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Old Today, 10:56 AM
 
Location: State of Transition
81,434 posts, read 74,587,466 times
Reputation: 81171

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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaryleeII View Post
So, apparently, judging from your experience, such questions are not the norm now. I do think I will look for someone else but right then I was out of refills and needed at least that, which I got. Any doctor who is so suspicious of new patients has problems I don't need to include in my life!
OP, I think the nature of the questions speaks to the kind of practice the doctor (or "miss nurse") was in before. S/he could have worked in a free clinic at some point, or a facility that got a lot of patients from Medicaid, and such. That doesn't explain everything, but it was the first thing that came to mind upon reading your narrative.
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Old Today, 11:06 AM
Status: "Valentine's Day is coming!" (set 8 hours ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
88,855 posts, read 105,272,563 times
Reputation: 34331
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruth4Truth View Post
OP, I think the nature of the questions speaks to the kind of practice the doctor (or "miss nurse") was in before. S/he could have worked in a free clinic at some point, or a facility that got a lot of patients from Medicaid, and such. That doesn't explain everything, but it was the first thing that came to mind upon reading your narrative.
First of all, I'm having real problems with people making fun of this worker. I find the expression "miss nurse" quite offensive. There is no evidence that she was trying to impersonate a nurse.

Secondly, I don't know how you got the idea that CMAs are running the show in a medical office practice. She was doing her job! She didn't devise that list, nor just institute it in her patients. There is no way.

The questions are probably required by the EHR (electronic health record) or Medicare.
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Old Today, 11:19 AM
 
Location: SW Florida
10,318 posts, read 7,545,287 times
Reputation: 15781
Quote:
Originally Posted by MaryleeII View Post
Last week I went to a first visit with a new PCP. My previous doctor had retired and I received a letter from the administration stating that this doctor was willing to take over as my new primary care physician. I expected the transfer to go smoothly, as both doctors were in the same group.


Well, it seemed ok at first. A little gal pretending to be a "nurse" (her tag clearly stated CNA), came in and started asking the usual, routine questions, like allergies, past surgeries, etc, etc, although I had filled out an extensive, online questionnaire addressing those exact same issues and sent it in several days in advance. Whatever.....


Then, without hardly taking a breath, "nurse" starts asking a lot of, what I considered bizarre questions. First question, she asked "do I have a permanent residence"? Huh...this is a college town, and at first I thought she was asking if I lived in a dorm or something, but hey, I'm 65 years old! I asked what she meant, she replied, like it was a legitimate, everyday question," oh, that means are you homeless"? WTH


I replied I own my home, free and clear. By now I'm getting a bit agitated, but, whatever.....


Next question,


"Who do you live with"? I replied its just my husband and me.....I thought perhaps I should also include the dog and three cats, but hey..



Next question,


"Who would you call upon if needed for assistance in a medical emergency"? Well, my husband...


Then she asks, in a very officious tone, well, who else? We need three names"?


By now I was quite agitated. They don't need any names, and I'm certainly not giving them a list they can do whatever with..
I then told her I find these questions intrusive. Before I answer any more, why are you asking such? Her reply, oh, that's so, if I have any concerns, they can refer me to appropriate agencies, such as, if I'm homeless, they can refer me to Social Services, etc.


Oh, really? They care so much about me they stand ready, willing, and able to solve all my problems? I felt the whole thing was a major invasion of privacy. I felt they were doing a background check, to see if I would be a potential problem for them and their practice. She then says "oh, you don't have to answer any questions if you don't want to". I felt like saying you got that right!


She then proceeds to skip a series of questions, muttering to herself --refused, refused, refused. I didn't even know what I was refusing!


She then gets to her last "question" and asks "do you have any problems that would make active participation in your own healthcare difficult?" I asked her did this practice anticipate any problems dealing with me, because it seems these questions are aimed to screen potential patients out."


There again, little play nurse just says, well, you don't have to answer anything you feel uncomfortable with" Then she says she will answer that question with " patient has mobility issues which makes it difficult to exercise". Well, that much is true, but its such a blanket statement and not even my own words.




I was frustrated almost to the point of tears and felt like walking out, but I kept control and told myself I wouldn't let her and her stupid little check list cheat me out of what I was there for---to establish with a new PCP. Also, I'm almost out of various RX and needed refills.


Well, doctor came in and she seemed ok, but I was already agitated and not pre-disposed to liking her. The visit went well enough, and I did get my refills, but I would feel better seeing someone else. Problem is, who? Try finding a new doctor! You're viewed with suspicion and hostility. Its not like I'm some dope head "seeking" narcotics, I just needed things like refills on blood pressure, blood sugar meds, etc.


Although I was a new patient to her, I had been seeing doctors in her practice for about ten years. No, I don't "doctor hop" My previous doctors there had either quit or retired, moved, etc. They were the ones "hopping around" not me.


I was referred to her by the administration, via letter, which stated clearly, Dr A will be leaving our practice. Dr B has agreed to continue with your care.


I realize the questions I was asked were some sort of standard survey they ask every new patient, they weren't made special just for me, but at the same time I felt this particular doctor was screening her new patients for potential trouble-makers.




Sorry this rant is so long, but I am so upset. I tell myself to give it time, see this doctor again in 3 months and see how I goes, but perhaps look around for someone else.


Is this something new? Has anyone else been asked such questions lately?


Replies, appreciated!
Reading through your "rant", it seems to me that your poor attitude towards your health care providers comes through loud and clear. Such an attitude makes you look at things in the worst possible light, instead of in a more reasonable perspective, and it comes through to your providers as well. Neither of these things do you any favors, or help you get any type of desired outcomes to your healthcare.

First of all, your animosity towards the CNA for "pretending to be a nurse" was uncalled for, she wore a nametag showing her position in the office and the narrative in your post show only that she carried out the duties assigned to her as a CNA.

And you decide you won't like this new doctor based on your perception of what happened before she came in to see you? And you decide these providers view you "with suspicion and hostility", judge you as a "doctor shopper", "drug seeker" based only on same, despite no evidence that this waa the case? Sorry, but you're only hurting yourself with this attitude, and sabotaging any chance you might have at developing a healthy relationship with a healthcare provider.

IIRC you're over 65, so you would be on Medicare, am I right?
In this case those questions asked of you come from Medicare. They are asked of every Medicare recipient, and any primary provider is obligated to ask those questions document the responses. If they don't do so, or miss any of the questions, they are "dinged" by Medicare (ie, their reimbursements for Medicare services are cut) for "failing to provide quality care". So you can be sure they will attempt to get answers to those questions, though for any questions you think are too intrusive or you don't care to answer for any reason, a "declined to answer" is a valid response. I know I have declined to answer a number of those questions myself for questions I thought were no one's business, and the providers in that case agreed with me, dutifully answered "declined to answer" and that was that.

I can imagine there are overzealous doctor's office staff members who might try and intimidate a patient into answering questions they're uncomfortable answering, but they are out of line doing so and this can be pointed out to them (I know I would). But it might surprise you to know that many providers don't like and wish they didn't have to ask those questions and wouldn't do it without that Medicare reimbursement hatchet hanging over their heads. My own PCP has stated as much to me when I've seen her.

Just give this some thought, won't you, as you wait for that next appointment? Unfortunately as a Medicare recipient, you won't escape those questions from any Medicare primary care provider. But they can be handled without undue grief and stress on your part.
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Old Today, 11:30 AM
 
Location: planet earth
6,232 posts, read 2,463,787 times
Reputation: 13911
Quote:
Originally Posted by MaryleeII View Post
Read what I said--




I realize the questions I was asked were some sort of standard survey they ask every new patient, they weren't made special just for me, but at the same time I felt this particular doctor was screening her new patients for potential trouble-makers.
WHY did you feel that way and why did you use the specific term "troublemaker" in a medical environment? What does "troublemaker" in that context mean?
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Old Today, 11:30 AM
 
1,524 posts, read 708,176 times
Reputation: 3056
My favorite is when the ask if I am afraid. Afraid? Afraid of what? I suppose it is to find out if I am a victim of domestic violence.

I would get rid of this doc. My primary care knows these things because she, like a normal human, engages in small talk with me and doesn't ask questions when I look annoyed.
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Old Today, 11:37 AM
 
7,067 posts, read 3,902,290 times
Reputation: 7894
Thank you, OP. Very informative thread. Just confirms my views on why I will never have my very own PCP. Had enough of these stupid questions when my former employer self insured and started a Wellness Program. "It is healthier for you and your baby, if you have your first child before the age of 30." "If you are under 30 are you planning on getting pregnant soon?" How about THAT question? The answers to that by my younger coworkers was priceless!

When I signed up for Original Medicare 5 years ago, they did not ask any of these types of questions. I did not have to DECLARE my own doctor either. Good because I will not do this. Medicare leaves me ALONE unlike having your very own PCP.
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Old Today, 01:24 PM
Status: "Potentially seconds from my next banning" (set 6 days ago)
 
Location: Central IL
16,125 posts, read 9,426,376 times
Reputation: 38144
Quote:
Originally Posted by Angry-Koala View Post
I think it's pretty common these days to have a nurse or whatever do the initial evaluation. At least in my experience it is. This frees the doctor up for tasks that require more training
Well, it is rarely an RN doing it - even their time is too valuable! And I'm not saying that to be snarky, but...it's easy when everything in the medical record is correct and people answer all the questions as expected. It is a lot more complicated if multiple new conditions or meds have been added or the patient has a complicated family/social situation. That's when some experience would be helpful.

Frankly, I'm sick of pronouncing all my medications for them as they giggle, point, and ask if I'm still taking something. Can't they even have a single medical terminology class under their belt before they start interacting with patients? It does nothing to instill confidence and doesn't make it likely I'll disclose much to them - I'd rather wait to talk to someone with more knowledge.

Oh - and the importance of the questions is....questionable! I was trying to get a prescription renewed for an antidepressant I've been on for years and is in my medical record. I got a call from a nurse asking why I needed it - hmmmmmm...every single appointment SOMEONE in your office asks if I'm depressed or suicidal! Apparently no one actually tabulates it or correlates it with my medical conditions.
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Old Today, 01:52 PM
Status: "Valentine's Day is coming!" (set 8 hours ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
88,855 posts, read 105,272,563 times
Reputation: 34331
Quote:
Originally Posted by reneeh63 View Post
Well, it is rarely an RN doing it - even their time is too valuable! And I'm not saying that to be snarky, but...it's easy when everything in the medical record is correct and people answer all the questions as expected. It is a lot more complicated if multiple new conditions or meds have been added or the patient has a complicated family/social situation. That's when some experience would be helpful.

Frankly, I'm sick of pronouncing all my medications for them as they giggle, point, and ask if I'm still taking something. Can't they even have a single medical terminology class under their belt before they start interacting with patients? It does nothing to instill confidence and doesn't make it likely I'll disclose much to them - I'd rather wait to talk to someone with more knowledge.

Oh - and the importance of the questions is....questionable! I was trying to get a prescription renewed for an antidepressant I've been on for years and is in my medical record. I got a call from a nurse asking why I needed it - hmmmmmm...every single appointment SOMEONE in your office asks if I'm depressed or suicidal! Apparently no one actually tabulates it or correlates it with my medical conditions.
My husband is on about a zillion meds (at least a dozen actually) for his cancer and for some other health conditions. His appointments are mostly at the cancer clinic. Generally an RN reviews his meds with him, and they know the cancer meds but not always the prostate meds and the blood pressure meds (some of which have been prescribed by other providers). They often stumble of the pronunciation of the names of the other meds. There was one chemo drug that he was prescribed but was on hold for. . . reasons, and we told them that at every visit. They'd always say, "I'll take it off" and then next visit, they'd ask again. Finally, a CNA who apparently knew the system better got it off the medical record!

Some of the questions are as you say questionable, but as DH, who was an IT professional's professional before his retirement due to leukemia told me, the programmers probably put in what they were told to do. EHR is still in its infancy, and talk about needing to use it to see how it works!

I agree with the giggling not being professional; I think it shows they're uncomfortable. I'm also tired of hearing nurses and CNAs alike wanting to "grab a set of vitals", etc. Some training in office decor would be helpful.
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Old Today, 02:04 PM
 
Location: Alexandria, VA
11,831 posts, read 21,082,577 times
Reputation: 17444
I also don't understand the OP's peeve with this - they are questions meant to find out about you, your safety, state of mind, etc. - there are people out there who are depressed, lonely, abused, have no friends or family.... and that can and does affect your health.

You also should always have more than one emergency contact - as others said: what if you were injured together, what if your husband didn't make it, whatever - they are trying to HELP you and are certainly qualified to do so.
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Old Today, 02:14 PM
 
782 posts, read 251,078 times
Reputation: 1526
Quote:
Originally Posted by fluffythewondercat View Post
I wonder if you had been a man and presented with the same injury, you would have been asked if your WIFE had pushed you down the stairs.

How much of this screening is based, like you say, on stereotypes?
If it had been a man who fell off their horse, no one would ever ask in a million years if it was his wife that caused it.
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