Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Doctors Make Me Sick

To borrow half a phrase from my blog buddy, DeadpanAnn: Doctors are the suck! Don't you worry about me stealing something from Miss Ann's blog. We came up together through the blogosphere. What's hers is mine, and what's mine is hers. It's not plagiarism. It's like we have the same speech writer.

I called the doctor's office Monday to get the #1 son a follow-up appointment for his concussion. Just like the ER doc told us upon discharge. Just like it's written on the discharge papers. I told the phone-answerer: "I'm calling to schedule an appointment for my son. He was seen in the emergency room on Thursday, July 2, and was told to schedule a follow-up appointment with his doctor within 7 days." The P-A acted put-out. "The doctor has an opening at the end of the month. Do you want that one?" I tried to speak slowly, like that would make her listen. "No. That would be pointless. He is supposed to see the doctor within 7 days of July 2." So the P-A acted even more put-out, and said, "He can see the nurse practitioner on Wednesday, July 8, at 9:45. Do you want that?" To which I replied, "I guess we'll have to take it, if it's the best you can do."

I hate that office. I only keep my kids records there because #1 really likes the doctor. The doctor which he last saw about 18 months ago, because the last two times he's been sick and went there, he got the nurse practitioner. Wait a minute! He did see the doc one year ago, for his sports physical. So there you have it. The doctors only take routine appointments that have been scheduled months ahead of time. They allow no time each day for patients who actually fall ill or have accidents. Nope. That's what a nurse practitioner is for. I'm not slamming the nurse practitioners. I have gladly taken appointments with the ones in MY doctor's office. It's just that when the ER tells you to have your kid's head examined by his primary care physician within 7 days, you don't want to see that doctor in 24 days, and you don't want to see the nurse practitioner in 7 days. That was not part of the instructions, by cracky!

Besides, last winter when HH took him for a rapid strep test, the office tried to bill us for an extra $20. The copay is $20, but they coded the nurse practitioner as a 'specialist'. It's a racket, I tell you. Our insurance had to eat that extra $20 and cut them another check, because the office refused to resubmit the claim, and we refused to pay an extra $20.

If it's this difficult to schedule an appointment when doctors are ripping off the insurance companies willy-nilly, how hard is it going to be when the government takes over our health care system? I'm sure we won't all be allowed to drop in to the ER like my students on medicaid do now. They've got the system figured out. "If I miss too much school and need a doctor's note, I just go to the ER. If you say you have a headache, they write sinus infection. If you say you have a cough, they write bronchitis. Then you get a note for school, and you don't get kicked out."

Out of the mouths of future welfare cheats.

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