My mother is 84. She has had cataract surgery on both eyes. She sees an opthamologist twice a year. In February, the eye doctor said that my mother has developed dry macular degeneration and referred her to a retina specialist. I questioned the reason for this referral (and extra cost) and was told that the only the retina specialist could treat macular degeneration.
So we made an appointment with the retina specialist. I was told that, at the FIRST APPOINTMENT, they would do all kinds of tests which would take 2 hours. After all was said and done, the retina specialist said that the macular degeneration wasn't advancing and told my mother to come back in 4 months.
Both of these doctors are in the same building (right across the hall from one another) and use the same computer system and same patient files.
Last week, we saw the opthamologist and he said everything was fine and to come back in 6 months.
Yesterday, we went back to the retina specialist. We started the appointment with this nurse's aide doing EXACTLY THE SAME preliminary tests and asking EXACTLY THE SAME questions. Since the computer and patient files are shared within the clinic, I asked if this was really necessary since everything had just been updated 1 week earlier. I was told it was!
Then, they did all of the same tests that they had done 4 months ago, when my mother saw the retina specialist for the first time. I questioned this and was told that they will do these tests EVERY TIME my mother comes to see the specialist.
At the end of two hours, the doctor told my mother that nothing had changed and she should come back in 6 months.
First, I'm questioning the necessity for 2 different eye doctors.
Second, I'm wondering about the necessity for all these tests.
I'm my mothers medical and general POA but she pays her own bills. I don't know how much the out of pocket expenses were for the first retina specialist's tests/appointment. But, I hate to see her spending her money on (what I consider) unnecessary tests.
I'm also concerned that the retina specialist is just stringing us along, since there's no way that my mother's eyesight is ever going to improve (it's still good enough that she can drive).
My mother believes that these visits are a necessity.
What can I do?