I'm so mad I could scream! Time for me to get a new doctor!!!!

@olydove (1209)
United States
March 15, 2010 12:12pm CST
I am extremely upset right now. I called at about 9:00 a.m. to try and get in for an urgent appointment because I've been fighting high blood pressure all weekend I almost went to the emergency room but I was borderline and was able to keep it at a steady level here at home so I thought I'd wait it out until this morning. Well guess what,.. I should have gone to the ER! First Francisco the nice young man at the call center for my doctors office couldn't even find my name in the database, please note I have been going to the SeaMar clinic [b]for the past 10 years! [/b] So after about 10 minutes or so of trying to find me in the database he says "well the only thing I can suggest is if you can find a billing statement or something that has your patient number etc.." I said Francisco are you at the call center? He replied yes, I then asked can you please transfer me to one of the receptionists in the office they're bound to remember me? He says "Well it's against our policy" I'm thinking WHAT??? Before the call center came into play here that's who we talked to was the receptionists! So thank the lord I remembered that had recently received a billing statement and remembered right where it was right? I'm thinking ok cool now I can get an appointment. Francisco finds me in the system with my patient number and says "Well Michelle it seems Dr. Phillips doesn't have any openings until April 1st" I say-well is there any way I can see another doctor, for urgent care? Francisco says "I'm sorry it's against our policy to do that he says" I said WHAT??? I mean really??? I can't count on my two hands how many times my assigned doctor was unable to see me at SeaMar so they put me in with another doctor at the clinic. He again says "I'm sorry it's against our policy to do that" By this time I'm in tears and absolutely can not believe what all has just happened so I hung up the phone on him. I'm calling asking for an urgent appointment and he can't get me in until April 1st? For 10 years whenever one called in at 8:30-9:00 am and gets a same day urgent care appointment and now all of the sudden this has changed? Not to mention they couldn't find me in the system?? This is ridiculous seriously it's bad enough I feel like an outcast when I go to the doctors office because of the way some of the employees act there. I think it's time for me to get a new doctor, what do you think?
7 people like this
24 responses
@dawnald (84146)
• Shingle Springs, California
15 Mar 10
If it were me and if I liked my doctor, I would get in touch any way I could and let him/her know about the problem. And I'd let whoever was in charge of that medical group (I assume it's a group) know about the problem too. And if I didn't get a satisfactory answer right quick, then yeah, I'd switch to another group. I take it you're saddled with HMO insurance? Yeck...
3 people like this
@olydove (1209)
• United States
15 Mar 10
Well I did get smart and send an email complaining and luckily enough I had the call center manager call me within minutes! I was quite surprised. Everything was handled and when I got in to see the doc I also let him know what happened so hopefully they'll get it all straightened out. For now since I'm disabled I am on medicaid so it's really hard to find a private practice that will take my insurance. Hopefully I'll be able to find one soon.
2 people like this
@dawnald (84146)
• Shingle Springs, California
15 Mar 10
I"m glad it got taken care of. What a big, fat pain!
2 people like this
@olydove (1209)
• United States
17 Mar 10
Yeah, sure seems like a ridiculous amount to go through just to get a dang appointment doesn't it? Well I'm thankful it got handled anyhow, and keeping my fingers crossed it doesn't happen like that again.
@Thoroughrob (11750)
• United States
15 Mar 10
I would call and ask to talk to the doctors nurse. That is the way I get through the call centers. It is crazy. If you are not happy though, it may be easier to just get another Doctor.
3 people like this
@olydove (1209)
• United States
15 Mar 10
That's a good idea, then they just have the nurse call you back right?
1 person likes this
@Thoroughrob (11750)
• United States
16 Mar 10
usually they transfer you
2 people like this
@olydove (1209)
• United States
17 Mar 10
Sweet I will have to give that a try next time I need an appointment then. Doc decided he wants me tested for sleep Apnea so he wants to see me after I have that test done. The pulmonary specialists take about 5 weeks to get you in I guess. So in about the middle of May I'll be calling to talk to the nurse I reckon.
@Loverbear (4928)
• United States
16 Mar 10
I went through something like that at Stanford. I was on time for my appointment and there was a lady making a follow up appointment. She took half an hour to make the appointment because every date conflicted with her fricking trip to Hawaii! When I got to the window, half an hour late, I was informed that because I was a half an hour late I couldn't see the doctor. I FLIPPED OUT! She was the only receptionist on duty and I was seeing the doctor for the results of the tests on the spots on my lungs, two days BEFORE CHRISTMAS!! I told her to get her fricking head out of her a$$ and get me her supervisor. I then started to chew righteously. The woman apologized and explained that the doctor had already left for the day...so I drove the 250 miles home. The next morning I got a call from the doctor apologizing and that she chewed out the receptionist for taking that much time with a scheduling. She also assured me that they wouldn't EVER have anything like that happen again. I told her that they owed me $100 for fuel and other costs for the appointment because it wasn't my fault that I was late...because I was really there. Later that week I received a check for the $100!!! I about fell over! I now have the direct lines to all my doctors in case of an emergency. I have told them that I much prefer to see them in their office but if I have any crap handed to me by the office help I WILL go to the ER and insist on seeing them in the ER. Funny how fast things change for me with the help. I am treated like the pampered pet.
3 people like this
@olydove (1209)
• United States
17 Mar 10
WOW they actually reimbursed you the $100?? Right on That would have definitely ticked me off as well. It wasn't your fault at all and the receptionist was in the wrong there. She should have asked the other lady to step aside until she could decide which appointment she wanted. Good job for standing up for yourself there
@Loverbear (4928)
• United States
17 Mar 10
When the receptionist told me that I was too late for the appointment I was soo livid as the big concern was whether the masses on my lung were cancerous or not. I have scared the daylights out of a lot of people when they see me that mad. Even my boyfriend backed off about 20 feet in case I really lost my temper. (Being a mixture of Italian and German doesn't help my keeping my temper under control!) I was so surprised to find the check for the $100! I guess there are times that having a temper really works to my advantage.
1 person likes this
• Indonesia
16 Mar 10
a new doctor is a plausible alternative, esp since it is a serious problem. but perhaps meeting up with the doctor once more, and question him about the new 'policies' first may shed some light to the situation. maybe that Fran guy will be dismissed, and the 'policies' discontinued, and you'll save yourself the trouble of finding a new doctor.
3 people like this
@olydove (1209)
• United States
17 Mar 10
I did get in to see my doctor thankfully and explained to him what happened. The call center manager also called me and apologized, he said he was going to talk to Francisco about the correct way to handle things. So hopefully things will be better now.
@kaylachan (4776)
• Daytona Beach, Florida
15 Mar 10
I would agree with you like that. Though my advice if you're blood preasure is acting up and it is a cause for concern going to the ER would have been the best option for you. You could have made the situation a lot worse just by stressing, and arguing with a probably "new" guy who is "by-the-book". And legeally he couldn't refuse you. No self-respecting doctors office can have a polocey, like that for urgent cases. Of course the man at the call center sounded rude and assumed if it was that bad, you would have gone.
3 people like this
@olydove (1209)
• United States
17 Mar 10
That's pretty much what it boils down to, he figured if it were "that bad" I should have gone to the ER. The problem is my BP was high yes, and I was feeling crummy, but I wasn't light headed, dizzy, or any of that and it didn't seem high enough to warrant an ER visit. My doctor agreed with me. He said in this particular case going to the ER probably wouldn't have been necessary however had it been any higher and I been feeling dizzy etc.. then yes to definitely go to the ER. The guy was rude about it which is what made me mad. It wasn't so much what he was telling me that ticked me off, it's the way he was telling me and his tone of voice. He sounded as if I were annoying him because he couldn't figure out how to find my name in the computer, and basically didn't want to deal with it so I was supposed to call back because he couldn't do his job right. My error though was I should have asked to speak to his supervisor then and there but by the time the conversation ended I was in no emotional condition to talk to anyone. You are right though the situation could have gotten worse due to stressing myself out, and it almost did. So if there is a next time.. I'm not going to bother tinkering with the call center guys,.. straight to the ER for me!
@CRIVAS (1819)
• Canada
15 Mar 10
Personally I would call back or go to the doctor's office in person. If that doesn't work you might want to get a new doctor. It is sad that this sometimes happens but unfortunately there isn't much that you can do about it. I do hope that you are able to go see someone that can help you. Happy mylotting.
3 people like this
@olydove (1209)
• United States
15 Mar 10
I thought about calling back thinking I might have better luck with a different person, but I was too upset to deal with anyone at that point. Luckily it all got straightened out but I really wish they'd just get rid of the call center all together.
1 person likes this
@cher913 (25890)
• Canada
15 Mar 10
and i thought the wait times to see doctors here in canada was bad! i have been having breathing issues and called my doctor at 9:00 am as well this morning and have an appointment tomorrow at 1 (not too bad for sure!) you prolly should have gone to the er in the first place but yes, i think its time for a new doctor for sure!
3 people like this
@olydove (1209)
• United States
15 Mar 10
I probably should have gone to the ER it would have saved me a bunch or worry over the weekend for sure, and then I wouldn't have had to deal with this situation this morning. Lesson learned. I hope your breathing problem gets straightened around. I think for serious situations like ours blood pressure and breathing problems they should keep it to same day appointments that's what they're supposed to do anyhow. It would also help if they trained their call center reps better!
1 person likes this
@magrylouyu (1632)
• United States
15 Mar 10
I would first make a trip to your doctors office and talk to you doctor and/or the receptionist. I would tell them what had happened. If they contiued to give you an attitude about it I would simply tell them "Okay, fine I will get myself a new doctor" and leave the office. Thats my own opion on what I would do. Good luck.
3 people like this
@olydove (1209)
• United States
15 Mar 10
Ya know that's a good idea. The doctors office I don't think has a clue about the way the call center handles things. Well they didn't but now my doctor knows so hopefully there won't be any future problems. But if it does happen again that is what I'll do, just go into the office and explain what happened and see if they can help me.
1 person likes this
@zoey7879 (3104)
• United States
15 Mar 10
My mother has a similar problem with her blood pressure. She can be fine one minute, drink a glass of tea, water,.. anything... Bottom.. back up, steady, crash... These are definitely things that cannot wait.
3 people like this
@olydove (1209)
• United States
15 Mar 10
I know what you mean. I love my coffee and this weekend I stayed clear of anything that has caffeine in it because the first cup I had after I realized my BP was up did raise it up more for about 15 minutes so I had no coffee all weekend to be safe. I don't know what was worse,.. the high BP or no coffee LOL! Next time though to avoid all this stuff that happened with the phone call, I'll just go the ER.
1 person likes this
• United States
15 Mar 10
And your blood pressure is now at what? Oh did you say through the roof after dealing with these idiots. LOL I would probably say you can go to the ER now and have a legit reason for going. Also, seek a new doc or simply show up at his office with no appointment. If you are in medical distress they are require to assist you.
2 people like this
@olydove (1209)
• United States
15 Mar 10
Oh yes my BP did go way up after that phone call LOL! 154 over 96 by the time I check it about 10 minutes after the call. Good news is after I took my shower and was putting my shoes on to go to the ER, the call center manager called me and everything got straightened out. Needless to say Francisco will be having a talking to if he hasn't already
1 person likes this
• United States
15 Mar 10
Glad to hear everything worked out. Hope you are feeling better soon. I know BP problems can make you feel horrible.
2 people like this
@andy77e (5165)
• United States
16 Mar 10
Unless he was following procedure, in which case, he might have gotten recommendation.
1 person likes this
@babyangie27 (5177)
• United States
15 Mar 10
Well hun all I can say is this... GET A NEW DOC NOW after all that has went on with my daughter I have learned...if it don't feel right change it! This is crazy,their new system is seriously flawed and something should be done. Start calling around and see what else you can find,and call them and tell them you want your medical records and tell them why you are leaving...go into the office if you have to.
@olydove (1209)
• United States
15 Mar 10
I agree the new system is majorly flawed,.. the call center needs to train their reps better, and instruct them on how to correctly manage the policies during certain situations. I don't even know why they have a call center anyway, the office wasn't that darn busy that the receptionists couldn't answer phones?? Well if they weren't so busy standing around talking anyhow! My doc is good and handles things thoroughly but if I ever have problems with the call center again I will be taking my business elsewhere.
2 people like this
• United States
15 Mar 10
Do you have a direct email to your doc? I know with my daughter's old peds doc I did and i used it too I am not sure about this new one I will have to check. but it is something to think about.
2 people like this
@olydove (1209)
• United States
17 Mar 10
Ya know what I heard something about there are clinics now that use direct email. I am going to ask my doc about that I think that would be an excellent way to communicate with them if non emergent cases.
1 person likes this
@Qaeyious (2362)
• United States
15 Mar 10
I guess you can discuss it with your doctor (sorry) Is this a state run or an HMO? either way I wouldn't be surprised. Generally speaking I find smaller private businesses give the best service.
2 people like this
@olydove (1209)
• United States
15 Mar 10
I believe it's state run. It's one of those that has several clinics through several cities here in WA. The good news is LOL after my rant here I got mad enough I decided to go to their website. I hit the "contact us" and wrote an email about everything that happened and explained how upset I was about the whole thing. Not 10 minutes later I got a phone call from the call center manager apologizing for the situation. He said "Normally we do like to have our patients see their regular doctor and your doctor is booked up until April 1st however we always leave a few slots open for cases like yours today, Francisco should have called the clinic to get you in and I am truly sorry about his behavior" He then told me he could get me in at 1:15 if I still wanted to go in. He was very polite and understanding and agreed that Francisco was in error, he also said he will be having a discussion with Francisco explaining the correct way to handle things. Come to find out my blood pressure was high because of an ear infection I didn't know I had LOL! So in the mean time my doctor did blood work and all that to check everything else while I was there. I like my doc he's good and I've been there for 10 years, I don't want to change docs but I did explain to him also what happened and told him that if I ever have problems like this again with the call center I will find a doctor that doesn't use call centers. Oddly he agreed with me and said he didn't blame me at all. So hopefully between my doctor and the call center manager things will get better for everyone that needs to call in for an appointment I can understand private practices giving better service as they are usually smaller and more personalized rather than having to deal with a huge load of patients. Unfortunately many of them don't accept DSHS medical though
3 people like this
• United States
16 Mar 10
That's great that you had another plan and emailed them. Next time, have dark chocolate with you when your pressure goes up. I'm glad your blood pressure didn't harm you.
@olydove (1209)
• United States
17 Mar 10
Lucky enough I had some cocoa made with dark chocolate so since I couldn't have my coffee I enjoyed a couple of cups of that over the weekend. :) I am going to look for some natural dark chocolate tomorrow when I go grocery shopping though. It does help with the BP and many other things too. Thanks for the suggestion
@skysuccess (8881)
• Singapore
16 Mar 10
olydove, I don't think it would solve anything for you in the future if this call center continues with their insensitive "I'm-sorry-it's-against-our-policy-to-do-this-or-that" attitude without seeking higher reference or authority. I hope you've reported this to your doctor and that you would have a set of instructions of what to do in your next emergency. I was surprised that you did not go to the hospital when you should have and fortunately your session with that insensitive call center did not aggravate your condition. Or, I just cannot imagine your state now. I feel your doctor should provide you another set of number to call in a real emergency and with your extensive history - surely would speak volumes about you to doubt you of a paranoid patient. Your doctor need to know what to do or I'd really have to say that a change of doctor here will be a much better and needed option.
@olydove (1209)
• United States
17 Mar 10
Yes I realize now I should have asked to speak to a supervisor or manager. I was so upset though at the time I couldn't think straight and in reality probably at that point should have just gone to the ER because the problem with the call center did in fact raise my BP more for a little while. Thankfully it went back down after about 15 minutes though. Indeed my doctor knows I'm not a paranoid patient because I only go in to see him when it's an absolute need to not like other people that for every teeny tiny ache or pain they run to the clinic. Naturally I go in for routine check ups, but for other stuff that might arise I first try to think about if there is something the doctor can do that I can't myself like fix my migraine head ache, or if I have a cold I just do what I can for that stuff you know.
1 person likes this
• Singapore
17 Mar 10
olydove, Above all this, I hope that you remember that the call center's discrepancy here is both unbecoming and grossly unacceptable. I hope that the clinic realizes it and that they do audited checks on these call centers before it gets out of control and put someone in dire straits. Take care.
1 person likes this
• United States
17 Mar 10
Francisco is a clerk that can only do what his boss or policy allows. Don't waste your time speaking with a clerk. Instead, ask to speak with a supervisor. Maybe the supervisor can override "policy." Also, tell your doctor what you went through to get the appointment and ask what can be done in emergency situations.
@olydove (1209)
• United States
9 May 10
The problem was Francisco was confused about the policy and how to apply it. I hope that now he has a clearer understanding of the policies. I did talk to my doctor and he also talked with the manager of the center and thanks to them everything has been good since then. I just hope it stays good LOL!
@mrsjbelle (1641)
• United States
17 Mar 10
Do you live in WA state? I was just curious because oly we have Olympia and Seamar we have Seattle. Anyway yah I would be really upset as well. What part of urgent do they not understand? You weren't just wanting a checkup you were concerned about your health. They need to have policies in place for people with urgent needs. Most Dr's office automatically reserve space for daily emergencies. I can see if they couldn't get you in till like tomorrow or the next day but 4/1 that is unacceptable. If I were you I would write a letter and explain that you have been a patient that long and previously you had no issues getting in and now this. Nothing will ever change if enough people don't make noise. As they say the squeaky wheel gets the grease! I would address it to the office manager at your Dr's office. Don't mail it to the call center. Thats just my suggestion if you like your Dr and want to stay with him. Maybe they will change there rigid policies. Best of luck to you.
2 people like this
@olydove (1209)
• United States
17 Mar 10
Yes I do mrsj and we have a seamar in oly too. You know that is a very good idea to let the office manager know what happened and I just might do that. I have never every had any problems making appointments before, and in fact usually my problems aren't with the doctors at all. It's with either office staff, or now the call center. I did have to see one doctor a few times that seemed "too busy to listen" if you know what I mean, but they did treat me so ya know. However the other docs have all been decent or even great. I do like my current doctor and if contacting the office manager will help change some of the crapola happening then I'm all for it.
@laglen (19780)
• United States
16 Mar 10
ya know, I just called our doc yeserday to get my daughter in for an allergy prescription. I was mad because of the call center, but I did get in today at 9 am. I would mention to your doc if you ever get in. If he cant/wont fix this, I would look for a new doctor.
@olydove (1209)
• United States
17 Mar 10
It seems to me they need to retrain their call center agents. Most people's problems even people I have talked to around town are with the call center. They all pretty much like their doctors and are happy with them, it's the call reps they can't stand because they don't treat people properly. Hopefully the problem has been fixed not only for me but for others too
1 person likes this
@RobtheRock (2485)
• United States
16 Mar 10
I don't think you should get a new doctor unless your doctor is a horrible one. I hope your doctor talked to Francisco. I've met too many of these clerical people who seem to leave their brains at home.
2 people like this
@olydove (1209)
• United States
17 Mar 10
LOL I know exactly what you mean. They seem to left either their brain, or there dose of respect setting on their end table. My doc is a good doc, so I'm going to stay there for now, but I am browsing around just in case.
1 person likes this
@pergammano (7755)
• Canada
16 Mar 10
Gosh, olydove...that is NOT good news! Do you NOT have "walk-in" Medical Clinics? They are the place our B.C. residents opt out to, when we can't see our Local Doc! Most times it is better than going to ER! If you lived here, I would seriously suggest you find another DR. before releiving your current one. We had such a serious shortage of Drs., that we stay planted with the one we have...as you usually can't get accepted at a new one. I don't know what to say, other than maybe you should get to ER, and deal with this "question" after you have your current situation under control. PLEASE..please look after your health first! Take care and Cheers!
2 people like this
@olydove (1209)
• United States
17 Mar 10
Hiya perg how are you doing? You're right I do need to look after my health and from now on I know what to do in situations like this that come up. I did find out actually that there is one walk in clinic here in town, I just need to call them to find out if they take my insurance or not. I also agree with making sure I have another doctor BEFORE leaving my current one, because it takes about 3 months to be seen my any doctor if you are a new patient for your first appointment and that's IF and big IF they will accept you. Most of the Dr's are full and not taking new patients. I'm doing much better now though my friend and everything has been handled. Hopefully there will be no more situations like what happened with the call. I hope you're managing ok? Feel free to message me anytime xoxoxo
1 person likes this
@ebuscat (5949)
• Philippines
16 Mar 10
For me if your not happy with there treatment in you then find another doctor because the good doctor is free every time in you even if they have many appointment's because they live a message in by her secretary if they not in her office or else they text you and guide you in your way to the doctor.
2 people like this
@olydove (1209)
• United States
17 Mar 10
Hmm I don't know if they text us around here, but you're right the doctors should always be available for urgent situations. Naturally we might have to way an hour or two that's understandable but not to wait two weeks. This time it wasn't my doctors fault though it was the call center that was in the wrong. I'm currently working on learning new ways to get in contact of my doctor without that darn call center though thanks to suggestions from other mylotters
@gabs8513 (48715)
• United Kingdom
15 Mar 10
Well Sweet I think it is time to What is the Idea of a Call centre for a Doctor????? That is why they have an Receptionist well I guess it is, or are they just there to look good A Call Centre is not for a Doctors for goodness sake and as for emergency appointments I would have gone straight to the Doctors nd not left there till someone saw to me I hope you are better Sweetie
2 people like this
@olydove (1209)
• United States
15 Mar 10
Amen gabs that's what I'm saying. What the heck is with this call center business? The receptionists did just fine when they handled the calls and it was much more personalized. At least it's a local call center though and not outsourced to other countries. Then I'd really be ticked off because it's so hard to communicate sometime with call reps for like the cell phone and stuff. I'm not racist or anything but if you can't understand what they're saying how the heck are you supposed to get your point across? Next time I think I'll just skip this mess and go to the ER LOL!
1 person likes this