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Anyone experienced w/multiple Pain Mgt Clinics??

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,622
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:19 AM in Pain Management
Hi all! I had just signed up for SH when I went out for surgery, and when I came back, it was all different! Not even sure this is the same place, but I belong here anyways!!

I have a question for those of you who have been to at least 2 different pain clinics. I went for the first time 2 weeks ago for my consult. I LOVED the Dr. We decided to try epidural injections first, and go from there. I have multiple bulging discs, tears, DDD, sciatica, etc.. Anyways, as I checked out and scheduled my ESI's, they told me I needed to pay my co-insurance before I could have the procedure done. OK. So the lady got it all figured out- took her SERIOUSLY almost 30 minutes and her asking 5 different people how to do things- and I paid and went on my way. Today I had my first inj.I had told them I wanted to wait to schedule the other 2 until I consulted with my husband and his schedule. So today I call there to schedule my next one, and they tell me that it's going to cost me the same amount I paid last time.??? I told them I already paid for the 3 of them- I have the receipt- and they tell me that she was new and didn't give me the right quotes. So I told them I couldn't pay that again right now, and I'd call them back. 30 min later a person from the office called and said that the price they gave me was wrong yet again, and it was lower. Ok- Good news!! Not 15 min after that, they call AGAIN and now they want another 300 dollars :jawdrop: because the first 6 people were looking at the wrong price chart. WTF!!!??? :? The Dr is great- his office is filled with friggin morons! So (sorry for the vent) my question is, can I switch to a different pain clinic to finish my injections? I also had to sign an opiod contract, can I get in trouble by going somewhere else so soon? I don't want to EVER go back there unless they get new staff!! So, has anyone changed facilities so quickly, or in the middle of active treatment?? TIA, and thank you for listening to my ramble. I'm just so irritated with idiots these days!!

Tish
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Comments

  • It has been my experience that I only had to pay my co-pay which is 12.00 when I went in for my injections. The office that I go to will even bill me if I would like to handle it that way, but we would rather just pay our co-pay each and every injection. I'm so sorry you are having such trouble with your clinic, it's bad enough you are having to deal with your pain, now you have to deal with these people who seem as if they have no clue what's going on! Best of Luck to you!!!!
  • Thanks- Our insurance doesn't require a co-pay, and I've already met my deductible for the year, so now I'm required to pay the 20%. This clinic won't bill your insurance first and then bill you. They make you pay off what they charge. Which is just another way to scam money off me, because as we all know, insurance companies talk down the original charge, and make the Dr's office settle for what the insurance company says is reasonable. And that is ALWAYS quite bit lower then the original. So of course, my 20% would be like HALF of what they're making me pay. ARGH!!!
  • Hi Tish and welcome!
    I haven't changed docs in the middle of treatment, as you described, but I did go see a doctor, signed the contract, and then found the doctor to be an utter moron! I decided to check in to another doctor that I had seen previously and scheduled the appt. When I got there I was told that they were unable to treat me because I was under the care of the other doctor and had signed the narc contract. I explained that the other doctor had only seen me for the initial evaluation but hadn't prescribed anything to me. I still had to send a letter to the first doctor, asking to be released from their care and the contract. Well, when I did this, the first doctor sent over a doctor's progress notes that she had filled out on the day that I asked to be released, not the day of the evaluation. In the notes she stated that I was a doctor shopper looking for narcotics and she didn't believe that my pain was to the extent of what I claimed it to be. I was humiliated and raging mad! I went back to her office and she REFUSED to see me! COWARD! Luckily, I had seen the PM doc before and he knew that I wasn't a drug addict looking for drugs and got the paperwork in order so that I could be treated by him. I am so thankful that he trusted me and what I was saying. I guess it didn't hurt that I had seen him previously.

    You are in charge of your care! If you think that you could get better care with another doctor, that's your right. Just be sure to go through all of the right channels to get there. Having to wait for my stuff to get all straightened out caused me to have to wait about a month before getting in to see the PM doc and you know a month is a long time when you're miserable!
  • Hey Spunkynaz - I understand why you transferred your care but please keep in mind docs get their degrees in medicine - not business; and any one in human resources knows that some people "interview" great, then can't perform or take forever to train. If I really loved the doc, I would make a call to the office manager and see what's going on with the staff.

    To Trater: Under HIPAA laws, if their is something incorrect or offensive in your medical records, you do have the right to contest it. Since obviously your doctor is not going to discuss it with you, send a letter (certified mail) to the office manager or practice administrator. Try to be as PC as possible in your letter (this letter will become part of your record as well), express that you disagress with note dated "x/y/08". Remember, hostility or anger will only add credibility to the doctor's negative comments. If your doctor refuses to "change" or make an addendum to their note, you at least have a right to insert your comments into your permanent medical record.
  • j.howiejj.howie Brentwood, Ca., USAPosts: 1,732
    It worked well for me. I,m so sorry it didn't for you guys. We have enough troubles without having to deal with moron's or people who can't do their jobs. Or anything that adds any more stress than we already have.
    Good luck, Jim
    Click my name to see my Medical history
    You get what you get, not what you deserve......I stole that from Susan (rip)
    Today is yours to embrace........ for tomorrow, who knows what might be starring you in the face!
  • Spunkynaz
    If you had a good relationship and good doctor I would stick with that, the importance of a good working relationship cannot be overstated and the queue at his door would soon be lengthy.

    You are to be applauded for being receptive to change and adaptation, non of this is easy and in reality the doctor does not have to experience your pain to help you, that collective approach is vital to success and you now have the doc on your side.

    Having someone believe in you cannot be bought even if you could find the right elements, key people have helped me and it was a partnership. We all have to be realistic in what is possible and nobody has a magic wand, even if they wished they had.

    My professor told me I would have to live with my condition, it took some guts to do that look at someone between the eyes and give them bad news, would I have expected him to lie and so no, everything will be ok and continue with additional ineffective surgery, I respect him for his honesty and I wanted the truth, not my version of what I expected to hear.

    The academic evidence of success in PM is in the choosing of the patient, one where successes with be imminent and malleable in thought, word and deed. You will live to benefit from the efforts you are making, your other option would be to live in regret and angst, that ever present opinion that things could be better, even if it was bad news does not make it untrue, it would just be the case of finding someone who would agree with your view rather than reality. No amount of money will repair some conditions here and given the option I would take it, or you could go back home and live a little life, the choice is yours.

    The pain may never go but you will live a more productive life and achieve many things.

    Take care John.
  • I've been to several clinics; the first pain doc I saw wanted to give me all sorts of injections, but didn't want to do an MRI to confirm WHERE I needed the injections. I would come in with a history of symptoms, meds I had tried, current meds, etc., and he would look at the paper and hand it back saying "I don't need that". The next thing I knew, he was asking me half the questions that were on my info sheet....it could have been a big time saver. In the end, I paid for my own MRI, then found someone who would actually read the MRI report before he decided what the course of treatment would be.

    We don't have the pain contracts, so I can't help you with that at all.

    Tracy

  • I don't have experince with multiple pain clinics, but I will share my story. I was referred to PM by my PCP after the MRI results came back. I was under his care for about 4 months - I did PT, one unsuccessful ESI and meds. In early June he told me that he didn't think there was anything else he could do for me and wanted me to see a physiatrist (Dr of Osteopath). He only did ESI's and meds. He thought I would benefit from trigger point injections, EMG test, etc. I did sign a narcotics agreement when I first saw him. At my last appt he said the physiatrist would be taking over perscribing my meds. So, I finally got in to see the physiatrist, and honestly, I don't really care for her. I don't think she takes me seriously. At my first visit she gave me Utram and I had to take a urine analysis. At my second visit she performed an EMG with showed some abnormal readings that she termed muscle spasms. She also gave me 30 5/325hydrocodones - 1 pill each night, basically, a month' supply. I had been taking 1 7.5mg percoset 3x daily with my PM doc - basically a big jump downwards meds wise. She didn't mention a narcotic agreement at all. At both visits she mentioned wanting the send me to decompression therapy, which I have since learned is a fancy word for "traction" - which I have done at PT. She said she would give me the names of some clincs who perform this. On my second (and last visit) she scribbled some names down and told me to call. Well, I went home and googled the names (very sloppy handwriting, not even sure if I deciphered it correctly) and came up with nothing. I called her office back for clarification and have not heard anything. So, basically I am not thrilled.

    I called my old PM's office to make an appt. The girl on the phone, who I have spoken with many times while I was in his care, wanted to know why I wanted to make an appt. I gave her a brief overview of what was going on and now I have an appt this Monday. I am going to tell him what has happened and ask that he either take my care over or refer me to a NS. I felt that we had a good relationship and that he takes me seriously. Luckily I was rationing my percosets since I last saw him since the hydrocodones were a joke as is the tramadol. I need pain relief along with a plan to help me.

    So that is my story. SOrry if I strayed off this forum topic but I was never asked to write and letter to my old PM asking to be released from my contract. The physiatrist never even asked me if I had signed one there. Probably because she considers the pain relief she provided to be low, which is the truth!
  • I must tell you that I had the same problem with my Epidurals. I had one of them in January of 2007 and believe it or not, I just got it paid off. The insurance company BCBS, said that I was not a member at first, and they charged me the entire cost, something like $3,500.00. This was after I had paid my deductible which was all they asked for at the time and I made a payment to the facility that housed the OR rooms. It was such a mess that they (Dr. Office) told me that I still owed them $180.00. This was last month so I took the bill straight to the Dr. and said "what the F*** is this? He said not to worry about it and that he would take care of it. Well, don't you know he forgot about it and I got another bill the following month and when I called the office to tell them that the Dr. said he was taking care of it, they told me that he doesn't do those things and that I had to pay the bill or they wouldn't see me again. Can you believe that? I said go ask the Dr. about it. She did and came back to the phone only to apologize and tell me not to worry about it. Thank God the Dr. remembered it. I think everyone would agree with me here, whenever you find a great Dr., you have to pay the price for a really crummy staff. Customer service skills, they don't know what they are, and rude, holy crap, these people are seriously rude. I bring it up every now and then to the Dr. and says the same thing all the time. It's a work in progress. I say that he needs to speed up the progress.
  • well, I am so sorry you have had a hard time.My orthopedic surgeon once told me qoute"don't you know you never tell a Doctor anything?You always tell his office manager because He forgets so quickly"unquote He was refering to hisself and laughingly but serious too.Good luck with everything.My pm's office is a mess also.
  • :H Hello, this is my first time here and I hope that I am doing this right. I had a problem like this with the very first PM doctor that I went to 7 years ago after my second failed back surgery. I didn't know that there was anything that I could do about the negative report on me in my medical records. This has followed me to every PM doctor that I have had since, and I always have to explain what really happened. The doctor that did this had watched me walk into the exam room and I was limping. I had been sitting in an uncomfortable chair waiting to go in for about an hour. So of course I was in pain. Not only do I suffer from severe lower back pain, but I also have severe nerve damage in my left leg from the sciatia prior to my first surgery. Anyway, after my exam I left the office and was able to walk a bit more normal by then. When I got home my doctor actually called me and accused me of faking my pain just to get drugs. I was so offended and hurt and cried all night because of this. He was also under-medicating me at the time. On my next visit I had already found a very good doctor that I had switched over to,but I had to "fire" my first doctor first. So I took my husband with me to the exam and he backed up my side of things since he does live with me and knows what I have to go through. In the end, the doctor told me that I need to find another doctor! I guess he decided to ignore the fact that I had told him "Your fired!". Now every time I have to get a new doctor, that darn report is in there and I have to defend myself. With all of the other medical transcriptions and the account of my reconstructive surgery should outweigh one lousy opinion by one lousy doctor. In my opinion, people that are in our position are treated very unfairly. Thanks for the heads up about being able to insert my own account of what really happened! I appreciate it!
  • After speaking to people on hear, I think I may be searching for a new one. My Neurologist is currently treating me for pain with ultram and norflex. Not helping much, but is better than what he had me on before. He told me that the PM would be taking over management of meds. When I saw the PM, he told me the only thing he could do to help me is give me an epidural. Besides getting the epidural, there is no need for me to continue seeing him.

    Thankfully my Neurologist is still taking care of my issues, because my PM sure isn't. I never signed a contract with anyone, so I don't know anything about getting out of one.

    I think trater hit it right on the head... just make sure you go through the proper channels, and you should do just fine

    Good luck!
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