I Hate Doctor Office People

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by jason_els, Jul 7, 2009.

  1. jason_els

    jason_els <img border="0" src="/images/badges/gold_member.gi

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    "Just call them and schedule an appointment."

    Yeah. Right.

    Called them yesterday and could not get a human. "We can't take your call right now. Please continue to hold or press 4 to leave a voice mail," and then you're kicked to voice mail whether you want to or not. I don't need a voice mail, I need a human to schedule an appointment because the ancient copies of Highlights and Women's Day can't do the job any more than the wilted aspidistra you have in the corner... or the alleged staff which is supposed to do these things.

    So you leave a message no one returns.

    Called them today. Get a new message, "You have reached the office during secretary's lunch hour. Please call back after 1pm." So I call back at 1:06pm. Same message. Call back at 1:15pm. Same message. Call back at 1:40pm and we're back to the same message as yesterday.

    The office is closed on Wednesdays so they don't pick-up the phone on that day and forget weekends.

    Go to the mail. It's a bill for $25. from another doctor because I missed a Monday morning appointment. The letter admonishes me because I should have called them 24 hours in advance and told them I couldn't make it. I did call, several times, all through the weekend and not once did the voice mail system offer to take a message for me. That office will not see $25 from me even if I have to find another doctor. Never mind that at my last appointment they kept me waiting an hour and half to see the doctor and then another half hour was spent sitting in the examination room waiting for someone to show-up! What fucking nerve these people have demanding I respect their schedule when they have no respect for mine.

    This shit is chronic in most doctor's offices I go to. It's inexcusable and rude yet they manage to get away with it. The doctors are usually nice enough but you mention a problem with their staff, they not or say they'll speak to someone, yet nothing ever changes. Working in customer service for years I have to say what these people get away with we would have been fired for.
     
    #1 jason_els, Jul 7, 2009
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2009
  2. HellsKitchenmanNYC

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    Jason as I've told you before. Doctor's do it b/c they can and you are stuck. The worst and rudest examples of this are oncologists.
     
  3. Rikter8

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    So GO TO THE OFFICE and raise up a Shitstorm, then Raise up another shitstorm about a $25.00 fee that they charged you because you Couldnt get through due to their fucked up phone system.

    Raise a Stink. I'm sure your not alone.
     
  4. Onslow

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    You want a real bad time trying to get the doctor to care? I had one doctore who had his sister as the secretary/receptionist and nothing could be said against her.
    And don't pay that 25 dollars they dont deserve it.
     
  5. B_Stronzo

    B_Stronzo New Member

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    Jason?

    You speak God's truth. There's nothing worth than dealing with my PCP ... but worse yet is the specialist.

    "Hmmm now when can we get you in? How about a year from next Thursday?"
     
  6. Penis Aficionado

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    Sorry you had to go through this, Jason. My Dad and my best friend experienced the same thing when they were recently sucked into the vortex of our health care system.

    Interestingly, my Dad had medicare and excellent secondary coverage, while my friend was basically on public assistance, and they received pretty much the exact same levels of disrespect from medical professionals and their staffs.

    This is why I have no faith in Obama or anyone else to "reform" health care -- because they are not talking about holding doctors and hospitals accountable for adopting minimal standards of efficiency and customer service.
    I have often thought that when I get sick, I will ask doctors the following questions ...
    1. Can I communicate with your office by email for simple matters and expect to receive a response within 24 hours?
    2. Will my medical records consist of digital files, rather than an unwieldy stack of papers and films that must follow me around from appointment to appointment?
    3. If the former, will you share my records electronically with other medical professionals you refer me to, and communicate with them so that you all know the same things about my condition?

    I wonder if I would find any that would answer yes to all of the above ...
     
  7. jason_els

    jason_els <img border="0" src="/images/badges/gold_member.gi

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    Tell me about it! I finally got through this afternoon to a human. She asks me what office I want, I say I want the one with the earliest appointment. I'll drive to whatever town they want me. So she sets-up an appointment for the 23rd. That's just the consult. The surgery, the receptionist tells me, won't be until sometime in August or September. This isn't going to work. All I need is an endoscopy and my oncologist expects it done sometime in the next week or two. I don't know why I need a consult as this doctor did my endoscopy in January. He's the same doctor who told me I had cancer while lying there on the table barely conscious. Still, I need to get all this done so I'm shutting-up and smiling and I take the appointment.

    Then I called the oncologist's office and alerted them that the doctor to whom I was referred won't be able to see me until the 23rd and if my oncologist wants to refer me to someone else to let me know. The woman at the office said, "That won't work for Dr. K. I'll have Dr. K call or see if we can find someone else." I figure let the doctors fight it out with each other... if my oncologist can even get a human to talk to. The office staff at the oncologists are generally pleasant except for this one frustrated evil lesbian who thinks herself the office's tinpot Grandee of Protocol nearly got me kicked out of the practice. I do not talk to her at all any longer. She can talk at me, I do not reply. She is too rude to acknowledge.
     
  8. Penis Aficionado

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    When my Dad was sick I wondered if it wouldn't be a good idea to create a network -- perhaps through Facebook or something like that -- of all the patients seeing a particular oncologist. That way you could share stories like these and determine whether the receptionist was just having a bad day or really is a bitch. And then the patients could also support and encourage one another in standing up to this mistreatment.
     
  9. jason_els

    jason_els <img border="0" src="/images/badges/gold_member.gi

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    Amen! I had a consult with a doctor in Ridgewood and told the office it was self-pay. I went with my sister and they made us pay up-front. We were told the fee was $50. My sister then wrote a check on my mom's account for $50. I'm so thankful my sister has brains! She asked for a receipt and got one.

    A month later my mom gets a bill for $350 from the office claiming we didn't pay the full amount. Hello??? Oh yes we did! My mom calls to tell the office that we were told $50 was the fee and so paid it. She then informs the office that she was given a receipt for that $50 that shows, "Paid In Full," on it. Then, and get this, the biller tells my mom, "That doesn't matter. The receptionist got it wrong. Our fee is $400 for a consult and was the fee at the time of service and since that is the policy, you still owe us $350. She probably thought you had insurance." My mom, not one to be easily cowed, replied that we told them this was self-pay and that we paid the fee we were told we owed and that if they want to go to court then the judge is going to see a signed receipt stamped, "Paid In Full," on it and ask that woman to explain how we owe them more money in light of that receipt. If their office made a mistake then that's their problem, not ours.

    They STILL send bills to my mother.:mad:
     
  10. bigbull29

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    Jason, please breathe and be mindful and know that we all love you. You have every right to vent and as much as you want. I will listen. I promise you that.:smile:
     
  11. nudeyorker

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    Jason, I'm sorry you are having this problem, but I learned something important from my mother which has served me well. Kill them with kindness and these issues usually vanish.
     
  12. Dave NoCal

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    Ultimately, the staff's behavior is the doctor's responsibility. I've worked with physicians and office function and staff behavior vary widely. The staff's actions reflect both direct instructions and the physicaian's underlying attitudes. You did right to get back to your oncologist's office. They can sort it out.
    Dave
     
  13. bigbull29

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    Well, that's true, but that is a very, very hard thing to do. But you can't let people walk over you, either. But you can't bite the hand that feeds you, either.:biggrin1:
     
  14. B_dxjnorto

    B_dxjnorto New Member

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    Money. Our health care patchwork is riddled with cover-our-ass and other perverse incentives.
     
  15. nudeyorker

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    I have lived through my own health issues and those of my mother and father... Illness is a very sensitive time, but if you treat people with contempt you get treated with contempt. I have been very lucky because I have treated my doctor, lawyer, dentist, real estate broker, hair dresser...butcher, baker and candle stick maker (and all of their staff) like VIP's and they have in turn treated me the same way. I learned a long time ago that you get treated the way you treat people....and if that's not the case that person is not long for their job.
     
  16. D_Ireonsyd_Colonrinse

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    Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh and Michael Medved all sincerely assure me that we americans have the BEST healthcare ANYWHERE on God's Green Earth.

    These conservatives assure me that the "free market" system applies even to doctor's offices in NYC and quality of care -- the Darwinian analogy that postulates doctor's offices providing poor, unsatisfactory customer services will go under... that such a business will not be able to compete in the marketplace... and will be replaced by stronger, healthier, more consumer-friendly models.


    The idea is: if that gourmet coffee shop on Main Street treats you like shit and takes 10 minutes to prepare a simple vanilla latte and routinely overcharges you... the vaunted American Free Market System postulates that, in accordance with the Economic Survival of the Fittest theorem, the consumer will take his business elsewhere and the Best will surivive and rise to the top of the marketplace while the Poor Service Venue becomes extinct.


    To Free Market Conservatives, "Poor Service" only exists in government-run enterprises and is an anomaly in a competitive market.


    I suppose this means that - for the Market System to properly work and be applicable to doctor's offices - there must NYC offices somewhere out there that answer the phone and are psychologically "hungrier" than its competetors: i.e. willing to fight for your business.
     
  17. nudeyorker

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    Not really sure what you are driving at Will but I go to the Mayo Clinic once a year to get a follow-up. I'll let you know about the service at the coffee stand. But my medical care is superior!
     
  18. jason_els

    jason_els <img border="0" src="/images/badges/gold_member.gi

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    I don't live in NYC. It's 70 miles away from me. I grew-up on a farm.

    In theory, all that is wonderful however it doesn't address the inefficiencies of being restricted by HMO providers and referral requirements to stay in-network. Only Americans who can afford indemnity plan health insurance get unlimited choices. Most Americans receive health care from an employer-sponsored plan that restricts choices of providers to those within a network. They are further restricted by restrictions on covered services and are subject to the insurance company deciding what those covered services will be. To change insurance providers requires changing jobs but even if you do, you can't do it while you are sick as pre-existing condition limitations on your policy will prevent you from getting treatment for the existing illness for a period of time usually ranging from six months to a year. During that period, you must pay for that treatment yourself. Become so ill that you can't work and you lose your job and your insurance benefits. You can keep them under COBRA for a limited period of time, but you will be paying the full premium which, in many cases, is close to $1000 a month or more if you have family coverage. That does not include your copayments up to the maximum annual out-of-pocket limit. After COBRA runs out, if you were able to afford it in the first place, you're shit out of luck and are spending everything you have from IRAs to college funds and only once you are well and truly broke can you get any public assistance. That public assistance is nice but it doesn't replace all you've worked for your entire life and doesn't address the fact that you will be on welfare for the remainder of your illness or death if you have a chronic illness.

    The fact is Americans have the fewest provider and service choices in the western world as we put all health care decisions into the hands of the insurance companies who make money by denying the very care they're supposed to provide. Moreover, our system impoverishes people who could otherwise be contrbuting to society and forces them to spend down all their savings so that they become a public burden which results in these people costing the tax payers far more than simply paying for their treatment would.

    Fox is running the hen house.
     
    #18 jason_els, Jul 7, 2009
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2009
  19. B_dxjnorto

    B_dxjnorto New Member

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    If you have good insurance you pay triple to make up for those with none. The same usually applies if you pay cash--but some offer a cash discount. My EENT gave me I think 25% off for an allergy visit. But my friend got a prescription for fluorouracil for a skin condition. $180 for a one ounce tube!! I found it online someplace in Canada. It was $30 or $40 for the same ounce. I call that collusion between care providers and drug suppliers.
     
  20. jason_els

    jason_els <img border="0" src="/images/badges/gold_member.gi

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    Not to mention the government which prohibits importation of drugs from Canada because, "they might not be safe!!:eek:"
     
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