionist to check me. My insurance card has not arrived, but I had my confirmation of insurance. This caused a little trouble, I offered to self pay and await reimbursement, but they 'don't like to do that.' I was sent to chairs and told that someone would call me. No new patient paperwork was offered. Weird. I would have asked, but she walked away from the desk.

Twenty minutes later, I get called over. They've checked with USF's student insurance, have my information, and she hands me a new patient pack to complete. I'm about 3/4 complete when I get called again. She apologizes, but it seems that my appointment with the one doctor was bumped on Friday when they realized that Dr. Mc was overbooked, and I was scheduled with Dr. M a HALF HOUR EARLIER. No one bothered to call me.

It's now 10:20-ish, a full hour after the time I didn't know I was scheduled and I'm told that Dr. M is also overbooked, so they have to reschedule me. I really couldn't go off on the receptionist, she was the messenger, but I mention that I live an hour away, I could have spent this time more wisely (studying for a test that's tonight) and asked why no one called.

See, this physician's group has a lovely automated phone system that calls to remind you of appointments two to three days prior (Game Teen's usually are three days ahead, mine with Nurse M would be about 2 days ahead). I think the doofus that rescheduled me and didn't call assumed the automated system would do it. Nope.

Since I was there and on a different floor, I decided to visit Vascular. (I saw RFKATGBA and she nodded and said hello-and smiled!) I spoke on the phone with Nurse M, since she wasn't seeing patients and she was stunned that they made the mistake and didn't squeeze me in. She kept saying over and over "We ALWAYS squeeze patients in, no matter what."

I guess the difference is that her patients can have life threatening issues and I was going for a routine exam with an additional medical concern in another department. I can't say I haven't had issues elsewhere in the system, but it's a little annoying that a change was made, but they can't find the time to call a patient.

The sad part? Every reception counter in the building has a little standee with cards, "We want you to give us a report card on today's visit". Yeah, so not getting a good grade.




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