I thought Dr's went into Medicine to Help Heal... NOT

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by whoknows87, Nov 26, 2013.

  1. whoknows87 macrumors 6502a


    Aug 8, 2012
    I'm in utter shock, my father was recently hospitalized about 3 months total hospital+rehab time, Quadruple ByPass without any warrning ( just ended up in the ER) and post surgery had some questionable complications and needed an operation to relieve some pressure in his right leg ( Fasciotomy) not a pretty procedure and tough recovery , fortuntaly he is almost 100% as far as healing, but onviously not back to using that leg 100%, he was scheduled to get an ICD put in to monitor his heart rhythm and prevent sudden cardiac arrest, so i called the cardiologist office to schedule an appointment and they tell me NO NO he has a balance of $1000 that needs to be paid before he can see the cardiologist so we can talk about the ICD put in... I explain the financial situation and tried to figure some type of arrangement out and they flat out refused nothing but the full payment.... keep this in mind he is following up with about 3 different doctors and none of them has ever refused to treat him or see him due to a balance ( I did arrange for some payments to be made with some of them as low as $40 a month and they were happy to take it, he does have insurance and they have been paid by the insurance this is just his portion that he is responsible for .... I had to choose another cardiologist due to prescriptions running out , but the ICD situation is just insane there is another doctor That I've tried to contact and he told us to follow up with a different doctor , who happens to be in the same practice as the other cardiologist , so they refused again until the balance is paid in full $1000, crazy that you will not see patients I can understand if he didn't have insurance /unwilling to make any payments ..........I'm in disbelief that there are doctors like that , no one is trying to get anything for free I even offered to put $500 upfront and figure something out , but again they refused and the surgeon who did the surgery keeps on telling me you know they are really not supposed to that.... man with insurance you are screwed, without insurance you are even more screwed (Just venting)
  2. aerok macrumors 65816


    Oct 29, 2011
    Stories like these make me realise how important UHC is a must for all developped countries.
  3. Apple fanboy macrumors Penryn

    Apple fanboy

    Feb 21, 2012
    Behind the Lens, UK
    Story's like this make me glad I live in the UK where the NHS is free to all. Yes we pay for it through taxation, but nobody is refused treatment because they are behind on their payments.
    Hope he makes a full recovery.
  4. 0007776 Suspended


    Jul 11, 2006
    And like the other posters said this is why we need universal healthcare. That way doctors can get paid so that they don't run into problems, and people who aren't able to pay don;t lose access to care.
  5. Shrink macrumors G3


    Feb 26, 2011
    New England, USA
    It's sad and embarrassing the some docs are ***holes.

    Docs are human...some are decent humans, and some are not.

    This is not to excuse the behavior of the ***holes... as in any job or profession populated by humans, there is variability in their decency, compassion, humanity, and generosity.

    It would be nice if it were otherwise...but humans are fallible...

    After you get your father's situation sorted out, you might consider contacting your State Board Of Registration In Medicine regarding possible disciplinary action against the doc.

    I'm sure it will be suggested that you contact a lawyer to sue...that is always the first suggestion...especially in the US. Whether you choose to go that route or not, contacting the Board has the potential for having the doc's license suspended or revoked...protecting others from this individual.

    Suing the doc will not effect his/her ability to continue practicing...and if there is monetary award, the doc's malpractice insurance will pay it...not the doc.

    Effecting the doc's ability to stay in practice is a far worse punishment...
  6. whoknows87 thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Aug 8, 2012
    I would love to sue the guy if I could, but as far as I understand dctors do have the right to refuse/stop treatment in private practice only in a hospital ER situation they can not refuse , I'm left with no choice but to find another cardiologist who is capable of putting the ICD in hopefully soon, I will call and threaten that I will report/contact state Board of registeration they probably won't care I bet the Doctor himself doesn't even know what's going on it's a big private practice with 10 cardiologists , the people i've spoken too are the A - Holes and I'm sure if some of them got sick they won't be able to put up the $1000 upfront
  7. chrono1081 macrumors 604


    Jan 26, 2008
    Isla Nublar
    I lost a lot of respect for the medical industry. Its all about money who cares about healing anymore.

    I've been trying to get my back taken care of for three years seeing 6 different doctors and not once has any of them actually listened to me for more than 30 seconds or even did anything other than prescribe pain medicine (which I stated upfront I wouldn't pick up), or useless physical therapy after telling them I already wasted $6k on (yes, $6,000 with zero improvement).

    Doctors in the U.S. suck. I wish I could say its only a few but 6 out of 6 for me is pretty bad odds.
  8. whoknows87 thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Aug 8, 2012
    In all honesty I've had pretty good luck up until this *******... Best Docs are in Cleveland clinic they take the time out to hear you out and are not quick to just write scripts very comfortable following up with them, but yeah a lot are in it for PMR Plenty of Money and Relaxion
  9. vega07 macrumors 65816

    Aug 7, 2006
    Off topic: Please use punctuation! Thanks. :)

    Doctors have to notify patients 30-60 days with proper documentation before refusing treatment. But in regards to this payment situation...I'm not sure. What insurance do you have? I recommend you contact them.

    After you have this situation sorted out, I also recommend a complaint against the doctor.

    Good luck!
  10. Gutwrench Contributor


    Jan 2, 2011
    The term "universal care" has different definitions, so perhaps those enjoying it can explain and describe their care. Does anyone consider China as having universal health coverage? My personal experience with it taints my perception. I know China's universal health care, at least that which I've experienced, is dreadful.

    Op, I'm sorry to read your troubles. There must be some alternatives like making an appointment with another cardiologist and have the current one transfer the records.
  11. SLC Flyfishing Suspended

    SLC Flyfishing

    Nov 19, 2007
    Portland, OR
    What exactly does this cardiologist suggest your father do in the meantime?

    If they think they stand a good chance of not being re-imbursed for the care then that may be what's driving their refusal to continue caring for your father, unfortunately providing care has costs for them that they need to recover.

    This is exactly why we need single payer healthcare. Stuff like this wouldn't be an issue then, though placing the device may take longer than it would in the current system; but at least it wouldn't be denied because of inability to pay.
  12. jnpy!$4g3cwk macrumors 65816


    Feb 11, 2010
    I'm a little out of touch with how things work "nowadays", but, back in the day, no self-respecting physician would ever drop a patient in mid-stream this way, and, regarding hospitals, there was always a county hospital that had to treat everybody first and collect the bills later. Every state is a little different; sadly, this may be how it works in your state.
  13. tunerX Suspended


    Nov 5, 2009
    That is truly horrible. This is the horrible care system we live with. The Doctor or surgeon isnt twisting his/her mustache behind closed doors laughing at your problem. He does want to help but he also has to ensure the practice can continue to help others. If they help everyone and provide expensive care to everyone with outstanding or overdue bills then they will not have money to continue their operations.

    I am sorry for your pain. My mother-in-law has 94K in bills after two strokes. She cannot go to the same local doctors and specialists she went to before because her medicaid took over 12 months to be approved. The medical facilities turned it over to a collection agency before medicaid was turned on retroactively, which missed the 94K charge by 3 months, so now we have to drive 150 miles to get her care because the only local facility will no longer admit her.

    The only time the local facilities will admit her is if she is in immediate need of assistance. Once they stabilize her they will release her but we cannot use their facilities again because of the 94K collection balance.

    The system is messed up. The doctors will help, and wold love to help, but they will not go into bankruptcy because they have their own families they need to support.
  14. Zombie Acorn macrumors 65816

    Zombie Acorn

    Feb 2, 2009
    Toronto, Ontario
    For me it has been the same care in both systems, but only one could potentially lead to personal bankruptcy.
  15. Gutwrench Contributor


    Jan 2, 2011
    For us, it has meant no appointments but waiting in long lines for a turn to see a doctor. Then if tests are necessary it's another long line just to pay for the test first and receive a ticket, then wait for your number to be called. Then wait or go home and return the next day to hand collect your tests and get back in a line to deliver them personally to the doctor for review and give additional treatment.

    Being hospitalized means there's a bed but we still had to wait in lines to pay and receive a ticket in order to to have more tests -- just like those who were not inpatient. If you or your family member is very ill then usually several family members come along to wait in the various lines simultaneously as a strategy to make the experience quicker and so the sick can find a place to sit and rest and wait.

    Here's a picture taken two or three weeks ago at a prominent cancer center as we waited for a test. Two different biopsies took four days get the results and then a long Saturday wait to reach the doctor. We arrived at 8 am and saw the doctor in the afternoon.

    Attached Files:

  16. roadbloc macrumors G3


    Aug 24, 2009
  17. VulchR macrumors 68020


    Jun 8, 2009
    @OP: I so feel your pain. My family experienced great medical care in the US, but then finances started getting tight and the care all but evaporated. This happened with my grandfather (strokes), mother (cancer), and father (strokes, multi-infarct dementia). My father suffered a stroke and then survived for another fifteen years in assisted living then a nursing home. He had high option BC/BS (the same as members of Congress) but his medical costs chewed through three-quarters of a million dollars from his own pocket. Needless to say he died penniless, and the quality of the care declined once he was on Medicare. Even getting Medicare was a pain - 26 page application in the state of VA. I have a PhD and I swear I could not understand those forms... My family faced problems in the health care system long before it reached the crisis stage it is on now.

    Anyways, I now feel that my parents did me a service by dying before their life expectancy, because I figure health care costs in the US will skyrocket over the next few years as the realization occurs that socialized medicine is not only necessary but unavoidable. This means the private sector will exploit patients to the maximum before the public has had enough. In this regard the 'market' does not work: When one is in pain or mortal danger one cannot shop around. The AMA is the gatekeeper for medical incensing, and they make it very hard for qualified physicians from other countries to come to the US and compete with them. Lawyers scam the system through malpractice suits. Insurance companies have to react to this by raising fees. Big pharma is allowed patents not in the process of making a given drug, but on the drug itself. Thus, there is no competition for finding a less expensive way of producing a drug. And sitting on top of this whole pile of private sector BS is a layer of administrators who try to manage the chaos, but probably add to the costs rather than reducing them. Meanwhile, the wonderful people who actually assume the duties of day-to-day care of patients, such as nurses, aides and orderlies, are paid least of all those involved in the system. My only conciliation is that the prats who do exploit patients in the system will one day wind up as a victim of it as well.

    In contrast, here in the UK (where I am a US resident), I have filled out three forms in 20 years - the first for my personal details and the other two for medical history. I do not have to mess with bills, insurance companies, social workers, co-payments etc. I just pay my taxes, and my taxes pay for medical care for all (you know, the common good). Just like we do for the police, the fire/rescue service, the armed forces, schools, universities, libraries, roads etc. Yet when I suggest to some in the US that our country would benefit from a proper Public Health Service that provided medical service free at the point of delivery (but paid for by taxes), they react like I've handed them used toilet paper. Ignorance is truly going to cost the US dear. I suspect the baby boomers are going to pay this price in a big way.
  18. Ugg macrumors 68000


    Apr 7, 2003
    Cameron seems committed to destroying it. Enjoy it while you can.
  19. splitpea macrumors 6502a

    Oct 21, 2009
    Among the starlings
    I suspect it'll be their kids who'll pay the price, since we'll have to pay for our parents' end-of-life care; and since by the time we hit retirement age, social security and medicare are likely to be gutted due to demographic shifts and the boomers' collective unwillingness to make any sacrifices for the generations that follow them.

    And the way the US is going politically, I doubt we're on track for single-payer health care by the time my generation is too old and decrepit to work (even assuming most of us don't get forced into early retirement due to age discrimination combined with structural shifts related to increasing automation of not only unskilled and skilled labor but also knowledge work).

    Not that I'm bitter or anything.
  20. stubeeef, Nov 28, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2013

    stubeeef macrumors 68030


    Aug 10, 2004
    I am glad the healthcare was available for him and he is doing better.
    After many years in healthcare, I have found, like most things, being proactive like you are doing for him has a payoff. I hope you can find another practice that will continue his care. Depending on his age, with UHC, not everyone will get such care.
    I hope his well or continues to improve, I'm sure he appreciates your help.
    On a separate note, when the Dr Office has to pay the nurses-do they accept credit from the Dr if he has no money in the account? Not all practices survive btw. Not all are bought by the local hospital.
    While there is no perfect solution, including UHC, I would rather have a system with options-like what we had traditionally-but with tort reform and insurance company competition across state lines.
    I have been through the cardiac issues with my mother, now over 80, and we are happy with the care she gets but we have been very picky in the providers we choose. The doctor that graduated last in his class is still called Doctor. It may be crass to example that picking a doctor is similar to picking a car mechanic-but it is. Car mechanics are often all about the money as most vendors-the ones that provide valuable services for that money survive-the pretenders don't. Just my opinion.
  21. colourfastt macrumors 6502a


    Apr 7, 2009
    What's the difference between a doctor and god? God doesn't think he's a doctor.
  22. stubeeef macrumors 68030


    Aug 10, 2004
    I hedge, I pray before and after seeing the doctor!:)
  23. DesterWallaboo macrumors 6502a


    Sep 7, 2003
    Western USA
    And gotta love those wait times for surgeries in the UK. I have family there. I'm quite familiar with the differences.

    Reality is this... US healthcare is not a panacea... and neither is UHC. They both have both huge and minor problems that abound.
  24. vega07 macrumors 65816

    Aug 7, 2006
    Except one system doesn't cause half its nation's bankruptcies.
  25. whoknows87 thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Aug 8, 2012
    It's just so puzzling.I could understand if my father didn't have any health insurance then the practice might not get a dime out of him so in that case they might be making a smart decision to refuse to see the patient , but he does have health insurance and they have been reimbursed, the $1000 is the portion that is not covered by the insurance policy, I never liked the guy anyway saw him for 5 minutes the day before the surgery, and that was it.He did not preform the surgery he is just the cardiologist.The surgeon has been involved throughout the whole process and preformed the bypass and the fasciotomy and followed up with him throughout and post discharge,the thing that ticked me off is the flat out refusal to see the patient post discharge from the hospital/rehab center is just awful knowing that the patient went through tough time and serious complications, no one is asking him to do anything for free I even offered to pay half of the bill upfront just to get the ball rolling, billing demanded the full payment with a nasty attitude , and with a nasty attiude you get nothing done, it's bad business from their end, would you mind taking half and getting the other half later down the line or send the account to collections? and at the end of the day I might settle with the collection agency for less than half the payment !
    The surgeon was appalled and schocked by this private practice attitude he suggested another cardiologist who can preform the procedure, and one of the nurses suggested that If I wanted to i can go ahead and file a complaint against this cardiologist , in all fairness he might not be aware of this whole ordeal, because I've been dealing with his scheduler and billing, but then again he should have some idea via his scheduler , no one is asking him to do charity work or work for free.

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