Unfiltered Story #105156

| Unfiltered | February 6, 2018

A standard practice in the US is for pharmacies to call physicians for refills on prescriptions, not patients. If there are issues with getting refills, the physician’s office will contact the patient for a visit.

I’m currently seeing a new physician who I’m not happy with, but the waitlist is 2 months long to see a different doctor. I’ve found that this doctor doesn’t listen and doesn’t seem to take mental health issues seriously. She tried to switch my medications (without telling me), despite the fact that I’ve been stable on this medication for over 5 years. She also accused me of faking foot pain, despite evidence that I had an untreated break in my foot two years ago which didn’t heal well, and tried to convince me to get unnecessarily invasive tests at a specialist clinic for no reason. She also made me get tested for Hepatitis and HIV because I have tattoos (which are all over a year old), even though I just had those done 2 months prior as part of my regular check up with my old doctor, which was in my medical record.

I’m on a mental health medication known for terrible withdrawal symptoms after just one missed dose. It’s very important that I take it every single day. I noticed last month that I was out of refills, so I notified my pharmacy and they sent out a refill request. It was denied because I still had a month left. I had the pharmacy send in another refill request two weeks later. The doctor didn’t respond. The pharmacy contacted me, saying there were some issues and they couldn’t get a refill. I called my doctor’s office. They said they would have my doctor send in a refill that day. Still no refill and no request for an appointment. I call again two days later, still nothing. I now have less than a week left. I call every day for the rest of the week, still nothing. On Saturday morning, I’m tired and scared because I’m out of medication and don’t have any refills. I decide to go to the ER because it’s the closest place open on a weekend (there are 2 urgent care centers but one isn’t open on weekends and the other doesn’t have someone who can write prescriptions working that day.)

I go into the ER and explain my issue. I’m clearly not having an Emergency, but thankfully there are no other patients that morning and they’re able to write me a 1 week prescription and send me on my way in under 30 minutes. While I’m at the ER, I’m clearly frustrated, but grateful for the lovely doctor and nurse who are assisting me. The nurse gives me a giant hug and a chocolate muffin from the breakroom, and both the doctor and the nurse file a report against my doctor.

Monday morning at 8am I get a call from my doctor’s boss. She saw on my chart that I had an ER visit for the sole purpose of getting a medication refill and wanted to know why. I explained the situation, and also mentioned being worried that I couldn’t afford an ER bill because emergency room visits aren’t covered under my insurance if they’re not considered an actual emergency (such as a broken limb.)

A few days later, I check my insurance claims to see what my ER bill is going to be, expecting a bill of at least $2,000 out-of-pocket. My entire ER bill was comped, as well as my past visits with the terrible doctor. I ended up paying $0 for the entire debacle. I also got a 3 month refill, instead of 1 month, and it was also comped, instead of the usual $45/month.

I have since found a new physician, but at the same clinic because they went so far above and beyond to correct one doctor’s mistakes.

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