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Old 12-02-2012, 03:48 PM   #41
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I think it can go either way, but in my experience it is common for a medical practice to discharge a patient they have not seen in several years, and not communicate that to the patient. It's certainly courteous if they do, but not the norm I have seen.

I think physician practice managers are used to patients changing physicians without the patient letting the office know they want to be discharged from the practice. My guess is that the practice manager's experience has led them to believe that it's a waste of time and money to try and communicate with patients that have disappeared. The practice manager's job is to make the practice as profitable as possible, and leverage it with active, well-paying clients, so that's where the effort goes.

Again.....nothing personal at all. Probably no one in the practice realizes you are the husband of an active patient, but if you mention this when you visit the office, hopefully they will be able to readmit you to the practice if that's what you want.
Hopefully I'll know more Tuesday, and I'll be reinstated and get back on track with them. Thanks for your insights, I suspect they're all correct...
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Old 12-02-2012, 03:54 PM   #42
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States and provinces have physician licencing authorities who set policies and guidelines on this. Here is an example.

https://www.cpsbc.ca/files/u6/Ending...lationship.pdf

You might want to check the website of the appropriate professional body in your jurisdiction.
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Old 12-02-2012, 05:45 PM   #43
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I am not trying to argue with you, just showing you one of the many possible reasons why your doctor made the decision.

And yes, the case I mentioned is derived from a real life case. I omitted a few details (I.e. abnormal EKG, patient's past drug seeking behavior, etc).

Let us know how it works out next week. Good luck.


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Originally Posted by Midpack
I'm not an attorney, and I don't doubt that some families might attempt to take a doctor to court under the circumstances you describe. But if the patient had not seen the doctor in 6 years, I have a hard time believing the doctor could be held liable in the end. Are you suggesting the doctor was actually held liable in your "real life case?"

So you know, I exercise 5-6 times/week, eat a balanced/moderate diet, don't abuse drugs/alcohol, very low HR/BP, 6'1" 195 lbs. This thread was about my circumstances, not someone like you've chosen to describe. If I was having problems of any kind, I'd have been to see him then...
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Old 12-04-2012, 01:35 PM   #44
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*** UPDATE ***

Summary:
  • I went to make an appt for a physical today, prepared to make my case for why I should be reinstated, despite a 6 year absence.
  • The office admin was sympathetic, the nurse was not .
  • They went back and asked the doctor, and he agreed to give me a second chance. I never had/got to make my case aside from one point.**
  • I think I deserved a second chance but I am biased, and I am grateful they took me back.
Background (if necessary):Last week
  • After an appt with GP, DW (patient in good standing) gave them her new HC insurance card, and told them they should change my records too.
  • They told her 'they had not seen me in 6 years, and I had been dropped.' They provided the names of two local doctors who were taking patients. It's only by chance that we found out...
Today
  • Learned today that my hard copy records had been moved to offsite storage, so I had really been dropped.
  • Office admin had trouble finding me in their online records, then found me and noted that they had not seen me since 2006! But she thought they’d be willing to reinstate me since DW is a patient in good standing.
  • **My employer required annual physicals for my position, but they were conducted by local occupational health clinic, using our GP was not an option – unless my physical turned up an issue. Fortunately, I’ve had no issues from physicals or other symptoms in 6 years.
  • Nurse overheard, she made it very clear that she did not think I should be reinstated, didn't ask any questions. Neither of them ever asked for my POV.
  • They went and asked the doctor (I never got to talk with him), he agreed to see me for a physical this Thursday.
What I planned to share.
  • First and foremost, to acknowledge that I could fully understood why they would drop me having not seen me in 6 years. I did not realize it had been that long, my own fault.
  • However, I would have thought they would have warned me, given me a chance to meet their expectations regarding visits, before just dropping me. And I assumed they would not drop one member of a family, when another/others are patients in good standing.
  • I retired almost 1˝ years ago, so I have not had a physical since then. I planned to schedule a physical with my GP, I should have contacted my GP about 6 months ago to schedule a physical, though I might have been dropped by then.
They agreed to reinstate me. I think I deserved a second chance, but obviously I’m biased.

Bottom line, I am grateful they’ve taken me back, and I will ask what their expectations are (annual physicals at a minimum?) and live up to them.
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Old 12-04-2012, 02:42 PM   #45
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Good news Midpack, well done.

I'll be interested in hearing what their minimum requirements are. I would think going for a flu shot every year should reset your activity flag, but certainly a physical every year or 2 should be more than sufficient.
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Old 12-04-2012, 02:57 PM   #46
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Personally, I'd find another GP for both myself and my wife and let my last conversation with this GP be about how such an arbitrary and poorly communicated decision lost him two patients as a result.
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Old 12-04-2012, 03:05 PM   #47
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Congrats, Midpack. Now take several deep breaths and let it go--you don't want high blood pressure to be the first thing your old-new doctor has to treat.
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Old 12-04-2012, 03:08 PM   #48
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Congrats, Midpack. Now take several deep breaths and let it go--you don't want high blood pressure to be the first thing your old-new doctor has to treat.
FWIW, I was never angry, just surprised at 'how it went down.' I certainly accept my part of the blame having not seen him in 6 years...again, I'm grateful it worked out.
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Old 12-04-2012, 03:17 PM   #49
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Midpack - Is there a severe doctor shortage in Chi-town these days?

Around here, I wouldn't have put up with any of that if it happened. As for that nurse, I don't think I'd want her doing anything with me. A nurse who thinks she is more important or knows better than the Dr. that runs/owns the place is a real PITA and deserves a good boot all the way to the Isles of Langerhans

I had a completely opposite experience here. I have for almost all of my life been an extremely low doctoring person. Twice in the early/mid 90's I needed some antibiotics, so I went to the doc the kids had been going to then, a family practice. Then over the years, only needed antibiotics twice more for sinus infections, so just went to walk-in places that are all over. Recently, I decided I needed a regular Dr. for a problem, so called to get an appt. at the place from the 90's. Can you believe the nerve of that Dr.? After not seeing him for ~17 years, he was on vacation when I wanted to come in! But I got an appt. with one of the other docs there, and since have returned to the one I wanted after he came back. What a difference from your experience!
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Old 12-04-2012, 03:21 PM   #50
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FWIW, I was never angry, just surprised at 'how it went down.' I certainly accept my part of the blame having not seen him in 6 years...again, I'm grateful it worked out.
I didn't think you were angry but it did seem quite stressful.
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Old 12-04-2012, 03:22 PM   #51
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Midpack - Is there a severe doctor shortage in Chi-town these days?
Couldn't say, I'm in a distant suburb. There are newer doctors taking new patients, but we were/are happy with the GP we had/have, DW has seen him more regularly, so why change?
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Old 12-04-2012, 03:25 PM   #52
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I didn't think you were angry but it did seem quite stressful.
Thanks, no stress here at all...it takes an awful lot in my case. And I was convinced I could talk them into reconsidering if necessary, with no confrontation whatsover, I went in person to ensure same.
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Old 12-04-2012, 03:29 PM   #53
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Thanks, no stress here at all...it takes a lot in my case. And I was convinced I could talk them into reconsidering if necessary, with no confrontation whatsover, I went in person to ensure same.
I'm glad it worked out for you.

But I'm really upset that you didn't get to make a formal plea at the alter of the god Doc with the angle nurses looking on --- just kidding.
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Old 12-04-2012, 06:19 PM   #54
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I guess the thing I wonder hearing this is what is the consequence of being dropped. That is, I could see an office deciding that someone who hasn't been there for 6 years isn't a patient any more. However, let's say that person calls the next week and wants to make an appointment. Why wouldn't they just take you at that point? That is, take you as a "new" patient. Or, is it that the doctor isn't taking any new patients?

I did several years ago call a doctor that I hadn't seen in a few years and they had put my records into off site storage so from their standpoint I would guess they didn't consider me an active patient. But, they easily took me back and got my records back so it was no big deal.
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Old 12-04-2012, 06:29 PM   #55
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I guess the thing I wonder hearing this is what is the consequence of being dropped. That is, I could see an office deciding that someone who hasn't been there for 6 years isn't a patient any more. However, let's say that person calls the next week and wants to make an appointment. Why wouldn't they just take you at that point? That is, take you as a "new" patient. Or, is it that the doctor isn't taking any new patients?

I did several years ago call a doctor that I hadn't seen in a few years and they had put my records into off site storage so from their standpoint I would guess they didn't consider me an active patient. But, they easily took me back and got my records back so it was no big deal.
You got it...he's a very good doctor, and a nice guy.
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Old 12-04-2012, 06:34 PM   #56
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It sounds like everything is working out the way you hoped. Well done.
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Old 12-04-2012, 06:52 PM   #57
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I am happy for you it's worked out ok, Midpack.
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Old 12-05-2012, 12:53 PM   #58
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*** UPDATE ***


Summary:
  • I went to make an appt for a physical today, prepared to make my case for why I should be reinstated, despite a 6 year absence.
  • The office admin was sympathetic, the nurse was not .
  • They went back and asked the doctor, and he agreed to give me a second chance. I never had/got to make my case aside from one point.**
  • I think I deserved a second chance but I am biased, and I am grateful they took me back.
That's pretty much how I figured it would go, right down to the nurse's little power trip hissy fit. You're back, and since the doctor wasn't/isn't concerned enough to make anything bout it, I wouldn't either -- I'd drop any compunction to make any cases/excuse to the doctor. Let it go and forget about it.

Once a year should be enough to keep you current, whether a checkup or flu shot, and there's nothing wrong with sending reminders via spouse -- our PCP does it all the time.

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Old 12-05-2012, 01:05 PM   #59
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Comments on this thread reminded me that over the years DW and I have changed doctors on two occasions, not because of the care they gave us but because of the lack of care of the office staff.

We left an optometrist we both really liked because the office was managed by a graduate of the Adolph Hitler School of Compassionate Care. DW's giving up on her primary doc and finding another because the office staff is marginal on a good day and Keystone Cop incompetent on a bad one.
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Old 12-05-2012, 03:55 PM   #60
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Comments on this thread reminded me that over the years DW and I have changed doctors on two occasions, not because of the care they gave us but because of the lack of care of the office staff.

We left an optometrist we both really liked because the office was managed by a graduate of the Adolph Hitler School of Compassionate Care. DW's giving up on her primary doc and finding another because the office staff is marginal on a good day and Keystone Cop incompetent on a bad one.
That's exactly what I see with hundreds of offices. Poor hiring choices, and the docs place WAY too much importance on tenure. "But Susie's been with me for 15 years........". Yeah, and she's been holding your practice hostage and running off patients for 10 of them.......
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