Don't We Pay Dr's!!!

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LLPLUV
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 1158
   Posted 3/30/2009 6:29 AM (GMT -7)   
I'm really mad and upset right now.  3 weeks ago my Nepherologist, Urologist and PCP have all gotten together and created a packet of 3 Dr referals to the PM doctor.  I was so relieved.  We all got to the point of agreeing that there is nothing any of them can do.  My condition is progressive in time I will need both kidneys taken out.
 
So here I am unhappy that can just do a quick fix but happy on the other hand that I will see a PM doctor to help with the pain so I can still work and enjoy my family.
 
Heres what happened.  My PCP said she would take care of the faxes and getting me the appointment with the PM.  She gave me a 10 day supply of Lortab 10's.  So here we have the first $20 copay for the visit and $15 copay for medication.
 
7 days later no appointment office staff still hadnt gotten to my name.  9 days same thing so I made an appointment for a refill plus the pain is getting bad at this time.  Blockages are occuring.  Day 10 doctor looked at me and asked why are you back?  I told her she brought in her office manager and stated this has to be done.  PM referrals get done FIRST!!  Office manager apologized and said she would call me at end of business day with appointment time.  Of course you all have guessed no call!!! Doctor gave me 5 days of Lortabs and 10 mg Toradol.  Ok heres the second $20 copay plus $15 again.
 
Today is the day 5....  Its 8:30 in the morning no appointment and will be out of medication tonight.  I'm close to tears.  With the economy the way it is we have been hit hard.  We are raising 3 teenagers and they cost money.  I have sacrificed things to make sure they don't feel to much of issues.  We are both still working but our hours have been cut back.  Thank god we still have medical insurance.
 
I have to go to the doctors office when it opens in 30 minutes.  My husband is saying make them write you a scrip and not charge the $20.00.  My office will not call in medications or write scripts unless you are seen.  (Abusers have screwed the system up for us who need the medication)  But then I'll still be out $15 on script.
 
Then if they do get me an appointment then I will have to pay another $20 and $15 or more on scripts...  I had a pain doctor but he didn't take my insurance.  Heck by now I could of paid for him and be somewhat comfortable!!!!! This appointment will make number 3 in two weeks with 3 scripts!!!!!
 
My question is " Who do the doctors offices work for?  Us or the insurance company?  I pay for my insurance.  I'm just so upset I can't think straight.
 
Chronic Kidney Stones, PKD (Polycystic Kidney Disease), Chronic Kidney Failure, Severe Hypertension


Been Butchered
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 3/30/2009 7:16 AM (GMT -7)   
That really sucks, Laurie.  I've dealt with the same kind of crap since I got butchered where they would only give a few days worth of meds and then I had to keep paying $40 copays to be seen again to get a week's worth of pills.  That went on for at least five months until I started seeing a pain doc regularly.  Of course now I've got new issues with him, but I'll save that for another thread.  I hope everything goes well and at the very least that your pain is being controlled.

White Beard
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 3611
   Posted 3/30/2009 8:03 AM (GMT -7)   

LLPLUV Do you have copies of the the packet and of the 3 referrals? If not, why not ask for copies, and also ask for copies of the the Doctors notes for each one of your visits. You know, you are entitled to them, they are part of your records. And by law I think they have to give you copies if your request them, but they may want to charge you for making  the copies! So you might want to check on that! Anyway calmly talk to your Doctor about this situation, and explain that you can not aford to keep coming back and having to pay the co-pays each time. You might want to  ask who (the Pain Specialist ) she is referring you to, and ask if you can call and make the appointment and or go there with copies of your referrals. In other words do the job of that office manager in your Doctors office who isn't  doing it! Well of course if that doesn't work,.... well ....you could always see an attorney for advice. These are all just suggestions  I have based on my own personal opinions, I just try to think of things that I would do, but obviously you need to do something, don't your? Because, from what you say the office manager sure isn't doing the job. So be creative and think of ways that could help you fix the situation, and then present them to your Doctor. I know you shouldn't have to do that, but sometimes you just have to get involved and be proactive, I mean after all it is your  health you are talking about here! I jus And in the end we are all  responsible for our own health, Aren't we?

Good Luck to You LLPLUV

White Beard


 

I'm Retired USAF, went back to school and became an RN, and now am on ful disalbility!

Degenerative Disc (affecting mostly the thorasic disc but all levels involved), C6/7 laminectomy/diskectomy& fusion, Osteoarthritis, Ulcerative colitis, Chronic Pain, Fibromyalgia, Complex Sleep Apnea, and host of other things to spice up my life!(NOT!)

Medications: Oxycontin, Percocet, Baclofen, Sulfasalazine, Metoprolol, Folic Acid, Supplemental O2 at 3lpm with VPAP Adapt SV


LLPLUV
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 1158
   Posted 3/30/2009 8:23 AM (GMT -7)   
I just got back from the office.  The referral wasn't done so I watched them fax it my PCP noticed what was going on and was not to happy about it.  They even called the clinic to see when they can get me in but got a recording.  She said she will call them at 1 pm again.  My PCP has offered when we find out when the appointment is she will write me a script for enough to get the through until that appointment. Without having to pay another $20.
 
Whitebeard..  Yes I have copies of all the referrals.  I asked for them for copies when they were written up.  I have also gotten the address for the clinic and will be going over there in a few minutes.  I will get an appointment before they make it through on the phone lines.  I am very active with my health care I have stated before in other posts my mother died at 50 with health issues and I want to stay around for awhile to play with my grandkids.  turn
 
The only reason I let them handle getting the appointment in the beginning was I had to work 12 hour shifts. Plus take care of my husband being post surgery 2x in the last 6 months for a severly torn rotary cuff.  Hes getting better tongue   just sore now.  But I have now realized the only person who can get things done is yourself......
 
I just can't believe it can be so difficult when they KNOW theres pain involved.  I feel like I'm begging for pain medication. confused   If we lived in a perfect world we would not know the feeling of pain..
Chronic Kidney Stones, PKD (Polycystic Kidney Disease), Chronic Kidney Failure, Severe Hypertension


Tirzah
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 2284
   Posted 3/30/2009 10:34 AM (GMT -7)   
Ask your PCP to write off the charge for the second visit. It was her office manager's fault that the appointment didn't get made. I'm glad she didn't charge you for today, but there really shouldn't have been any charge for the second visit since you've now found out that the referral was never sent. I think if you explain the situation to your doctor about how tight finances are & that it really wasn't your fault that the referral wasn't sent that she would write off the $20 for the second visit. I know it's not perfect, but at least it's something.

Also, call the PM's office today & let them know that your PCP is faxing over the referral and that you would like them to confirm that they received it. If they don't have it by the end of the day, call your PCP's office again.

best wishes,
frances

PAlady
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 3/30/2009 11:06 AM (GMT -7)   
LLPUV,
You've gotten a lot of good advice, and you know a lot yourself, so I'll simply add this just makes me want to scream! I know there are lots of considerations, but any PCP should know that you don't just get into another doc - a PM or whatever specialist - within 10 days in the first place. Your PCP should have just written you for a month's worth of your meds with no refill. It would even be a long shot to get into a PM in a month with most waiting lists I know.

GRRRRR......this just burns me. All those co-pays, including for meds. You should total them up and send the bill to your PCP. OK, probably not a good idea. But I'm ticked off at reading this!

PaLady

White Beard
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 3611
   Posted 3/30/2009 12:24 PM (GMT -7)   

LLPLUV

I didn't mean to come off like I thought  you weren't being proactive in your care. I didn't think that at all. And it upsets me to think that you should have to do the job that you are paying someone else to do! But to a great extend that is the way it is, and that is wrong! But there is allot of truth in the saying if you want something done and want it done right, then you have to do it yourself! And from your post you kow that all to well!

I do wish you only the best LLPLUV, It looks to me like you are doing way way to much now! With your condition and the pain that goes with it, why should you be the one carrying all that load? It seems to me I have asked you a question similar in content, in another post! Are you the only one keeps things together and makes things work?

Please make sure you look out for yourself, because from the sounds of it, if you don't, Who will????

Take Care LLPLUV

White Beard


 

I'm Retired USAF, went back to school and became an RN, and now am on ful disalbility!

Degenerative Disc (affecting mostly the thorasic disc but all levels involved), C6/7 laminectomy/diskectomy& fusion, Osteoarthritis, Ulcerative colitis, Chronic Pain, Fibromyalgia, Complex Sleep Apnea, and host of other things to spice up my life!(NOT!)

Medications: Oxycontin, Percocet, Baclofen, Sulfasalazine, Metoprolol, Folic Acid, Supplemental O2 at 3lpm with VPAP Adapt SV


shannon1
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2005
Total Posts : 369
   Posted 3/30/2009 4:54 PM (GMT -7)   
I was told that when my ins required referals, that the docs office in charge of referals usually hires people who are pushy and who will indeed continue to put off sending the referal. This makes the original doctor more money while you are waiting for your referal....not sure if this is true, but i experienced it a ton when i need referals w/ ins. The lady that handled it was a total Bi$ch, and we even had screaming fights a few times in the docs office over it....good luck, hope u got ur appt.
Jan. 2009, complete hysterectomy, diagnosed stage 4 endometriosis & adenomyosis (age 36)
2003, dx moderate UC
2000, dx selective IGA deficiency w/ anti IGA antibodies
2000, dx Antipholipid Antibody Syndrome
1999-2009, chronic hemmoragic ovarian cysts, w/ partial ovary removal
1977, complete reconstruction of foot after lawnmower accident (chronic pain)
 
Meds
6mp 75mg, prednisone 40mg (just starting meds again)
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straydog
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 13481
   Posted 3/30/2009 6:29 PM (GMT -7)   
Well, I know back when I needed referrals it was all done either by fax or a phone call more than anything. I never had a problem with my drs office either on getting referrals. The girls in charge of that task got right on it and had it taken care of. I don't know anything about what Shannon posted, never heard of that one. I am with you LL that was pure BS having to pay co-pays for the staff's screw up, should come off the top of her paycheck. See how she would like that one lol. I do hope everything is worked out now and you have your appt set up. Susie


Chutz
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 9090
   Posted 3/30/2009 8:24 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi LL...and I'm so sorry you're having to go through this mess. There really isn't much I can add as I agree with the advice above. You are a very smart woman keeping records like you do so all the balls are in your court. Sounds like it's about time to play your hand if things don't pop immediately. I see you live in TN. I found the address for your state insurance commissioner. They have a place to file complaints about insurance issues and since you are having to pay so many copays this might be a place to get some fires lit.

I'm a letter/email writer and find that if I send a few well placed letters I get action and immediately. I never get angry or sound offensive, just keep very calm and state the facts along with my frustration. My favorite time is right before an election...if I'm having an issue, all I have to do is email my representatives and senators who are running for reelection and Wham-O...problem solved...lmbo!! But I would at least look at this site or consider writing to someone about the service you are NOT receiving. No one should pay for a service 3 times without getting anything. And IMHO your doc is being a real pain in the caboose by only trusting you with a few pills at a time. If you have not given her a reason to doubt you then you should get enough for at least 1 month. That's what your insurance company would likely pay for. Mine always have.

I would also like to add that once things settle down a bit you might consider looking for a new doctor...one who practices and works with a university/teaching hospital. They don't have as many issues with pain medications and they are on top of the latest technology. With the conditions you have they should be catering to every need you have and fast! None of this doling out tiny doses of pills like you were a child.

OK, done ranting.
Chutzie

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Co-Moderator Fibromyalgia & Chronic Pain Forums
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Fibromyalgia, Ulcerative Colitis, Insulin dependent diabetic, PTSD, dermatitis herpetiformus, osteoarthritis and a few other side dishes.
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Jules22871
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 142
   Posted 3/30/2009 8:31 PM (GMT -7)   
Wow Laurie, it sounds like you are dealing with the VA. I swear that place is the worst at getting things moving. I had to literally call them every day for 3 months to get the ball rolling to get my hubby's total knee done. Don't let them push you around. I really hope you get your referral soon and they stop passing the buck. Best wishes to you!
Thirteen surgeries from motorcycle wreck. Reconstructed right pelvis, DJD left hip, trochanteric bursitis left hip, screws in knee, metal plates on right pelvis, spinal fusion to reattach right pelvis, metal plates right tibia and fibula, metal plates needs replaced on tibia, cannot walk without crutches, drop foot, nerve damage and pain, HTN, tachycardia, delayed sleep phase syndrome, PTSD, chronic atelactesis
Wonderful husband, 3 awesome children that are grown but still take care of me. Two dogs, Buddy- Cardigan Welsh Corgi/Borner Collie mic, Crash- Yorkie, 1 psychotic cat, Precious, 1 anti-social cat, Prissy.


LLPLUV
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 1158
   Posted 3/31/2009 10:46 AM (GMT -7)   

Wow I didn't know so many posts occured while I was in the ER yesterday with Renal Colic.

Thank you all for giving me some good advice...

Whitebeard - It seems to me I have asked you a question similar in content, in another post! Are you the only one keeps things together and makes things work?I have always been like my mother I feel sometimes the only person that can do anything right is if you do it yourself.  I know I need to learn to ask for help.  Heck it was painful mentally to ask my sister for help yesterday to take me to the ER when I was on my livingroom floor screaming.  I think I'm trying to hold onto some sort of independence.  You didn't come off wrong in your original post.  I understood everything you meant.  Sometimes we all have to step up to the plate with our health.

Stillrecovering - Wow Laurie, it sounds like you are dealing with the VA.  LOL  my husband gave up on the VA with his Gulf Syndrome.  He uses private docs now they made him so mad!!!

I have to go back to the docs office again this morning.

Chutz - And IMHO your doc is being a real pain in the caboose by only trusting you with a few pills at a time. If you have not given her a reason to doubt you then you should get enough for at least 1 month. I have never given any doc reasons to be concerned I NEVER abuse my meds.  She told me they can only prescribe a certain amount of pain meds at a time.  I think its crap but who knows.   would also like to add that once things settle down a bit you might consider looking for a new doctor...one who practices and works with a university/teaching hospital. They don't have as many issues with pain medications and they are on top of the latest technology. Yes as soon as I get into the PM I will find a doctor I live only 20 miles from Vanderbilt University.  I realize there is nothing they can do about my condition but sometime somewhere they have to find something for PKD.

Once again thank you all for your advice it has been very comforting.  Now if I can get through this day with still feeling the Renal Colic (not as bad as yesterday but still bad).  Going to the Urologist to get my scan and records to send to the PM doc they don't even schedule an appointment until one of the doctors looks at it and thinks I'm a canidate or not.  Then go to my PCP and express my concerns about prescriptions once a week. 

 


Chronic Kidney Stones, PKD (Polycystic Kidney Disease), Chronic Kidney Failure, Severe Hypertension


White Beard
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 3611
   Posted 3/31/2009 11:05 AM (GMT -7)   
LLPLUV
I wish you well today!

White Beard
 

I'm Retired USAF, went back to school and became an RN, and now am on ful disalbility!

Degenerative Disc (affecting mostly the thorasic disc but all levels involved), C6/7 laminectomy/diskectomy& fusion, Osteoarthritis, Ulcerative colitis, Chronic Pain, Fibromyalgia, Complex Sleep Apnea, and host of other things to spice up my life!(NOT!)

Medications: Oxycontin, Percocet, Baclofen, Sulfasalazine, Metoprolol, Folic Acid, Supplemental O2 at 3lpm with VPAP Adapt SV


straydog
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 13481
   Posted 3/31/2009 11:24 AM (GMT -7)   
LL you are so right about the "it only gets done right if I do it myself". Boy, did you ever hit the nail on the head with me. I am one of those people too, I hate to ask anyone for help. I don't care who it is, I just hate asking. I was having chest pain & went to my PCP, he did an EKG and it was abnormal, well he got scared, he was young in his early 30's and I always scared him with my health problems. He wanted to call an ambulance to take me to the ER he was afraid I was having a heart attack. I very calmly said no, I will not ride in an ambulance and if I could call someone to come get me, by the time they get here I can be at the hospital, I will drive myself lol. He was mortified but knew I meant it too. So, I did, I drove myself, didn't even remember driving there, whew. I wasn't about to call anyone, I will take care of myself thank you. Oh, has this one bit me in the butt before too. lol.
Susie


LLPLUV
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 1158
   Posted 3/31/2009 12:03 PM (GMT -7)   
Now I'm really mad!!!
 
In the beginning of this the referral should of been done a few days after she wrote me to script for 10 days worth.  Now she says her hands are tied she can't write another one or else it will be under their clause of treating pain control which they refuse to do.
 
So know my PCP says she understands the pain but I have to wait for the PM appointment which hasn't even been evaluated yet.  She says they will take me on as a patient but I have to wait for the call.
 
Now I will be out of medication tomorrow.  She said she can write me a script for Inset something like that I have no clue what the heck that it.  And that is when I can afford to see her another $20 copay which I can't do until Friday........
 
Now I'm at a loss wondering what condition I will be in on Thursday at work.  If I can make it to work.
 
I have never had to worry to much now I have no clue on how to find someone to help until this PM appointment.
Chronic Kidney Stones, PKD (Polycystic Kidney Disease), Chronic Kidney Failure, Severe Hypertension


PAlady
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 3/31/2009 12:17 PM (GMT -7)   
LL,
Ok, I can't use the language on this site to describe what I feel about your situation! That being said, I see "severe hypertension" listed in your signature, and staying angry will just put you at greater health risk. I know that it's way easier said than done, but whether it's here or in a journal, write this out of your system so you can purge the emotional garbage so it doesn't take any great toll on you. I know it's not easy. And you are not in the wrong. I'm just concerned about you.

Does the PM know you will be out of meds? If not, I'd try to call the PM's office and explain the situation. As calmly and sweetly as possible (as you will want this new PM's office to see you as a "nice" patient). Ask for their advice...how soon can the PM get you in. Then maybe you will have to take whatever your doctor has to offer in the meantime, even if it doesn't cover the pain. That means doing everything in your power - ice/heat, warm bath, purging the negative emotions (cry, scream, write, whatever), rent your favorite funny DVD - or one that will make you cry hard!), anything within your power to do to help minimize the pain until your appointment.

And if you have to call in sick to work, do it! It's not a lie. Baby yourself.

And if it gets too bad there's always the ER.

I wish I could help more.

PaLady

LLPLUV
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 1158
   Posted 3/31/2009 12:27 PM (GMT -7)   
My new PM office only takes messages. I will do as you say and kill them with kindness. I'm trying to stay calm but the tears keep falling the last two days. My blood pressure has seen worse days but each one of these days add up on the heart.

I will calm down and leave a message for the PM office. I have went without pain meds before but never right after having Renal Colic which is insanly painful.

Thank you for the advice
Chronic Kidney Stones, PKD (Polycystic Kidney Disease), Chronic Kidney Failure, Severe Hypertension


straydog
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 13481
   Posted 3/31/2009 12:42 PM (GMT -7)   
LL please, please, once you get your foot in the door w/PM dr get yourself a new PCP. What she is telling you is pure BS. She has just proven herself as far as I am concerned. When the chips are down, at your expenses no less and her very own personnel screwed up, she still will not help you. Thats a poor excuse of a dr in my book, that is totally wrong. My heart goes out to you, this is just not right. But PA is right, getting way out on the edge of anger is only hurting you not her. Need that BP down, but oh how pain shoots it up, I have been on BP meds since I was 28, I am from the bad gene pool. Its almost as if she is running a racket of some kind out of that office with all these co-pays and billling your ins company the way she is. My drs never charge for an office call when its a followup for the same problem. Once, I got in with PM and a new PCP I would have to write her a letter and tell her what this has cost you out of pocket on all these office visits that ended up each time getting nothing done, and it sounds like she is in business for the money and not helping patients which is what a dr is suppose to do. Oh, it would be a nice letter but I would point out how odd it is the way you were charged. It may make you feel better. Susie


White Beard
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 3611
   Posted 3/31/2009 12:45 PM (GMT -7)   
LLPLUV

Could you call and ask your PCP if it is time for you to hire a Lawyer and file for mal-practice or something? I mean it does sound like you might have a good case for it! Maybe you should contact a medical law group and find out? How about the PKD foundation can they give you any help with this situation? I have tried to find out what Inset is, but I can't find a listing. Do you know what it is? I wish I could be of more help to you!

White Beard
 

I'm Retired USAF, went back to school and became an RN, and now am on ful disalbility!

Degenerative Disc (affecting mostly the thorasic disc but all levels involved), C6/7 laminectomy/diskectomy& fusion, Osteoarthritis, Ulcerative colitis, Chronic Pain, Fibromyalgia, Complex Sleep Apnea, and host of other things to spice up my life!(NOT!)

Medications: Oxycontin, Percocet, Baclofen, Sulfasalazine, Metoprolol, Folic Acid, Supplemental O2 at 3lpm with VPAP Adapt SV


LLPLUV
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 1158
   Posted 3/31/2009 1:17 PM (GMT -7)   
My husband just came home from work and he is LIVID!!! White Beard he feels the same way you do hes going to call our insurance company and tell them what I just went through and he also wants to call a few lawyers on this. My gosh can you believe they wanted me to $20 just to get a script. All the nurse told me was inset for the non narcotic. I have no clue.

I called the PM clinic and left a detailed message about the dr office staff not faxing the referral sooner. Heck it wouldn't of been done yesterday if I hadn't of went in and asked if it was done they pulled it out and said no it hasn't been faxed and they faxed it then.

I didn't know there was a PKD foundation. I will have to research that... Thank you White Beard you are so full of good advice
Chronic Kidney Stones, PKD (Polycystic Kidney Disease), Chronic Kidney Failure, Severe Hypertension


PAlady
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 3/31/2009 1:55 PM (GMT -7)   
LL,
That's a great idea of your husband's - calling your insurance company. And you can file complaints with your state's insurance commissioner AND state licensure board. You can probably do some of this over the phone or online, but your insurance company may raise an eye brow if you start adding up all you've been charged for essentially NO service. And doctors hate being hassled by the insurance company.

After you've left this PCP's care, then is when you might want to file a complaint with the state's licensing board. In PA you can do this online, although they will ask for supporting documents (in your case in might be payments, etc. - and I'd get your records and see what's been noted). It is a royal pain at the least and a black mark at best on your doctor's records. Malpractice insurance carriers see complaints, even if there's no formal legal action. But most of this you want to save until after you get some better care. Still, your husband's call to the insurance company may get you some better care - and maybe even some refunds - from your doctors office. REMEMBER EVERY TIME SHE'S BILLING YOU SHE'S BILLING THE INS. COMPANY!

And crying is just fine. I in no way want you to feel you need to hold in your emotions. THat's what helps your BP go up. Cry, do a lot of things (although an intense rage tends to be a risky thing) and then try some soothing activities.

We're here for you!

PaLady
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