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Are you happy with your Reps and Follow Up Care??

RRraeRRRrae Posts: 85
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:42 AM in Spinal Cord Stimulation
Hello fellow SCSers
I'm doin real well with my implant and the recovery was much easier than I thought it would be. The doc did a good job.
I'm still in the 'Honeymoon' phase i spose and am still getting used to it. No complaints! :)

My Q is this:
Whose responsibility is it to organize the programming sessions and follow ups? I would assume it is the Dr office right? ok....
Does anybody have any problems getting ahold of their Rep when they need help or questions answered?

I know someone who is having problems with the implant site (which the Dr needs to fix), but the Rep did NOT show up for the re-programming. The doctor is now telling this patient that it is up to HER to get ahold of the Rep (regarding getting her coverage adjusted) and the Rep has not returned the calls. Meanwhile the Dr gave this pt sleeping pills to bide time until a new appt can be coordinated w/the Rep.

I haven't had a need to call my Rep yet, so I don't know how good of service I'm gonna get, but I am just wondering if this could end up being a case of Dr and Rep passing the patient off on each other.
Medtronics gave us a video and pamplets.....but I wasn't in any frame of mind in terms of thinking of the future, and there is NO actual paperwork whatsoever indicating any sort of guarantee that they intend to have any long term 'commitment' with us.

My friend lives in a different city than I and I don't know much about her Dr, but this is starting to look to me like once everyone got their big chunk of change, this poor gal is kinda left hangin in the breeze.

I'll get on their website and do my homework, but wanted to know if anyone has problems getting the proper attention they need?



  • It is the responsibility of the patient to contact the rep and the doctors office. Normally I contact the rep and schedule an appointment with him. He then calls the doc's office to make sure there's a free room he can use. As a courtesy I contact the doc's office as well and let the office staff know I have scheduled an appointment to meet my rep on a specific day and time. If there's a conflict on either end, we switch to an alternative day and time.

    So if I am scheduling simply a follow up for post op check in, I schedule that with the doc's office and send a courtesy message to the rep.

    If I am scheduling a reprogramming session, I contact the rep first and fit into his schedule and then notify the doc's office.

    Hope this helps.

  • I have nothing to add to C's post except for one thing. I have my normal PM Doctor where I do everything that C just said and I have the PM Doctor who did the implant. If there is a problem with the implant, then he is the one I have to contact.

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  • I am a Medtronic success story, and I contact my rep directly. I live minutes from the surgery center where my pm does all of his trials and implants. Since the reps are there anyway, they pay me house calls when I need reprogramming. I mention to the doc on my next appointment that I had been reprogrammed.

    Remind your friend that she's teaching her reps/docs how to treat her, and if she wants responsive care to demand nothing less.

  • My PM would ask me if I needed to see the rep when I went in for my appointments but I could call hem anytime I wanted to see hem and he would see me at the PM's office. I did call hem twice and he saw me that same day, as soon as he got out of surgery.
    As it turned out I did not have my implant long so I do not know if his promptness in seeing me would have continued. But I do believe it would have.
    I am so very happy your SCS is wrking for you. That is wonderful.
    Cheers :H
    Patsy W
  • Well, thank you my friends! That makes things crystal clear! My docs office isn't too well at communicating (they are extremely busy), so I didn't really understand the 'politically correct' way to handle this.
    So, basically, everything is handled at the Dr's office and it's just a simple matter of me being clear on how to make the calls!

    This will certainly save me from potential confusion and frustration in the near future because I probably would have called the busy Dr's office, wanting a tweek session (that the Dr doesn't even need be present) and assumed that THEY were to schedule the Rep to come to their office.

    And thank you C - a simple 'courtesy' call to both parties is just plain good business, not to mention patient etiquette !

    Thanks guys! What a team you are! :*

    I will pass this on to my frustrated friend, and perhaps it will clear the path for her. She's in so much pain, she can't even think straight. She
    e-mailed me in tears.

    God Bless All!
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  • When you arrange to meet with the Rep, do you have to pay for an office visit? I assumed that all the reprogramming sessions would be considered a courtesy or 'content of service' to the implant operation.

    My friend says she is having to pay office visits each time she gets re-programmed (the Dr isn't even there).
    Something just doesn't 'smell' right with what she is dealing with......or else she isn't conveying the facts to me correctly.

    I spose paying the doctor for HIS office visit time is expected.......
    But, do the Reps generally re-program as a courtesy, no matter how many sessions it may take?
    In my case, the Rep travels 300 miles to get to the Dr office where the implant was performed.

  • Rae

    The billing codes are set up based on whether there is a doc present during the evaluation and programming or whether it is just the rep. Here's a quote taken from the billing manual
    An office visit can only be billed separately when a full-scale, separately identifiable evaluation and management service takes place in addition to analysis and programming.
    There is a facility charge as well as a physician office charge.
    The patient or payer should not be billed for services rendered solely by the manufacturer’s representative.
    So in essence, there's no charge for just meeting with the rep, however there can be a facility or office charge. If you meet with the rep and the doc, then there's a facility or office charge and a physician charge.

    I hope this makes sense.

  • I have had several meetings with my rep from Boston Scientific since my surgery in November. Each time we happened to schedule it when I had an appointment with my pain management doctor anyway and the last time, we had a "joint" session with the PM doctor while we evaluated the placement of my stimulator and whether it was reaching the area it needs to. But my instructions are like the others, and I call my rep, directly, and find out where he is going to be and he meets me at one of the multiple offices he visits and just secures a room. No extra charge for that. My rep has been terrific through the trial and surgery. I really, really like him.
    Gosh I hope your friend can get things worked out and be more comfortable.
  • Pointless comments.....
  • My occupation is actually submitting medical procedure coding to Insurance companies..... Our wonderful Medicare system has conveniently caused much upheaval by eliminating 'Consultation Coding'. Effective at the beginning of this year It is now technically considered E&M (Evaluation & Management) and there are many stipulations on how office visits can be billed.
    Since I am not a Medicare patient (yet), this does not apply to me, but nonetheless, it gets to be a sticky situation in how facilities can bill office visits for those who are 'established patients' vs a 'New Patient evaluation'..... #o
    Thanks for making it clear that the Reps do NOT charge.

    So far, I feel good about Medtronics, I hope they stand by their product and service and keep a good reputation.

    Thanks to all!
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