welcome to the organic green doctor blog

i am a family physician who was diagnosed with
early mild cognitive impairment(mci) amnestic type on december 21, 2010
this is a precursor to alzheimers disease
because of this diagnosis i have opted to stop practicing medicine
this blog will be about my journey with this disease
please feel free to follow me along this path
i will continue blogging on organic gardening, green living,
solar power, rainwater collection, and healthy living
i will blog on these plus other things noted to be interesting

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

what i have learned from being a patient

five years ago i moved from my world to your world
from being a full time practicing busy family doctor
being a patient like the rest of you

i must say i liked the other side much better
many a day i wish that i could go back
but i cant
Image result for organicgreendoctor.com alzheimers center ut southwestern
so i must make the best of your world our world
for now
i am on your side

sometimes i think the system is stacked against us
the insurance companies and the medical community
its all in their favor

one thing i have tried to do in my dealing in this new world
is to be like you
do like you do
in this world

if i am pushed too far
i will use my doctor card

when i make an appointment i do it just like you do
listen to that damn menu
all the offices have one they are all the same it seems
pick the right one i think
sometimes its not easy
you wait since they are busy
finally i get a human being to make my appointment

now lucky for me i understand the system
i know when i see my primary care doctor for my
routine visits i always get the first appointment of the day
do an 1100am appointment
on a busy day he will get behind
theres just too much that knocks a schedule off kilter

now what i dont understand is why they dont make it
easier to make the appointments online than they do
i should be able to just make it from my iphone

now dont get me started on prescription refills
now i know how it works inside the office
now i know how it works outside the office
i must say neither one is very efficient or accurate

remember it is your duty as a patient
i may add its necessary for your good health
that you keep up with exactly what you take
you must presume the system has it all wrong
the doctor and the pharmacy

see its all stacked against you
errors get continued on the record now that you can just
click to continue them
this is important
i am now speaking from experience

the other thing is dont leave the pharmacy without checking
your prescriptions
i have had a lot of prescriptions be wrong over the last 5 years
wrong doses wrong number of days to fill
i usually get 90 days
why cant they get that correct
i have one that i finally gave up on
i finally just accepted a 30 day refill
they have to get it oked with the doctor each time
i decided the system cant seem to get it right
they sure are wasting a lot of peoples time
it shouldnt be this way

this may turn out to be a real long blog today
i am venting
i feel your frustration now
i just wooshed i had experienced it before when i was in practice
i would have been better

now i will admit one thing
i sure enjoy
is sitting in waiting rooms
i like to listen to people
well they talk about a lot of things that i am writing about
maybe the power that bes should sit out there sometimes
they would know what needs fixed

oh please keep the place clean and have updated reading stuff

oh medical folks dont talk so loud
dont talk about folks where we can hear it

one thing i have learned is that if your primary care doctor is sending
you to a specialist
presume the specialist will not get the records they need
it is your responsibility to make sure he does
presume that your primary care doctor wont get the reports from
that specialists visit

here is what i do
i hand carry the stuff to the specialist
i make sure i have an accurate list of my medicines
since they dont always match up with whats in the record
i make sure the specialist knows why i am really there
sometimes they have to guess if you dont help them out
i sign a roi release of information at the specialists office
to get the records of the visit sent to my primary care doctor

remember i am know speaking as a patient that has had issues
with this

ok i admit i do play my doctor card sometimes to make this
work better
but i reserve that only for emergencies

why is it that its is so hard to get lab and xray reports
to actually get a hard copy of them
i like to keep a record of all my cholesterol results
we are after all in the electronic age

get me going on this one
insurances and billing

now i as a doctor had to code correctly
if you dont you put the patient into this abyss
this abyss of getting it all done correctly so the insurance folks
pay the bill they should be paying
that you paid those big premiums for so you wouldnt have to pay

i also always took a special interest in coding
for my benefit and for the patient
get it right
i got paid and they didnt have to pay
get it wrong and its well a mess to fix

since i was in high school ive worked in the medical field
i have actually done insurance billing
redoing wrong billing
so i have had a lot of experience dealing with this

first i want to say
i am sorry if i ever didnt code your visit correctly
now i understand what a mess it causes

heres my last experience
i saw my doctor
labs were ordered
off to medicare then later to my supplement company
then 5 months later in my mailbox is this bill for $143

so i go to work trying to figure this all out
now i spent several hours fixing this
on two labs that were done

right here i want to say
that $143 lab bill if discounted to insurance would have been about
but since it was denied it was now due the full amount
i see now that if you have no insurance the system is fixed against you
thats $120 more you would have to pay

now i must admit after dealing with this
it was cheaper for me based on how much time i put in
to just pay the damn bill

nope i aint gonna do that no way

using my knowledge as a doctor as a former insurance clerk
as a semicoding guru
i spent a lot of time figuring out what code medicare wanted
a diagnosis that was in my chart
that matched what they wanted
there were only 20 or so diagnoses that matched their wish lists
whats wrong with that list is as a doctor is that it didnt cover
all the diagnoses that you would order that test for
the system is not complete
i just had to figure out how to get it corrected

so not wanting to play the doctor card
i called the billing office
like you would have to do
i knew after i heard her say what they would do
to get the doctor to look at it and code it correctly
i knew
i had been that doctor
it wasnt going to be done correctly
i would write a check for $145 soon
i could tell she was a little confused lost is what she was

i reached into my wallet
pulled out my doctor card
wrote down the correct diagnosis with the newest updated code
for each lab test
i called via the backdoor
to get it done correctly
it just didnt seem right that i paid all that money each month
the labs were justified they werent coded correctly
if i didnt do something
they the system would win

so i asked someone
what do most folks do
they just pay the bill that person said
nope togd isnt going to do that

i spent over 4 hours figuring this out
most people dont have the time and knowledge to do this

the system i think is gamed against us

so i have learned a lot about being a patient
first let me say
there are a lot of good folks working as receptionists clerks
nurses doctors administrators pharmacists
it just should be this hard to be a patient

our system isnt set up very well for the patient
its too difficult
it needs to be streamlined

wonder if theres an app for that

thanks for reading this if you made it this far
i firmly believe that all medical people
especially doctors
need to be thrown to other side for awhile
its humbling at times

the organicgreen doctor

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