Can anyone tell my why? Why is it that doctor offices seem so incompetent! We had an ultrasound done for Little M last week and we were supposed to have an appointment with the urologist today. Yes, I said "supposed to"! Yesterday was Little M's sixth birthday and I was out getting his cake for a little family celebration (his party is on Saturday). Next thing I know, my cell rings, at 5:00 pm. Who is it, you ask? The friggin' urologist's office. Now, mind you, they had already called in the morning to confirm the appointment and told me to bring the films with me. I spent all afternoon yesterday while the chitlins were at school, reviewing the films, gathering information to ask my questions, and such. But, I digress. Being in Walmart, the reception can be a little iffy, so as I tried to answer the phone, it cut off and the call went to voicemail. I immediately checked my voicemail and was "informed" that our referral had expired and I needed to call them back to reschedule the appointment.
I immediately called the urologist's office back and lo and behold, the answering service picked up. (Yeah, that's what you get for calling to cancel with a parent at the close of business day! Friggin' answering service!) Needless to say, I told the service that someone from the office just called me and the service needed to patch me through to the office. I must admit that the transfer went fairly smoothly because within seconds, I was speaking with the same person that had left the message.
The conversation went something like this:
Office: Hi, we were calling to cancel the appointment because M's referral expired.
Me: What?! What are the dates on the referral?
Office: Uhm, August 21 through 27 of last year.
Me: Oh, ok, now, tell me...why is it that we saw the doctor in November if the referral was expired? Further, why, when the office called to confirm at 9:30 this morning wasn't I told about this so that I could do something about it? Oh, yeah, and why didn't someone tell me at our last appointment that the referral was expired so that I could take care of it? Or how about explaining why this wasn't brought to my attention when I made the appointment two months ago? I have done this long enough to know that when a referral expires, it is the doctor office's responsibility to contact the case manager to get the referral renewed, so who didn't do their job?
Office: Uhm, I don't know. The person who called to confirm didn't know the referral was expired. It takes five to ten business days to get the referral from your insurance company, so we need to reschedule.
Me: You know! I AM FED UP WITH INCOMPETENT OFFICE STAFF! You have no idea how this week has been for me in regard to doctors and all you can say is "Sorry, you need to reschedule"??? What about the health of my child? You people are driving me nuts!!!!!!
Office: Would you like me to have the office manager call you tomorrow morning?
Me: She's not there? Then, absolutely! I would like for her to call me the minute she walks in the door. As soon as she puts her belongings down and sits at her desk to begin her day, it should begin with a call to me! I mean, really, she needs to contact me immediately, because this is completely unacceptable!
Office: Well, I come in at 8:00 am and I will make sure that she calls you the minute she walks in.
Me: Fine. I'll be expecting a call from her at 8:00 am.
Office: Ok, what is your cell phone number?
Me: (Thought, duh, you just called me two minutes ago.... on my cell phone.... friggin' idiot!) It's blah, blah, blah.
Office: I'll make sure she calls you.
Me: Sure. (Insert attitude and skepticism.)
First thing this morning, I got on the phone with the case manager and told her what was going on. She empathized with me and told me she was going to call the office and get it resolved. I also asked the case manager to double check the referral with the nephrologist since that appointment is coming up and is twice as important as the urologist, given what I saw in the films.
Now, the question I'm sure you are asking is "Did the office manager call this morning?" My answer is a resounding NO! I didn't even call my case manager until 8:30 am and here it is, almost 10 am and STILL no call from the urologist's office manager. Surprise, surprise!
Frustrated does not even begin to express the emotions that I am feeling at the moment! I mean really, how are we supposed to trust these doctors if they don't employ competent staff????
My final words for now are "Watch out!" These offices have NO IDEA what kind of bulldog mother I am. When it comes to getting proper care for my children, I make my voice heard, loud and clear, without reservation, in order to get the best for my children. If they don't remember me because of how many patients they have, they will soon fear the thought of me if things are not handled properly. My words can be sharp daggers and I WILL advocate for my children. In all the years of battling with doctors, the one thing I've learned is that creating waves in an office and standing up for my child will gain the respect of the doctors that live up to the hippocratic oath. The staff may rue the day they I walked in their office, but my child WILL be taken care of.