Help! Need new pm dr.

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Stac/Catz4
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 358
   Posted 2/22/2010 9:03 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi everyone,
I thought I had found a "good" pm doctor for another opinion and as it turns out, he doesn't take my insurance. I have had all the physical therapy that my neurosurgeon feels is good for me which is why he sent me to a doctor who does medication. The actual doctor he sent me to, was busy and they couldn't get me in to see him; that dr. is an anesthesiologist. The doctor I am seeing instead of the one my surgeon referred me to is a D.O.  What is the best way of going about finding a good pm doctor who will administer both procedures and medication? Of course, I'll have to find out what type of insurance they take and if he/she takes mine then what different kinds of questions should I ask? Should I go back to my neurosurgeon and ask for another referral or should I just look up a dr. in the phone book or online?  Any advise would be welcome. 
Cat
DXed-Syringomyelia C-1 to T-1, Hypothyroidism, Diabetes Type II, Adhesive Capsulitis "aka" Frozen Shoulder, IBS, Panic Disorder, ICC (Interstitial Cystitis), Fibromyalgia, Migraines, Bipolar Disorder, Panic Disorder
Too many meds to name/Too many allergic reactions/sensitivities to too many drugs to name. Meds for Panic Disorder, Pain, Bipolar, IBS, Hypothroidism, Diabetes, Insomnia and then some.
 
 


MsBunky
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Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 1097
   Posted 2/22/2010 9:06 AM (GMT -7)   
I would actually do both Catz...contact your neurosurgeon and explain the problem, but in the meantime, you can also contact other doctors yourself to ask the questions you need answered re: insurance, etc. You might be able to then make suggestions to your neurosurgeon.

I'm sorry this is causing delays for you...hang in there.

Pam
Conditions: Fibromyalgia, Chronic Pelvic Pain, FAI, Reynauds, IBS, Interstitial Cystitis, Surgical Adhesions, Ophthalmic Migraines, Severe Hot Flashes (Surgical Menopause and drug related), plus physically unable to vomit due to Nissen, and I have extremely tiny veins...a joy for blood work or IV's)
Surgeries: Appendix, Uterus, Nissen Fundoplication for GERD, Left Ovary, Gallbladder, Right Ovary, TVT
Medications: Oxycontin, Tramacet, Cymbalta, Nortriptyline
Other: Vitamin D, Multi-Vitamin


Stac/Catz4
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 358
   Posted 2/22/2010 9:12 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks Pam,
I am going to call my neurosurgeon and ask him as that just seems the quickest means to an end, but I would like to know some good questions. In essence, I want to interview my potential doctor! After what I've been through, I think I have the right to interview! Is that right or am I being too pushy?
Cat
DXed-Syringomyelia C-1 to T-1, Hypothyroidism, Diabetes Type II, Adhesive Capsulitis "aka" Frozen Shoulder, IBS, Panic Disorder, ICC (Interstitial Cystitis), Fibromyalgia, Migraines, Bipolar Disorder, Panic Disorder
Too many meds to name/Too many allergic reactions/sensitivities to too many drugs to name. Meds for Panic Disorder, Pain, Bipolar, IBS, Hypothroidism, Diabetes, Insomnia and then some.
 
 


bsjaguar
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Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 974
   Posted 2/22/2010 9:26 AM (GMT -7)   
Most insurance carriers have a website to look up doctors that are in your network by specialty. I would start there because most physicians would instruct you to contact your insurance company to see if they are a covered provider. This would save time other than just looking in the phone book for doctors. Hope this helps!
---Jag---
 
DDD, osteoarthritis, facet syndrome, fusion surgeries C-5/7 & L-4/5 both in 2006, torn meniscus surgeries left knee 2000 & 2002, buldging disc L-2/3


Blessedx8
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Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 3193
   Posted 2/22/2010 9:41 AM (GMT -7)   
Catz4...

Hi... I'm sorry to hear the doctor you found doesn't take your insurance. I hate when that happens!

NO...you are absolutely not being too pushy by wanting to "interview" someone. I now have a pretty wonderful medical team. But, I went through h*** getting here. For a long while, I just "accepted" the doctor that was given to me, even if I was treated exactly right or I didn't really like them, etc. (I've got a big "people pleasing" part of me! - not so much anymore, though!). Anyway, through many different experiences, I learned that this is MY health we are dealing with and that I needed to find the right doctors for me.

A good example is to compare a doctor to anyone else we'd hire - a contractor to build a room addition; a mechanic for our cars; etc. Most of the time, we set appointments with a few, get a few estimates - and then "hire" the best from there, right? To me, it should be the exact same when dealing with our health. I know that health insurance plays a role in the doctor we choose... But, outside of that, I think we should work to find the very best care...

My advice would be to call the doctors you are considering and set up a "consult". Explain to the receptionist that you are needing a new PM doctor and that you would like to have a consult w/ Dr. "X" and explain your situation. From there, I'd go in and explain your health situation. You can ask any questions you'd like answers to...(I'm not sure all of your particular needs...). I would write down your questions, because often times, we get in an appointment like that and our minds can go blank!!

After the consult, you should pretty much know if that doctor is a possibility or an absolute "no!". :)

Hang in there! I know this is a lot of "extra" work... but I really think it's worth it to find the right doctor --- because it really does make such a difference.

Tina
Main Health Problems: Dysautonomia/POTS; CFS/Fibromyalgia; Severe Hypertension; Hypothyroidism; Hypoadrenalism; Mixed (Obstructive/Central) Sleep Apnea - on Auto BiPap; Depression/Anxiety; Severe Vitamin D Deficiency

Pain Issues: Cervical/Thoracic back pain; migraines; carpal tunnel syndrome; widespread joint/muscle pain, nerve pain in hands/arms/feet; Future Plans: Intrathecal Pain Pump; already completed trial (Sept, 2008); awaiting my decision for implantation

Meds: MS Contin; Dilaudid; Actiq; Soma ; Neurontin; Atenolol; Midodrine; Phenergan/Zofran/Reglan; Effexor(depression)/Ativan(anxiety); Synthroid; Prednisone; and on the list goes...


keep the faith
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 91
   Posted 2/22/2010 11:23 AM (GMT -7)   
In the past I have called my insurance company and asked them what PM doctors take their insurance. i was amazed the good doctors I got that way. You might try it.

Stac/Catz4
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 358
   Posted 2/22/2010 1:01 PM (GMT -7)   
I found another doctor that is an anesthesiologist and rated quite well as a pain management doctor. He takes my insurance and when I asked about how to get a consult with this doctor, his office said I needed to have my present pm doctor to send over my records and then it would be 3 weeks before they would be able to see me. Now, if I ask for my records to be moved from one pm to another, how quickly do you think the 1st pm doctor is going to pull out from under me? I say pretty much immediately!! I think he will get angry and not see me anymore and then if this new doctor is not helpful, what do I do then? This is way over my head and emotionally wearing me out! It seems to me that it would be just as easy to stay in the dirty, police patrolled, drug selling/stealing, jerk of a doctor, no pain relief, pain management clinic than it would be to be without any help at all for the next month! O.k, I just got off the phone with my neurosurgeon's nurse. I'm upset and crying and hurting. I asked what the last MRI showed when I had it done with them and my Syrinx was from C-6 to T-2, according to the pm at my MRI in December, the Syrinx was C-1 to T-1. That is a huge difference which could explain my increase in pain to my blinding headaches. The N.S.'s office is calling to get the records from pm so that my surgeon can see if this has grown as much as it has. If it has, if in fact the pm group read the MRI incorrectly then good, if not, this is not good at all.
Cat
DXed-Syringomyelia C-1 to T-1, Hypothyroidism, Diabetes Type II, Adhesive Capsulitis "aka" Frozen Shoulder, IBS, Panic Disorder, ICC (Interstitial Cystitis), Fibromyalgia, Migraines, Bipolar Disorder, Panic Disorder
Too many meds to name/Too many allergic reactions/sensitivities to too many drugs to name. Meds for Panic Disorder, Pain, Bipolar, IBS, Hypothroidism, Diabetes, Insomnia and then some.
 
 


straydog
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 13470
   Posted 2/22/2010 1:39 PM (GMT -7)   
Catz this is awful and I feel bad for you. Here is my two cents for what it is worth. Yes, many pain drs want to review records before making an appt, my dr is one of those that does this very same thing.
 
Maybe later this evening when you a calmer and feeling a little less stressed you can go online to your health insurance cmpany's web site and look for  pain mgt drs in your area. Print off the list. If they don;t have a wensite and you have no book, call your ins for names & numbers.
 
Let your neuro get you medical records from the current pain mgt dr, that would not be an unusual request.
 
Tomorrow morning start calling these drs and say you are being referred out to pain mtg and you need to know if the dr does procedures and rx's meds or does he do procedures only. Tell the person on the phone you need someone that does both. Then verify they take your ins. There are two types of pm drs out there.
 
Once you have the drs offices called and you have the scoop on how he practices, call your neuro's office and give the names and phone numbers of the ones that do both, procedures & meds. Put a star or check by the names of the drs office that are nice when you call asking info. Give those names out first, the ones that were nice to you.
 
Then let your neuro's office take care of the referring and scheduling. You will not be caught in the middle of this with the current PM dr. When you go see the PM dr do your interview.
 

crohns disease dx 2002 & small bowel resection, still looking for remission whatever that is, chronic pain 22 yrs, added ulcerative colitis 6-05 to the mix, high blood pressure 28 yrs, aortic heart valve insuffiency, depression, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis lumbar spine, scoliosis lumbar spine, peripheral neuropathy hands & feet, COPD & on oxygen therapy, lupus & psoriasis and psoratic arthritis. Several other health issues just not enough room to list it all. Too many surgeries to list and too many medications to list. Currently on 17 different daily medications. Intrathecal pain pump implanted June 05.


PAlady
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 2/22/2010 2:38 PM (GMT -7)   
Catz4,
Straydog's advice really put it all together (others have given good advice, too!). It is frustrating, to say the least - and I mean to say the least! That's what we're here for, to listen and support eachother through all these bumps (and mountains) in the road.

One thought though about consults - be sure to clarify if you're going to be charged for a consult, or if your insurance is going to cover it. Some doctors used to understand a prospective patient's need to meet with them for say, 15 minutes, and might even have a small fee for that, but anymore with all the insurance complications of fees and billing and such plus many docs just being too busy they don't do that. I'm not saying they shouldn't do it, but you just don't want to get hit with a bill that's unexpected. If you have good insurance, it may cover these office visits without a problem, or with just a co-pay, but be sure the doctor understands if it's just a consult (you can ask the receptionist for the types of visits - these get complicated with biling codes and such and will make a difference as to whether your insurance will pay).

Hopefully you'll get lucky and between whittling down the docs that take your insurance, and those that do meds and procedures, well, unless you're in a major city that will probably be only a few docs. And of course no more police officers in waiting rooms!

I have taken to getting and keeping copies of my medical records, and that way I can just make a copy and take them with me whenever needed (which is fairly frequently these days), because I know they don't always get faxed from one place to another as they should be.

Just take one step at a time. You may find there are not a lot of docs on that list so maybe interviewing a couple - or even just talking on the phone to their staff, visiting their office, will help narrow it down quickly.

Good luck!

Hugs,

PaLady

skeye
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 2976
   Posted 2/22/2010 4:56 PM (GMT -7)   
Cat,

I'd try to set up an appointment with the "old" PM before you request your records be transfered & I'd explain that you wanted to see another doctor for a "second opinion." You might also ask if your current doctor can keep prescribing for you until you get that second opinion. If for some reason he says no, you might go to your pcp & explain the situation & ask him/her to prescribe your meds for you until you see the new doctor (just a one-time thing, not anything regular). People get second opinions all the time. I don't see why your doctor would have a problem with it -- in fact many doctors encourage second opinions. Best of luck with the transition!

hugs,
Skeye

Stac/Catz4
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 358
   Posted 2/23/2010 7:17 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi all,
Depression has been trying to take me down and eat me alive! I believe it wold be an excellent idea to ask my pc to take over for a few until I can find someone else. I think he might actually do it. I see the old pm dr tomorrow. I am going to request something big, I don't know what BIG is! But I'm going to let them know I'm tired of living in pain. I will also ask them how they suggest I get a second opinion. I feel so used and cheated! I am also going to start asking for copies of all my medical records from all of th doctors I see and there are many! Thanks for the advise, but more thanks for the support. I'm still struggling with pain so intense I'm sick, I'm exhausted and I don't feel as if I can do all of this while the pain is so crazy, but I'll take it dr at a time.
Cat
DXed-Syringomyelia C-1 to T-1, Hypothyroidism, Diabetes Type II, Adhesive Capsulitis "aka" Frozen Shoulder, IBS, Panic Disorder, ICC (Interstitial Cystitis), Fibromyalgia, Migraines, Bipolar Disorder, Chronic Muscle Spasms
Too many meds to name/Too many allergic reactions/sensitivities to too many drugs to name. Meds for Panic Disorder, Pain, Bipolar, IBS, Hypothroidism, Diabetes, Insomnia and then some.
 
 


straydog
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 13470
   Posted 2/23/2010 10:29 AM (GMT -7)   
Catz yes depression is part of CP for some reason they just go hand in hand. If you are not anything for depression then talk to your PCP about trying to find one that will agree with you. You may have to try several till you find the right one but it will be worth it. If you are on something already, perhaps you need an increase or something new, just don't let it get out of hand on you.

It would be nice if your PCP would agree to rx till you can find another PCP, maybe he will consider it since it would be temporary. Let us know how thing turn out and let us know what your neuro finds out on the MRI.
 

crohns disease dx 2002 & small bowel resection, still looking for remission whatever that is, chronic pain 22 yrs, added ulcerative colitis 6-05 to the mix, high blood pressure 28 yrs, aortic heart valve insuffiency, depression, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis lumbar spine, scoliosis lumbar spine, peripheral neuropathy hands & feet, COPD & on oxygen therapy, lupus & psoriasis and psoratic arthritis. Several other health issues just not enough room to list it all. Too many surgeries to list and too many medications to list. Currently on 17 different daily medications. Intrathecal pain pump implanted June 05.

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