I'm really not sure what I should have done here, but in the short term we just took another hit to the monthly budget. I was coming home when the phone rang. It was dad's doctor. His appointment for next week, which I already transportation and everything figured out was switched by them - with no input whatsoever by any of us - to tomorrow. When I protested, they told me that if we do not come tomorrow, they may not be able to see dad until around Christmas! Now, dad has to fast tonight, and if I cannot hire an elder companion to drive him the 90 mile round trip on very short notice, it is $180 for a cab. If I get the companion, we will "only" be out $125. Normally, I budget about $20 for this trip when I drive. But because of this, there is no way for me to take him. It feels like one step forward and then POW...
The closest VA is even further than this heart specialist. I don't think they can handle this - I will ask again next visit - but I think they were the ones that originally sent him to this doctor? It's confusing with all the different doctors he's seen.
The taxi service is already giving dad a 10% discount because of elderly. I can ask about a lower price, but I don't know if they'll do it. It is one more thing to try, however.
I did speak with the para -transit people and they will not come out this far. They only do rides around town anyway, but it's still a little disappointing. I thought it would be a cheap way for dad to go shopping, and just get out.
She would not tell me the type of tests they're doing because I'm "not the patient." Dad says it blood tests. "It's always more blood tests."
You mentioned fasting - is your father getting blood work done? Some other type of testing?
What I suspect is that the doctor's schedule changed, perhaps he's going on vacation, and the patients are being shuffled around.
That's happened to us but I've learned to stand my ground if the appointment isn't convenient.
I'm wondering also if you can make a deal with the transportation service that you'll use it alone if they give you a price break.
Also, is there no VA near you? If so, I would talk to your father's primary care doctor at the VA about switching some of the services to the VA. I think I wrote in another of your posts (or perhaps someone else's) that we get mileage reimbursement from the VA.
However, if you need a cab or something else b/c of your own schedule, I can see that this abrupt change of appointment dates poses a real inconvenience.
Also, Jeannegibbs is correct. If you are on Medicare, the doctors will not see you regardless.
I really feel this is simply a staff that just wants to take it easy during the holiday week. I may be wrong, but I also feel it is age discrimination, they know dad is elderly, and really needs his appointments, so they switch him at their convenience. My doctor never does this to me.
I am so frustrated. Here I get dad to cut out his restaurant habit for a week, and all the savings are going to be lost because of one inconsiderate doctors office.
It undercuts me with dad as well. First thing he said to me, "You see? It isn't so simple as you think. I did everything you asked, went nowhere, ate food I don't like, and what got saved? If the money doesn't go one way, it goes the other. I'm old, that means I'm out of luck."
So, now I need to convince him again that some sacrifices are ultimately going to be worthwhile. It's very hard to ask a 90 year old in poor health to think about the future. The only reason he compromises at all is because of the pressure on me, but he's not happy about this. I'm VERY frustrated. This stuff just cannot happen if I am going to maintain an orderly budget for him, but it keeps happening.
I might explore switching to another doctor. Is that an option? I doubt they would agree, but, I would likely tell the person in billing the costs he sustained due to their switch and ask that his co-pay be waived in light of it.