Do doctors feel guilty?

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cshelp
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 96
   Posted 5/6/2009 8:55 PM (GMT -7)   
Does anyone think doctors ever feel guilty? Two months ago, I was unable to go see my neuologist because after my accident, the bill at the doctor's office was over 4000 dollars. I had an appt scheduled to see her. The office called and told me they wanted at least 400 dollars or I wouldn't be able to keep my appt with her. I didn't have the money and cancelled my appt. I called the nurse and told her the situation. She made the comment,"Well we have to keep the lights on in the building and left it at that. She was so rude and it made me paranoid and I cried for a month. I fell deep in a hole, but after I wiped the tears of the morning, put my nursing uniform on went to work and took care of people better than I get care. I ran out of my meds, was going to go off my seizure meds and was going to give up. I was worried scared. I finally called the office and left a message to fill my script. The office called and left a message that she was filling my script but wanted to see me in the office. I made an appt and the receptionist told me that I had missed previous appts. I should of said I couldn't come to the office. I don't know what the neurologist is thinking because I talked to my attorney and he told me that the insurance company should have paid these bills and he sent the office a letter telling them that they were not assisting with my care. I feel horrible that I can't pay the bill. I am scared and paranoid to go see her. The pain in my legs and back are never ending. She is a wonderful neurologist but I wondering what she is going to say. I am stressed out and she knows how I feel about going to doctors because I will have panic attacks the night before and am a nervous wreck when I go see MDs. Now that I have had 2 bad experiences with pmd I dont know. Any suggestions and what kind of bad experiences have you had with MDs. I need to get this heavy weight off my shoulders cshelp shocked

Tirzah
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 2283
   Posted 5/6/2009 9:19 PM (GMT -7)   
CS-
I am so sorry you are struggling without proper care right now. Are there any free clinics by where you live? Maybe that would be an option until you are able to pay.

I know I have been having difficulty myself. My doctors don't ever ask their patients for money or refuse to see people. From my experience, that decision is usually made by the office manager. It is really hard. Sadly, it seems it is hard on all sides. My PM's office had so many delinquent accounts that they weren't able to pay their staff. The nurses started cutting their shifts as a sort of working strike. My PM threatened to leave the practice if he didn't get paid. So, I think it is really just rough on both sides. On the one hand, I know the doctors & nurses are working hard & deserve to get paid, but on the other hand I really just don't have money right now.

I still think that you should keep your appointment. It sounds like you really need your medications & even if the staff is unpleasant, at least you will be able to get your meds. You mentioned an attorney, which makes me think that you are probably in some kind of WC or auto claim. Insurance companies are notorious for dragging out payments for months or years. I am still dealing with an auto claim from 5 years ago. Perhaps your doctors will be willing to wait for payment, but it is not uncommon anymore for them to demand payment within a short period of time. Sometimes attorneys will lend money to their clients. Sometimes health insurance companies will cover the services until the claim is paid out (assuming you have health insurance). As a last resort, if you have absolutely NO other options, there are companies that charge what borders on usury interest for loans to cover medical costs until a claim is paid out.

I wish I could share sunnier news with you. In the past, it seemed that doctors were almost always willing to work with patients & wait for payment, but with today's economy and everyone being short on funds, medical providers have less leeway. Still, I really hope that you are able to work something out so you can continue to get treatment.

take care,
frances

White Beard
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 3611
   Posted 5/6/2009 10:07 PM (GMT -7)   
cshelp
Not know all your circumstances and all I still think you should go to your appointment, Doctors themselves usually don't worry about the money thing and usually they won't say anything to their patients, their job is to treat their patients, they hire others to do the less appealing part. It is unfortunate that your in that situation, but stuff like that happpens! And if you don't take care of yourself then how are you going to go and take care of others? You have others that are depending on you to take care of them don't you? You can't go off your seizure meds you know that! See your Doctor and get all the stuff taken care, of so you can take care of the others! It will all work out some how, you will see!

Good Luck to You cshelp

White Beard


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


PAlady
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 5/6/2009 10:21 PM (GMT -7)   
Cshelp,
I feel for you, too, as my insurance coverage will end June 30 and I am not at all sure what I'm going to be able to do. I'm trying to look at my options, at least until I can qualify for Medicaid. But your situation seems tied to a worker's comp. or auto insurance claim? I'm a little unclear. If that's the case I would think your lawyer needs to get on the case of the insurance, and as someone said maybe your lawyer could pay the $400 so you could be seen if the case looks like it will eventually be paid.

Like Frances said, I can see both sides, since I have operated a small private business myself, and if people cancel or don't pay I don't get paid. Many doctors aren't making what they used to, and they do have staff to pay and rent and such. So I don't know if in most cases it's doctors making a ton of money (although there are some) not giving any leeway in their practices. I think many health care practices are barely covering their expenses these days, and they have to hire a ton of staff just to fight with insurance companies.

If you can't get your lawyer to help, I would call and ask to speak with the billing department and explain your need for your seizure medication, and is there any way they can let you be seen for a lesser amount. I am going to try to work out deals with my doctors to pay them what the insurance would pay them, which is a discounted amount, if I have to be seen. But I also have found a free clinic that's not far away, and if you can find that and you know your seizure medications (I have a seizure disorder, too) even a PCP would usually be willing to prescribe those. It's not the same as with pain meds as most anti-convulsants aren't controlled substances.

I hope you can find an answer for yourself, as you definitely need the seizure medications.

PaLady

cshelp
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 96
   Posted 5/6/2009 10:45 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks for the advice. It helps to have caring people out there that want to listen. I was going to ask my PCP to refill my meds but the last visit when I went to her, she didn't even care I was there. My new doctor I see is on the 21st. I wasn't too worried about the seizure meds because I was put on the Neurontin. I had taken that before for seizures but when I ran out on Sunday I got scared. My car accident has made my finances go down the toilet and she caused the accident which is slowly tearing my life apart. I feel sometimes I would like to pack the bags and drive away. I am going to keep my appt with the neurologist and I sent them a payment 3 days ago. I just want this settlement over to pay all those bills and move on to get the right treatment. I know I am working too much but its hard when my seven year old wants something and I dont have any money. She knows I hurt and understands. It hurts me sometimes because she cant even sit on my lap related to the pain in my legs. I am so glad I found you guys. I have you PAlady in my prayers that you will get the Medicaid. Thank you cshelp

PAlady
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 5/7/2009 12:21 AM (GMT -7)   
Thank you, Cshelp! I don't know if neurontin has been your main anti-convulsant medication, but if it has and it works, great. But don't try substituting it without your doctor following it. I take neurontin but it's for nerve pain. I take another med. for seizures. My neurologist said the neurontin is one of the weakest anti-convulsants on the market. You also don't want to abuptly stop any anti-convulsant; you could end up having seizures. If you really don't have the funds I would try going to the manufacturer's website and see if they offer coupons, or if you doctor can give you samples of your med.

Good luck!

PaLady

Scarred_for_life
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 1559
   Posted 5/7/2009 2:41 AM (GMT -7)   
I saw an ad on tv for this firm that "lends" people that have been into accidents money while they are waiting for their cases to be settled. I don't recall what the name was but they claim that if you lose your case you don't have to pay a dime of what they gave you back. Don't know if that helps cs but it's worth a shot.
What doesn't kill us only makes us fight back harder! :P


Sam Roberson Jr
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 59
   Posted 5/7/2009 1:47 PM (GMT -7)   
I have had some experience with my insurance carrier not paying the doctor bill, they were trying to claim that it was a pre-existing condition, when my Doctors nurse brought this to my attention I got on the phone with my carrier and after several months we finally got it all straightened out, my Dr never refused to see me and he assured me that he would continue to see me even if the insurance co. refused to pay and that he would work out a payment plan with me in case that was to happen. It sounds to me like you may have a Dr who is more worried about his/her bottom line than the well being of their patients. In all of my years of seeing my pm Dr he has always thought of my well being first and his money second. I am very sorry that this has happened to you and I hope that you can get this all straightened out as quickly as possible.
tying to make it one day at a time....corney right


Hello~Kitty
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 610
   Posted 5/7/2009 3:28 PM (GMT -7)   
My doctor that prescribes my Suboxone normally charges $131 every 2 months, but he talked to my counselor and worked it out with them to do my drugs tests/UAs with them since my insurance will pay through my counselor for the UAs so I only have to pay $96 dollars instead, which helped me out alot. He does take medicaid but my medicaid wont pay for him to do my Suboxone treatments, which I dont understand why. My medicaid has a stick up it's butt or something cause they only will pay for me to go to this free/low fee clinic, and this clinic is a horrible place to receive any treatment.

I always wonder too if some of these doctors feel bad for the way they treat patients too. I have seen some doctors who all they care about is themselves, they have no bed side manners at all. I always felt that becoming doctor is because they care about people, but I feel some of these doctors maybe come from a family of doctors and felt force to be one, even though they could care less about the patients. And even going to a free/lowfee clinic is sometimes not worth it (atleast the one I go to isnt), cause the doctors are terrible, they've always treated me bad, no matter what doctor I saw there. So I choose to sometimes pay out of pocket to see a better doctor, one that really cares about my health, it's usually worth the money.

-hellokitty
26 years old, single mother of 2 children, 7 year old girl and 9 year old boy
DX-Lower back pain, Arthiritis, Migraines, Raynald's Phenomenon, Depression, Anxiety/Panic Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, Pancreatic Divisum, Chronic Pancreatitas, Fibromyalgia
Meds- Suboxone 16-24mg daily, Cymbalta 60mg, 100mg Lyrica, Ventolin Albuterol Inhaler, Advair, Imitrex 100mg, Ibprofen 800mg, Phenergan 25mg, Hydroxizine 25mg, Biofreeze
Surgeries- Gallbladder removed 1998, Stent in Pancreas 2003, marsupilized bartholin gland cyst, countless upper GI scopes and ERCPs
Pets- 3 degus named Pricilla, Aster, and Shorty, one female rat named Sassy, one male rat named Squeeky who's brother died on 4/18/09 and was replaced by a baby female Guinea pig name Rosalina, a baby black emperor scorpian, and a corn snake named Precious
"Never go to a doctor's office whose plants has died."
 
 


Chartreux
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 9622
   Posted 5/7/2009 7:00 PM (GMT -7)   
I wish I knew what to say to help you, I
hope you don't mind me sending you soft hugz
(((((((((((((((((cshelp)))))))))))))))))))))))))
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* Asthma, Allergies, Osteoarthritis, Spinal Stenosis, Degenative Disc, Fibromyalgia, Gerd,
Enlarged Pituitary Gland, Sjogren's and Ocular Migraines

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cshelp
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 96
   Posted 5/7/2009 10:39 PM (GMT -7)   
A soft hug always helps. I know I am in a difficult situation, but I am concentrating on taking care of myself. I will find that doctor someday who will take care of me the way I should. Thanks all you guys Have a wonderful weekend. cshelp

Lindaloo
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 1713
   Posted 5/8/2009 2:33 AM (GMT -7)   
cshelp,

I have read your posts and I have to tell you that I feel very sorry for what you have been through. If I were you I would confront the doctor on the money issue. Someone said that they don't like to take care of the money issue, that they hire others to do that job. Boy that is right, so I would have him face that which makes him feel uncomfortable. And if he says to your face that it's money first or hit the road, so to speak, then you know you need a new doctor. Often though, I have found that when confronted with this issue, the doctor will make an exception and tell the office manager to lay off of you for a while. It's worth a try.

At any rate, I have prayed for you and hope that things work out for you. These are troubling times and I'm glad that we all stick together in this forum. It sure does help, doesn't it?? Let us know how things are going. We care.

Have a lpd.

Lindaloo
Moderator Chronic Pain
 
Believe in yourself.  Be kind to fellow humans and animals.  Take time to smell the flowers and the coffee.
And by all means, when you are down, ask me for help.  I will be there.
 
Linda


angel8
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 109
   Posted 5/8/2009 2:49 AM (GMT -7)   

I have asked myself the very same question. Last year my PCP got sick and ended up in the hospital for sometime and his patients were just left hanging for a few momths. He eventually hired a part-time pain Doc to come in and see his PM patients so they could get their meds. He wasnt able to come back to fulltime status and even though he certainly is old enough to retire he didnt want to leave his patients with other course but to find another Doc knowing how hard that would be for us. 90 percent of his practice is medicaid/medicare.

The new fill in Doc would not take either of those and no insurance of anykind since he had already retired and didnt know how long he was going to stay out of retirement. that left us the patients having to pay $120 a month for a visit to get our meds,he would not do refills either no matter what your on.

That is alot of money to someone drawing less then $900 on SSD. I have paid it since July of last year and in the office this month the receptionist told me to ask for a itemized statement and medicare would refund 80% to me. I was enraged. How come no one told us we could have been doing this all along? I have had to do without alot just to be able to get my meds each month and pay for that visit.

I did as she asked and talked to medicare and they will reimburse me. That will be a good chunk of change coming back to me and I sure can use it. Still makes me mad and I cant figure out how they sleep without remorse as many folks I am sure lost their PM for the inability to pay that $120.

You can talk to the Doc but it doesnt mean you will get past the front desk on your next visit without the money in hand. I suppose if they make adjustments for one they would have to make it for all so the out front folks dont usually allow the Doc to do that.

Sorry you have had to go thru this but I until the laws change regarding how they charge and how much if that's possible there will remain those who get better care based on ability to pay or not.


PAlady
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 5/8/2009 11:41 AM (GMT -7)   
Unfortunately much of this is controlled by the insurance companies. Angel, one reason the fill in doctor probably did not accept those insurances is that you have to get credentialed (a highly specialized, paperwork intensive and time-delayed process - I've been there) by each separate insurance company before you are considered an approved provider. You have to get a Medicare PIN number from the government and if you saw the application you'd know why he didn't want to do that as a retired physician. Plus, they may not have approved him. The application for Medicare is about 30 pages long. Medicaid is different but as much of a pain. And each private insurance is different. And they may not approve a retired physician.

That being said, it should have been made easier for you from the get go to submit for reimbursement, but don't be surprised if you don't get the full $120 back. That's the problem; insurance companies set the rates and the provider, hospital, etc. has to accept it. It's a take it or leave it situation. I know that firsthand. I wish it was easier, but it's not. So it's not laws that need to change so much as the power of insurance companies. And they are a powerful lobby, to be sure.

PaLady
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