Follow
Share

I left papers at my mom's doctor's office a week ago. Called every 2 days to followup and was told, don't call me, I'll call you. Called again today and was told the doctor was on vacation and he couldn't sign them til next Monday. Probably nothing I can do, but so frustrated over this situation.

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Find Care & Housing
Mom with dimentia does not know who she is. Does this happen to others?
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Patients on Medicare: It takes a while for claims to be processed. If the EOB's aren't forthcoming, the doc probably has failed to submit to your Medicare Supplemental.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Jeanne: Your points are valid. Assuming that you've used a pharmacy for a while, they should be able to do "an override" of the med that you're TOTALLY out of. It will hold you off until you can see your doc at earliest possible. Tell doc that you can't wait and sometimes they can squeeze you in. If all else fails, see an emergent care facility.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

If the staff has time to correct and scold the patients, they have time to facilitate getting the form signed, imo.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

akdaughter, and as you know well, caregivers are stretched thin. It is hard to get mom dressed and cooperating to go sit in a doctor's office. It is hard to find someone to stay with Mom while you go sit in an office for a form signature.

Most of us are willing to do what we have to do, but, boy, it would sure help if we knew what that was, from the very beginning. And if we were told that politely. And not treated like we were trying to get something for nothing.

Attitude is certainly a huge aspect of the face a clinic presents to the public.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

Jeanne, you raise some good points. I have been on all three sides of this situation. I have filled in at my husband's office (small office with only three employees so if someone is on vacation or has a sick child, I was the default person), been a patient at other offices, and now manage my mother's care. I think the main problem is the training (and paying) of the staff. In large clinics, the person answering the phone and/or sitting at the front desk is often the lowest paid entry level person. Without extensive training, he or she may not know how to prioritize the demands on the doctor's time. In a busy office, paperwork and phone messages can get lost in the shuffle and patient scheduling can get crazy. It is up to the doctor and his office manager to properly train the staff. Emergencies are common, but an experienced doctor and staff know how to work around them and still get things done. I switched from a good doctor a few years ago because his staff did a poor job of scheduling (I was in the crowded waiting room for two hours) and they messed up the insurance paperwork. The doctor was great, but, like you, I didn't need the hassle.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Years ago my drug store couldn't refill my prescription because the clinic wouldn't authorize it. The admin person at the clinic told me it was my fault for not making an appointment before the refill was up. I explained that I called a couple of weeks ago and got the earliest appointment available. It was for next month. I supposed they'd renew the script for the period until the appointment. "Well," she said in a very scolding tone, "You should have asked for a med check appointment!"

I broke down in tears. "How would I know that? Do you hand out instructions and a glossary of what different kinds of appointments are called? The drug is for depression. I am out. I cannot handle this. All I know is I made an appointment in good faith, and I need that drug!"

She immediately got more sympathetic and told me she'd handle it.

I changed clinics. Who needs that kind of hassle?

So, those of you on the other side, PLEASE consider the possibility that your customer simply doesn't know the protocol.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

I view signing forms as part of the clinic's role. A clinic knows how deep that pile of forms typically gets and that should be included in how they manage the scheduling.

Of course doctors should not be expected to sign off on things that can't be sure of without seeing the patient. So in those cases the person who asks for the form to be filled out should be told an appointment will be necessary, the first time the person calls.

And clinics should be aware that laypeople often don't know the clinic protocol. Assume that a person asking for a form to be filled out promptly is not being rude but may be showing ignorance. Educate. Don't scold.

I like the healthcare system and the doctors that I use, as far as actual healthcare is concerned, but, wow, some of their administrative snafus drive me absolutely crazy.

How does insurance view an appointment for filling out a form? What about Medicare? How are these visits coded?

To all of you "on the other side" -- please don't assume all your customers know the drill. This is probably the first time someone is going through the process of placing their mother in an adult day program. The procedure isn't exactly taught in high school health class, you know.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

I would show up and demand an answer. Sometimes you just have to get tough. I'm not like that, but I spoke up when it concerned my late mother!
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

As a hospital social worker I assist our doctors with forms required by families. Most of the time these are presented for completion with not even a name or address completed. Make copies, fill in every non clinical section and all of the obvious information yourself. Highlight the section that does require a medical opinion. Never leave forms on your loved ones chart to be completed in the hospital. They will be lost!
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

There is an element of rudeness in "dropping off papers" and expecting them to be filled out and promptly signed with no charge for the work involved. Expecting the doctor to do that for free without coming in with the patient involved and without asking if that's how the office prefers it to be handled is just kinda rude. It really is not a duty of the doc to fill those things out for you just because he is your doctor. Courtesy is appreciated. Many times patients are not respectful and then blame the doctor for not doing what they wanted. Don't be "that patient" if you can manage otherwise.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

There is a chance that you need to see a Medi-Cal/Medicaid doctor provided by Social Services for what you need. They are paid specialists, paid by social services. If you have a caseworker, call.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Many forms require the doctor to make a commitment or take on a responsibility that he/she may not be prepared for-without a further evaluation of the patient.

What we see as a simple signature, may be much more than that. Add your request to the many non-medical priority forms and requests for information from the insurance, the government, etc. and your doctor had to hire another secretary!
For example, when shopping for life insurance, you signed a blanket form for release of information, your agent copied this and sent it to all your doctors! Add those to the pile awaiting signatures. And then, should there be a charge? For staff time to make copies? Who pays?

So, I am going to advise that you take the packet, attach a check for $15-25 and wait in the waiting room for the signature. Otherwise, make an appointment to show respect for the doctor's time. The doc may not keep the check in your case, but your offer will get attention.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I suggest you look for a new doctor in a different group. My husband is a doctor and this does not happen in his office. Signing paperwork is part of the job, and it sounds like this guy is too busy. You would be doing him a favor by reducing his patient load.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

I also am "on the other side" and one sure way to get your forms completed is to schedule an appointment with the provider. So many times patient (or the family member) bring forms in for things like admission to a care facility (day care or assisted living) and ask to have them completed. I have to call them and try to get them an appointment to complete the forms. The patient or family member is reluctant to come in because "I just saw the doctor last month". When I check what the visit was for it would be for something like sinus congestion or a cough or pain in their foot or back. Never is it because they had a physical and that would be the only reason you wouldn't need to bring them back for the forms if that exam was recent. Remember to fill out as much as you can especially putting the name and date of birth on each page. Having the forms completed on your part and scheduling an appointment for forms to be done guarantees that the provider has the time and you will have them when you leave. Most important, keep copies for yourself. Many times we have given a copy that I make for the chart to the patient because the facility misplaced it.

Also keep in mind your mom should be seeing her doctor every three to six months following up on how medications are working, if she has chronic problems like diabetes or hypertension (or any thing that she needs medication for daily). If her provider doesn't ask this perhaps she needs a new one.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

Do what I did. I showed up at the office, and waited in the hall until the doctor came out of another office, and I asked him to sign the papers. Do what you have to do. If you make an appointment to get papers signed, there will be a charge, and they can charge you for copies. Being a doctor is a business, don't ever forget that. Whenever I encounter a doctor whose office is so chaotic and personnel don't respect my time, then I get another doctor. Mostly, you have to be assertive and an advocate for your loved one.
Helpful Answer (6)
Report

I'm not hearing a possibility that the Dr doesn't agree that she's really Medicaid eligible yet. I thought my Mother was oh so ill because she spent all day in bed till her Dr told me there is nothing at all wrong w/ her. I got the same dx from the ER- NOTHING wrong with her. So she's going into assisted living next week where nice CNA's will get her up, take her to meals, encourage her to do activities. Where I was trying to get her signed up for hospice (therefore Medicaid), turns out she'll probably live on for years. And (best part) someone besides me will be caring for her.
Helpful Answer (6)
Report

I think Thomas gave a good suggestion. I found that i received better service going thru the doctors personal nurse then the front desk. I get irrated when the girls at the front desk won't even acknowledge that you are standing in front of them so I have zero faith that they can handle my paperwork.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Being on the other side, your paperwork is not the only paperwork in the pile. The doctors see patients everyday all day long. They give every patient in the office the same time, compassion and care that you would expect and receive. The paperwork is attended to between patients, which is very little time, especially when people are ill and "need to be seen today". Doctors need to go home to their families after a long day, they need to take care of their own health so they can effectively care for you, and yes, they deserve a vacation just like you. Often times, paperwork "dropped off" can take 3 weeks to complete. Nurses are just as busy, and they are working on empty stomachs and full bladders. So, my suggestion to you is please remember you and your paperwork are one of many which we as professionals try daily to not treat you as one of many, but rather a VIP. Please treat us with the same respect. Make an appointment and have the paperwork filled out when you come in, ready for a signature. Yes, you will have to pay for an appointment but it will reduce tension at both ends.
Helpful Answer (6)
Report

Your frustration must be at peak level - most of would be ready to tear our hair out. I feel so sorry for you! Sadly, you may have to do as was suggested and make an appointment. Bring in a new set of papers and wait while they get signed. This is something that likely gets put at the bottom of the pile day after day.

Good luck,
Carol
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

We all have too many papers but making copies of forms such as this might help in the future. Then you can just bring in the next set. And going and sitting in the waiting room next Monday is also a good suggestion.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

I had the same thing happen to me, I wound up getting new paper work, making a doctors appointment and sat there until he signed them. I had already filled out the questions. Good luck to you.
Helpful Answer (6)
Report

That is why most benefit counselors will tell you to fill the forms in yourself, have the MD sign them in front of you and then take them with you. All too often the office help makes errors or omissions or loses the forms altogether.
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.

Ask a Question

Subscribe to
Our Newsletter