I've calmed down enough to tell you all about my trip to the orthopaedist.
Let me give you a little background:
I have had hip pain since last June. Not enough to make me do anything about it until about 3 weeks ago. I can handle a dull ache. I don't like to take medicine. If an advil will fix it, I'm good with that. Well the pain is now excruciating. I can't stand or walk for any lenghth of time. I can't roll over without waking up. I can't Jazzercise without limping for the rest of the day. I like to be active and I'm always on the go. Right now, I.hurt. A.LOT.
I had an appointment on the 19th. I arrived at the scheduled time with my xrays and all my paperwork filled out. The lady at the desk asks for my referral. I tell her that the Dr. was supposed to fax it over.
She checks. No fax.
I call the office.
Some lady tells me that it's not her fault, but she didn't do the referral.
Excuse me? I say. I just drove over an hour to get to this doctor and you dropped the ball?
Well, she says... it's not my fault.
Well, I say... it's not mine either. What are you going to do?
She tells me that it will be ready for my next appointment providing that I wait another 5 to 7 business days to schedule.
Ummm... NO. I am in pain here. I tell her to have it ready for Wednesday, the 24th.
The orthopaedist office makes me an appointment for the 24th at 9am.
I call the PCP on Monday to be sure that there will be no issues with my referral. I get a call back on Tuesday on my voicemail. It says that the referral is all set. The specialist simply has to log in to get the number and her work is done.
That seems a little different, but okay.
I ask a neighbor to take my kids to school. I get on the road at 7:45am. I arrive at the doc's office at 8:55. I have all my stuff.
They ask for my referral.
I tell them they have to log on and it will be there.
Oh no... we don't do that.
Are you kidding me??
They call my insurance company. Yes the referral is done but they can't fax it for another 30 min. The orthopaedist office won't see me because it will be past my appointment time.
Are you kidding me??
I am really annoyed now - not to mention, I hurt. 2 trips. 36 miles each way. Gas = $3 a gallon. ADD IT UP!!
The lady at the orthopaedist office tells me to go to the emergency room. WHAT?! This is not an emergency. I am not dying. Besides, I'm not paying $50 to be seen in the ER because you people can't get your acts together! NO WAY!
I am beyond angry. I call the PCP and tell them that this is rediculous. I have never not received the referral number. Oh - they say - this is your insurance company's policy. Well, someone needs to tell the specialists. They are asking for a piece of paper with a number on it!!! I also tell them that if I could do the referral myself, I would.
Needless to say, I am still in pain. I have no answers. I am out a full tank of gas. Do I feel shafted? You bet!