Thursday, February 02, 2006

My Doctor Has Divorced Me!

What did I ever do to merit a letter of this ilk???
Edit: there is a long response in the comments, and an addendum below)

January 26, 2006

Dear Mrs. _________,

This letter is to inform you in writing that this practice will no longer be available to you for health care services 30 days from your receipt of this letter. I am scaling back my practice in order to attend to administrative activities. Therefore, I am asking some of my patients, especially those who are not followed regularly here, to seek care elsewhere. Unfortunately, my two associates here are also quite busy and unable to take additional patients at this time.

I request that you find another primary care physician at your earliest convenience. This practice will remain available to you only for emergencies during the next 30 days. After that time period, please do not call this office for appointments, for refills on medications, with further requests for referrals to other physicians, or any other questions or requests. Any future appointments you may have here have been cancelled.

We will promptly forward your medical records to any new primary care physician you may choose upon written request. My apologies for any inconvenience this may cause you.


_____________, MD

I received this on January 30th. I haven't decided whether to be mad, sad or merely shocked, but at present I am all of those. My only sin, as I see it, is that I am hardly ever sick and seldom go to the doctor. Perhaps I am not as much of a cash cow as he would like - so I am being put out to pasture. That's one scenario.

The other, and one I believe to be more likely, is that I am now at the age for Medicare eligibility. Once that happens, doctors may have to compromise on the amount of money they will accept for medical services, which is often less than with conventional insurance policies. I guess it isn't against the law for a doctor to drop a patient when they reach Medicare status, but isn't it a terribly mean-spirited thing to do? Or am I just naive?

About 15 years ago, my primary care doc retired. I had been seeing a gastroenterologist back then, who agreed to act as my primary physician also, and that worked well for the next 10 years, and all I ever needed was the occasional prescription for a sinus infection. Then I was informed that the gastroenterologist was so busy with his specialty that he could no longer act as primary care doc. His office gave me several referrals, and I chose the doc who wrote the letter above. I have been his patient for about 3-4 years now, but I postponed my yearly physical in 2005, and have only been to see him 2-3 times.

This is the doctor who put me on Vioxx for plantar fascitis, in 2004. When I started having symptoms, such as shortness of breath, water-retention and elevated blood pressure, I stopped taking Vioxx on my own, and I had to go on Lasix and potassium, which I am still taking. I am concerned about finding another doctor who will take me as a patient, knowing I have Medicare - and getting in before the prescriptions run out.

This morning I called his office and explained the situation to the receptionist, asking that they see me one last time. She took my number and said that his nurse would call. Later, she left a message; that since my current situation is not an emergency (swollen feet and ankles, which my daughter refers to as "cankles"), therefore they will not see me even one last time. I feel abandoned. Slam, Bam, Thank You, Ma'am.....with not even a goodbye kiss.....[:-/
Note: his office did give me a referral to another practice. I called there today and made an appointment for later in the month. Before that, I called my gastroenterologist's nurse and asked them for referrals, and she left a message later with the names of 3 doctors. One of the referrals was to the doc who just canned me, and the other two do not accept Medicare. I guess I am lucky that at least one of them will accept me.
Thanks for all the comments; seems it really pushes everyone's hot buttons. Maybe reading this will help some of you avoid the same problems in the future.


Anonymous said...

OH my! Cankles are serious to ME!
Good luck in your quest for a new doc...
That stinks!

jude said...

boy oh boy, what a crock of @#it!! It is bad enought that they charge what they do to put everyone on expensive maintenance drugs that they probably get kickbacks on, but to slam the door on faithful customers is ridiculous.

MP said...

That does seem cold! I hope you find a better dr. who will treat you right and love you forever. ;)

(Visiting frim Michele's. I like your blog--I'll come back and visit again!)

MP said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Chele In {dot} LA said...

oh I would be sad....
My doctor is a little chinese guy and I keep thinking he is goint to tell me an ancietn chinese secret.........

Loren said...

We just moved towns recently, and I had a very hard time finding a doctor who would accept me.

Just another sign that our medical system needs some serious attention, I guess.

The good news is that with Medicare you have medical insurance; the bad news is that no one will take you as a patient.

Dak-Ind said...

greetings from michele...

we recently received something similar from our pediatricans office. we got a letter saying that one of the doctors in the practice (not ours) was leaving effective immediately and if we were a patient of his you needed to chose a new doctor. they didnt even check to see who his patients were, just sent this letter to everyone. lazy bastages!

Plumkrazzee said...

OHhhhh I would be HOT. Shame on them. Bad doctor, bad! I got a similar letter, only my doctor had heartbreaking news of her hubby getting brain cancer, so of course, I understood. (I really am a kind soul) Anyhow, I'd write a letter!! Oh, and you can borrow my wand if you'd like. Michele sent me today.

Carmi said...

It seems altruism has permanently abandoned the medical profession. Or is it that the profession has abandoned altruism?

The same thing is happening here in Ontario, where a severe family doc shortage means entire families go years without a primary care physician. It's a crisis, yet the politicians pay lip service to the situation and do nothing to address it.


~A~ said...

Here by way of Michele.

Sorry about the letter. I would be crushed if I got one from my Doc. Not only does he see my hubby, kids and I; he sees my mom and step-dad too. Whenever he lowers my mom's estrogen and then I have to see him for one of the kids or myself I beg him to up mom's estrogen because she becomes a raving crazy lady.

Have you ever thought about a naturopath? Maybe this is a sign that you need a change in not just doctors but medical fields.

Good luck to you.

Killired said...

yea, that's kind of a harsh letter from a doctor... i would be tee'd off too!

Killired said...

oh, here from michele's... sorry to not add that part!!!!

Sporklinger said...

You are experiencing the current state of medicine, which, I am sad to say is caught between greed and greed. BTW, I'm on my way to medical school. Doctors who have sold their souls to insurance companies must maintain only the patients which can generate the profits necessary to pay for the enormous costs of a modern medical practice. I have been told that I can look forward to a minimum cost of $17-20,000 per month in costs beginning day 1 - not accounting for the $125,000 in medical school loans I must pay.

What has happened is that government has stepped in and royally messed up a previously good system. But, don't despair - there is hope. Some physician groups are denying all insurance completely including Medicare and Medicaid. I hope to follow this practice.

Before you scream, "unfair!" please bear me out.
The system of medicine I advocate is a private-pay, doctor/patient relationship, where patients "subscribe" to a doctor and that doctor acts like a doctor - even making house calls.
For example, let's say you wanted to be my patient. I would provide you with a list of my fees which you would pay directly or from an HSA (health savings account). Because I don't deal with insurance, the only "administrative" things I will have are patient records - no billing clerks, no secretaries, just me and a nurse(s). One group is California bills their patients monthly from their checking account (something like $40.00) and in return, the patient has the Dr.'s direct cell phone number. Their patients also receive 1 free annual physical and cash rewards for being healthy.

Look for a Dr. who is bucking the system. Doctor's who aren't literally cannot afford to pay much attention to you. Imagine having to earn $20,000 just to keep the doors open without making a single dime in profit. Very few new businesses can survive these kinds of pressures and doctors are no different.

Some other things you can do (this is not medical advice, because I am not yet a doctor), are make sure you are healthy by:

1. Never sucking on cancer sticks (cigarettes)
2. Drink alcohol extremely moderately.
3. exercise every day (even gardening or walking the dog is exercise)
4. Drink 6-8 8oz glasses of water every day, unless you are being treated with a diuretic or are told not to by your doctor.
5. Take an antioxidant supplement such as Mangosteen. Sam's mart sells an excellent one for $17 which will last approx. a month.
6. Have a supply of airborne or one of its generics on hand so when people sneeze on you all day, you can take one at night and boost your immune response to the bacteria or virus you just received.
7. Wash you hands every time you touch another person or a public item. If people knew what sort of creatures lived in public places, no one would ever go outside again.

8. Most importantly, if you don't already have a close relationship with Him, meet God. The best place to do this is in the Bible, but you can also just talk to Him.

Wish you success in your Dr. Search and please don't paint all physicians with the "crook" brush. There are good one's out there and let's hope you find one.


Jeff c.

thegoodgeeks said...

Wowsers! I've never even HEARD of a letter like that. My first OB had to retire due to the intense costs of insurance and I remember being devastated.

Hello, Michelle sent me.

Merle said...

Judy ~~ What a shock to get a letter like that. I do hope you
find a new doctor soon. I have to make appointments weeks ahead, but usually only go on 3 monthly visits. I had a dentist once ring up and cancel an appointment
but that was only temporally.
Tanks for your nice words about
us both being proud mothers and
A slice is like a biscuit made in a tray and then cut into slices.
There are all sorts from fruit slices, caramel etc. Some have a
crushed biscuit base, covered with
something yummy and often topped with melted chocolate. You must make them, so what is your name for them. Have a great weekend.

srp said...

Well a lot of doctor bashing is going on here tonight. Maybe I should just slink away. But I won't and this is mostly a reply to "Jude".

I am or rather was a pathologist. One of those behind the scene doctors that you get a bill from when you have surgery. I've been where other doctors are now.

1. This letter is pretty standard if a doctor is getting ready to retire or has a family emergency or is having to cut back on patient load. It sounds cold but it is required. Actually doctors get these type of things all the time today, except they are letters form the malpractice insurance companies. They read: As of (certain date) you will no longer be covered under your current malpractice insurance. (think trial attorney) By law (trial attorney again) you must notify your patients of this within thirty days of the expiration date. We appreciate your business (yes, the $100,000 a year premium wasn't enough to keep the company covering the doctors in the state..sarcasm here and again think trial attorney) and wish you the best for the future. And you wonder why there is a dirth of doctors to deliver babies.

The letters to terminate the doctor/patient relationship are required, though cold... the doctor cannot just abandon a patient, unless of course he commits suicide which I have seen three times in the 15 years I was in Mississippi.

(Reply to "lazy bastages!) Doctors have so much paperwork to do today, some have said that where they used to spend 85& of their day seeing patients, it has decreased to no more than 50% because of the regulations and paperwork. They hate it!

As for kickbacks, they are illegal. Doctors used to give other doctors "professional courtesy". Right after I graduated medical school my dad fell and sprained his ankle. On the way back to Virginia from Dallas it became swollen. They stopped in Oklahoma and discovered a hairline fracture. The physician there put a temporary cast on it and sent them on their way with no charge, because I was a doctor. That is illegal now.

About the charges. It took me some time in practice to figure this out but it really doesn't matter what CHARGE the doctor charges. Most physicians end up having to be in HEALTH INSURANCE NETWORKS, either as a requirement of the hospital they are admitting to or because many of their patients would only go to an IN NETWORK physician. That means that YOUR INSURANCE COMPANY DECIDES WHAT THE DOCTOR CHARGE TO YOU WILL BE! Each year the doctor gives the insurance company a list of his charges. The insurance company then sends the doctor a list of the CHARGE THE INSURANCE COMPANY WILL ALLOW. Anything the doctor charges above what the insurance company allows is gone, wiped away, doesn't exist, a complete wash out and a write off. Often this "allowable" is less than half of what the charge is. Then the INSURANCE COMPANY TURNS AROUND AND TELLS YOU WHAT PERCENTAGE OF THE "ALLOWABLE" IS YOUR CO-PAY." So the doctor and the patient are both being told by the insurance company what they will charge and what they will pay.

This also applies to Medicare with the added twist that it is illegal for any physician to charge any other insurance less than Medicare allows. That isn't difficult to comply with since Medicare pays squat to the doctor. Oh, they pay the hospitals for the $6 a pill ADVIL and such but not the physician's office.

With regard to the expensive drugs charge... has anyone actually tried to look at a PDR lately? My parents doctors are really great about this and with their medical problems they have quite a few doctors. They give them samples of new products that might better help the condition... try it. If it doesn't help then no prescription. They work hard to make sure they can get generics if available. Generics (Tier 1) on my mom's new Medicare drug plan are $7 a month and less with the mail order. She is trying a new prescription right now that will replace two she had previously cutting down on cost. If the drug cost's are high ask the drug companies. Yes, they have to have large funds for lawsuits (trial attorney again). Mom has a medication that costs $160 a month here. On the new plan her part will be $60 a month but if I get the generic (not available in US) from Canada I can get a 90 day supply for $60. So the difference for the same drug is $480 with no plan, $180 on the medicare plan and $60 if I get it from Canada. The doctor is going to try to work it out with us tomorrow.

The trial lawyers running Congress don't want to change things. The trial lawyers running the state houses don't want to change things. The trial lawyers making the millions on malpractice lawsuits most certainly don't want to change things.

There are good doctors out there that just can't afford to stay in medicine. Doctors are human too, they have families to raise. Yes, some make more than others, some make smarter investments, and manage to end up in a better part of the country than I did.

The majority of doctors went into medicine to help people, I did. Now they have been villanized by trial lawyers, patients, and the general public at large. They face insurance companies dictating their charges and insurance secretaries approving whether or not they can do surgery for a patient on one hand. They face increasing malpractice costs at best, if you practice in "high risk" states you will be lucky to get insurance at all. And they face increasing regulations and rules and paperwork and ICD9 coding and CPT coding and HIPPA and all manner of paperwork to comply with regulations, avoid fines and get paid what they do.

If I had it to do over again, I wouldn't. I have seen a trial attorney for a plaintiff in a malpractice suit try to destroy an orthopedic surgeon on the stand, then turn around during a recess and ask him for free medical advice about the pain in his shoulder.
The trial lawyer says, "It's not personal." Excuse me, but IT IS PERSONAL when you try to detroy someones life on purpose, especially when the plaintiff was found on video tape to be faking her "supposed" injury. Case dismissed. But how many patients didn't get to see that doctor because he was tied up for days with the case. So yes it is personal and it is everybody's problem.

Sorry, Judy, this is long and if you want to delete it go ahead. I just get tired of people bashing doctors. I'm sorry you are losing yours but there are good ones out there. It is very hard for a physician who has accepted any medicare patients in the past to stop accepting them. With your proximity to Duke you should be able to ask someone there for recommendations.

Wenda said...

(Found you through Loren.) I don't like being dismissed and yet I wonder if being dismissed by this doc isn't a blessing in disguise.

Greg Finnegan said...

This performance by your former doctor is a fair subject when you are asked to comment on the doctor's performance. We can comment on the good, and the bad, aspects of his performance to future patients. In this case, he made it easy by signing a letter. If the letter were posted on the Internet with his name and everything intact, search engines would point to it and discerning patients would find it. Signed by him. Ought to help him pay his $25,000 business expense per month, I think. No reason to post it with your name, I think, so not on your blog.

ET said...

That is terrible!
Doctors seem to be getting greedy.
A doctor saved my life one time when I was a child. After that he never charged me and always lit up when he saw me.
Gone are the days......

Star said...

Well that's a fine how do you do! Did he suggest any other doctor's practices or just dump you? I realize it is a business,and like any other it is meant to be profitable. I just think the wording was a little harsh. I ,like you don't go to the Dr.'s much. The Dr. I was comfortable with retired and another Dr. took over his practice. I have seen him but am not really happy with him. Haven't done anything about it though. It must be a matter of Medicare, If you were just an inactive file you wouldn't cost him anything. Sounds like a type of discrimination.

kenju said...

Thanks to those who left comments so far.

SRP: I guess I hit a hot button, and I do understand all your points and agree with most of them. What I object to is the manner in which this was done. I had just called last week to get an app't. for a full physical and was told he might not be able to fit me in until August, but they would check the schedule and call me back. They never called, and then 3 days later I get the letter. I think they should have told me I was being dropped on the phone first and then sent the letter.

This doctor IS in the Duke system. The nurse who left a message referred me to a practice nearby - but she didn't even tell me the doc's name, just a phone number. Considering all the trouble Duke has been in lately, maybe I am lucky to get out of their system.

I understand that docs don't like to accept patients on Medicare. How can they in good conscience drop an established patient like that, just because they have reached Medicare status? This is not the first time I have heard of this happening, but I hoped it wouldn't happen to me.

Being on the fringes of the medical profession back when I was a cytotechnologist and working in a hospital, I have respect for doctors and all they have to go through to stay in practice nowadays. But is this the way to go? To anger/sadden a person like me can't possibly help their situation. I have already sent this practice 2-3 other people, friends of mine who needed a doc and I recommended mine because I liked him so much. They were young enough not to have Medicare for years - they haven't been dropped, so why should I have been? I will never refer anyone to his practice again, and I will tell the doctor who referred me to him what he has done. I doubt I will get much sympathy, but I want him to know how I was treated.

I can accept that I was dropped, but I can never accept the cold hearted way it was done.

mar said...

I am speechless, never heard of such a thing... Maybe it IS better you find another doctor, who is kind and more conscious of his/her profession...

Prego said...

The health-care system in this country needs a serious re-vamping. It's down to profit margin rather than the patients Sad, really. What's worse is that we're luring a lot of doctors out of Canada, where there's socialized medicine. They come down here to get a piece of this lucrative pie.

Here via Michele today.

Gerbera Daisy said...

OH WOW!!! That letter was a bit harsh. Maybe it is a blessing in diguise. I am not too sure I would want to have anything to do with someone who runs their business such as this.

Viamarie said...

That is rude of him! Isn't this a blessing? Now, you don't have to deal with him anymore.

Michele sent me this morning.

srp said...

I am sorry that this physician dropped you. I hope it is not because of the Medicare issue and if it was that is completely outrageous. His office personnel could have handled the matter differently and with greater kindness.

My parents are both on Medicare and both have several doctors. None have ever even hinted at wanting to drop them. This is not because they know I am a doctor, most didn't.

I just didn't appreciate the generalized comments of some who spout that all doctors have become greedy, no good so and so's. Until they spend a month in a doctor's shoes dealing with not just the patients they want to help but with all the administrative crap that has to go on they can't blanket all of us that way!

I know a wonderful OB/GYN who wanted to wean himself out of practice and retire. He wanted to stop delivering babies and just do the gyn side and then cut back to half time. His malpractice even at half time was more than he would have been able to clear working half-time. So he had to just completely quit.

Again, I hope you find a wonderful doctor soon. I hope some of the readers see that this is not just greed but a complex problem and I say to the young person above with high ideals and a plan to be a doctor... stop and think twice. Life and the real world don't always let you do what you want. If you do go on into medicine, then all I can say is "Bless you my child".

bornfool said...

That'll teach you to be sick more often.
Seriously, if you were dropped because you are now on medicare, that should be illegal.
Obviously there are no easy answers, but comprehensive health care reform is long overdue. The comments above from the Doctors were informative and helpful. Good discussion.

Jude said...

An interesting discussion. Good to see all sides presented. I do not feel comfortable wearing the comment of the 'Jude' above (second comment) so please let me point out that this is the Australian one.

Nienke said...

Hello! Michele sent me.
I can't believe it's even legal to dismiss a patient like that. It shouldn't be.

colleen said...

I thought it was going to be a joke (told by nicky hilton??) But it's for real! I could easily happen to me. My doctor files are dusty.

Yeah, I had 4 commenters all coming at the same time! I don't think that's eer happend before. Those micheleians are dedicated!

the Intuitive Woman said...

Hello! Michele sent me today.
I think what your doc did was a VERY crappy thing to do. Good thing for you, you're not sick often, but people who live on prescriptions have to have them. They were straight up rude in that letter, legal or not! Good luck w/ a new doc, hopefully this new one will have some couth. All the best...

Jugglernaut said...

First, I think it stinks that your doctor "broke up" with you -- and since you did have a longtime relationship, this definitely counts as a breakup. Breakups hurt.

Additonal perspective:
I work for a large health insurance company. Knowing the kinds of performance and efficiency measures the doctors in our network are required to meet and report upon, I'm surprised he had time to send you a letter at all.

Part of my job is writing notification letters to patients whose clinics are closing. This makes me wonder if your letter might not have come from the doc at all, but from the health insurance company, just with Doc's signature at the bottom -- in which case you can still think of Doc as a nice person with an evil employer.

I'm of a generation that has grown up with the current health care system. None of my agemates or I has ever had a personal relationship with our care providers, and it's jarring to hear from people who have. With your permission, I'm going to tell this story to the people I work with in an effort to make the letters we send to members/patients more sensitive.

Peter said...

That's an awful situation Judy, and by the sound of it not too uncommon, I thought our health care situation was a mess but it's not as desperate as yours by the sound of things.

Maria said...

Just before visiting your site, I stopped over at
Her latest post called "Selling Your Soul" makes some interesting points on this very subject. I hope you will take a moment to visit her blog.
To me personally, all of this is very scary. Right now, with Medicare and Tri-care (Retired Military Benefits) I am in good hands, but the Government seems intent on chopping away at both of these plans.
Thank you for such a thought provoking post.

Nienke said...

Hi Kenju/Judy:
Me again (Nienke). You asked what sets the book Bitten & Smitten apart to make you want to read it? It's hilarious, that's what! It's fast paced, so you don't get bored, and Sarah Dearly is a comical character you will enjoy -- at least I did.
Hope your day is going well and thx for dropping by my site!

Inanna said...

Reading all of this has made me extremely wary.... oy.

Romani Heart said...

Dang.. jilted by your doc!!! I know that when I was on Medicaid, it was difficult to find a doctor who would take it, because they limited the number of cases they'd take. Maybe it's the same with Medicare?

Paul said...

You should have put the doctor's name in there, too. That way, your neighbors could choose another one--well in advance.

Karen said...

Man, that was HARSH! Doctors didn't used to be that way. I think you're better off without him. But it still sucks!

Michele sent me!

Kim said...

Whoa - when it came time for my doctor to retire, I received a letter after being told by the doctor himself that the time was coming.

On my last visit, he asked if I had a preference as to who my new primary should be. I said,"You know me, my personality, who would be the best for me?" He gave me a direct referral. He was right! My new doc is great. What a horrible way to end a relationship, by ice-cold letter.....

Staci said...

Boy, talk about absolutely NO bedside manners....

Michele sent me!

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Judy..this is appalling! I understand your anger/sadeness very very well....I have had this happen with retiring dentists, but not done in this dismissive cold hortioble, to my way of thinking, way....They fallout from this kind of letter is all in your comments, isn't it, my dear? As someone said, I think you are better off too, being out of THAT doctors care if this is any indication of how he 'cares' for his patients. I truly hope you are able to connect with a GOOD doctor who is also a human being with true caring feelings for his patients.

Sad Sad Sad, what our world is coming to...I hate all these problems, don't you?

Carolyn said...

Judy, that is an outrage! It seems the professional and responsible thing for him to do is give you a referral to another doctor. After that, you can make up your mind about that one and decide. It almost seems that that is required of them to do just that. I know we've had a couple docs leave the area and close their practice, and that is what they did. Of course, had we chosen to not use the referred doctor then we'd be on our own to locate another one. I suggest ask your lawyer or find your state's medical governing board and inquire. Or get in his face and insist that he give you a referral asap!

Laura said...

You know, there ought to be a law that prevents this sort of thing! That was awful to read, Judy.
I'm still looking for one in my area, and I've been dropped four times by area physicians who are either leaving the practice or who are moving out of town. And I don't even have any health problems!
Hope you're able to find a good replacement soon.

Kimmy said...

Wow! A Dr. divorce...I didn't know they could do that. Didn't he know he was getting in over his head before he continued to accept new patients? I'd be askin' for alamony

netchick said...

Holy crap, Judy! I've never heard of anything like this. That's really horrid. This is one of those times that I appreciate our Canadian health system, as although it's flawed at times, they'd never pick and choose patients depending on what kind of healthcare coverage we have... All the doctors are paid like crap, and our social medical covers us all the same way.

What a world we live in when we can't, in a 1st world country, rely on our medical system for adequate coverage.


Here from Michele's.

margalit said...

I had a doctor drop me about 10 years ago. This was a doctor I saw all the time, and was on very good terms with. But like your doc, he went over to the dark side and did administrative work, which paid him very well, and was a lot less stressful. He dropped almost his entire patient load and many of my friends also went to him, so we were all bereft. He did have other docs in his office, but I never felt the same way with them as I did with him. I understand why he left, a family and young kids and wanting a life away from emergencies, but geesh, it hurt.

I have a new primary care doc and now I've learned ONLY to see doctors within a large hospital setting. They take freecare, medicaid, and medicare. They have to. So I get good care with good docs that won't drop me (hopefully, my pmc is sick right now and has been in and out of the hospital for months).

Terri said...

Hey Judy...yes, it was quite a coincidence that my blog today was also on the subject of the medical community and the unforgivable experiences that the public are being forced to endure.
As an RN, more and more I'm quite embarrassed to be part of the health care profession in this country. And to all of you docs who commented here....No, not ALL doctors are in the category that Judy or I blogged on today. However, way too many are and that taints it for the rest of you. Maybe some action is needed from the ones not yet tainted?
As to the Medicare refusal issue....I must say in the county I worked in for the past 18 years in Florida, I never and I mean NEVER heard of ONE case where a patient was refused care due to having Medicare. However, over the past couple years, I'm hearing stories from people living in the Panhandle that are, in fact, (just like you Judy) being refused and many of those docs are flat out telling the patients it's because they do not accept Medicare. I guess they're more brazen up there and see no point to beat around the bush.
What our health care in this country has come to is beyond appalling. I don't have the solution, but I do know that if doctors, nurses, and patients ban together publicly maybe, just maybe, we can begin to bring about change.
If you have a Letters to the Editor in your local newspaper....GET that letter in there and DO put the name of the doctor! That's a start! Awareness!

panthergirl said...

Ack... Blogger comments are being funky!!

Anyway, condolences on being fired by your doctor! I've never heard of such a thing. Sheesh!!!

Michelle said...

Wow! It wasn't even my doctor and I got mad! Here via Michele tonight!

rennratt said...


I don't know if this helps or not, but I have heard wonderful things about a female naturopath in Raleigh. I believe she accepts all types of insurance. I do not recall her name, but she is located in the Capital Blvd/US1N area. Good luck to you.

I once overheard my doctor mocking me in the hallway outside of the exam room. It was the last time I went to her. That was over 6 years ago; I haven't kept a 'regular' doctor since then.

lisa said...

How rude! I would definately be annoyed.

Michele sent me.

YellowRose said...

Wow Judy I'm upset just reading this! It's getting harder and harder to find "good" doctors today. My in-laws live in South Texas right now pastoring a church, but they will travel to East Texas to see the doctor that has been with their family for forty years....I never understood it, till recently...good doctors are just hard to find! Good luck sweetie on finding a "good" doctor!

Michele sent me!

PS: Are you getting ready for the craziness of Valentines Day? I remember that well in the flower shop! lol

atpanda said...

Wow. That sucks a lot. I'd be tempted to write just what you did there and send it to the doctor's office. They should have had a little more tact.

Savtadotty said...

I agree with the commentors who said you should have put his name in your post. Why protect his privacy?

naomi dagen bloom said...

read about your disturing situation on timegoesby blog. perhaps more of our collective energy could be used by those hard-working visionary outfits such as pushing for a national health plan.

you'll find that there are doctors as well as patients who have joined to demand CHANGE! and a bill has been sitting in congress waiting for more of our representatives to have the courage to sign on. let's do it,
wherever we live.
naomi dagen bloom, new york city