Around here, and with as many people here in the greater Portland metro area and suburbs, there are a lot of doctors, more than one can count easily. With more specialists and doctors to choose from, I was surprised to find that for the number of Pulmonologists in the area are roughly 20 -25. Now, get this - 3 clinics in my area - split between all three. I had a not so good experience with the pulmonologist I saw in January of this year. His overall bedside manner was not exactly great towards me, and I felt like my situation was being discounted. Nonetheless, he ordered a CT scan of my lungs and then he called me. Sounded better to me on the phone, had a better attitude but also dismismissive of what I had to say. I have not returned....
Having battled life events and depression, I finally got around to making an appointment to see a doctor in my provider network to obtain an new referral to a differnet pulmonology clinic so I can proceed to get my lungs looked at. The clinic I chose had good ratings and seemed to be ideal, close to where I work and live, fairly easy commute there. I place the call tot he clinic - I am promptly told - for new patients, which I would be, there is a 5-6 month waiting period to be seen. I settled on a nurse practitioner and saw her last week. What I walked into was a frenzied clinic.
I pulled up to the clinic and it was an older building and in alrght shape. No problem - I walked in, the waiting room was fairly empty, two receptionists were on the phone and one who saw me. I registered and sat down, filled out the customary new patient paperwork and listened to the activity there. More patients checked in - mostly older gentlemen in their late 60's to early 80's if I had to guess checking into see the doctor I was hoping to see. That was not surprising, what surprised me however, was the general attitude of the receptionists as they answered the phones. I heared them turn people away from being seen because of being 30 days late on their bills. This left me a bit disturbed, not because of their not allowing people in, but the attitude that was shown. I don't have a problem with the policy to be honst, after all, they are a business. But - I also draw the line at greed. When they care more about money than seeing a sick patient, this really bothered me. Having worked at Blue Cross Blue Shield in 2004/2005, it became crystal clear to me that doctors and providers are highly motivated by money and sometimes they lose track of what is most important and that is taking care of their patients. It seemed like they were this type of clinic.
I was called back and ushered into the exam room, my vitals taken and I had maybe a 2 minute wait to be seen, this was a nice change of pace. The nurse practioner was very high strung, very apologetic about hwo short the visit will be and explained that it might need another visit to be seen and the health interview to be gone through. 30 or so questions later, I am given the general exam - stethescoped and lungs listened to. Then, my requested referral was sent to their referrals team to send me out. I had requested fresh test strip for my diabetes and told her that it was for the Accucheck Nano which I have, she wrote the prescription and sent it to the pharmacy. My blood was drawn in the labs and I was sent on my way. I walked out knowing that I would not be returning. For the following reasons:
- They are more interested in money than patient care
- There was a strict time limit on patient exams, no more time than allowed. This reinforces their interest in the money, the more they see, the more they make, to do this, shorter visits and it is a mill.
I get my notification from the Pharmacy that my prescription was ready - she ordered the WRONG strips. Okay, no problem - I just will not pick them up and just go ahead and buy them on Amazon cheaper than my copay which is $35.
Today, I received my lab results and my A1C was right within target range for them. It ws 6.0 and the rest of the lab work was pretty much - SEE NOTES: Notes were "Make an appointment with me to get your results". Really? I get that they are sensitive information and personal, but honestly - I have recieved lab results in the mail before, and even on line, which by the way, they never sent me the login for like they promised.
The referral that was given to me was sent to the very doctor and clinic that I told them I did not want to be referred to. I have now made a request from my now out of network doctor to have her send a referral to OSHU where I know it will be better. I hope to see that come through soon.