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Old Yesterday, 07:15 PM
 
9,867 posts, read 16,424,953 times
Reputation: 16652

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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!

Last edited by MaryleeII; Yesterday at 07:27 PM..
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Old Yesterday, 07:24 PM
 
10,471 posts, read 6,890,485 times
Reputation: 19821
We went to a new patient visit with a Dr NOT in previous Doc's group


NONE of this crap!


I'd look for new Doc. (Don't be so thin skinned. No reason to be almost in tears. Just stand up for YOURSELF!)
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Old Yesterday, 07:32 PM
 
9,867 posts, read 16,424,953 times
Reputation: 16652
Quote:
Originally Posted by mike1003 View Post
We went to a new patient visit with a Dr NOT in previous Doc's group


NONE of this crap!


I'd look for new Doc. (Don't be so thin skinned. No reason to be almost in tears. Just stand up for YOURSELF!)
I do "stand up for myself" I just do it in such a way I don't hand them something to use against me.




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!
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Old Yesterday, 07:57 PM
 
2,771 posts, read 1,705,957 times
Reputation: 3444
Was the office on Epic? If so this sounds like the standard set of questions we ask all patients who enter the facility where I work. It’s actually to the benefit of the patient believe it or not but you also always have a right to refuse to answer. It is legitimately so that we can refer you to get help with housing or food stamps or domestic violence or any other issues like that. It is also so we can figure out what treatments to prescribe to patients. For example a homeless patient probably shouldn’t be on meds that have to be kept refrigerated. Nor would you want to prescribe them a medication you know is expensive if they’re in that situation. I know it seems invasive but in order to provide complete care for the entire patient that’s why they get asked. It also lets us refer you to mental health providers if something comes up or can be a red flag as a possible suicide precautions or a drug abuser or any number of things.

For the average patient of course all of this stuff is just another question that you’re asked and it’s all normal and move on. If you really don’t want to answer next time just say you would prefer not to answer. As long as you’re polite about it it won’t be a big deal.
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Old Yesterday, 08:06 PM
 
1,934 posts, read 638,485 times
Reputation: 5187
That’s bizarre. It seems once you turn 65 they get very intrusive.
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Old Yesterday, 08:19 PM
 
Location: on the wind
9,138 posts, read 4,012,837 times
Reputation: 30986
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!
I changed GP providers recently but I'm not 65 yet. I have heard some medical administrative systems are searching for more suggestions that seniors are at risk (housing, alone with no support, etc). Those questions sound fairly routine, not anything to get so upset over unless there's more to the story. Sometimes questions are worded so they broach topics you might not otherwise want to bring up. The wording on a couple was a little awkward. So what? I'd probably joke it off and forget them.

IMHO you turned a routine, irritating administrative chore into a confrontational rodeo. You were almost in tears over a form? Are you this defensive about the rest of your life? You are the one who ended up appearing hostile. The CNA didn't sound as if she was pretending to be anything other than that..and yet you accuse her of being a fake. If this is all it takes to set you off I wouldn't blame the CNA if she did note that you are easily agitated and anxious...someone the new doc needs to handle with kid gloves. Now you've made an impression you probably don't want.
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Old Yesterday, 08:57 PM
 
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
9,395 posts, read 5,813,519 times
Reputation: 34659
They had your husband as your emergency contact, so why on earth would they need "three names"? At that point I'd suspect they're compiling a marketing list.

I'm glad you refused to answer. It's none of their dang beeswax.
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Old Yesterday, 09:03 PM
Status: "Valentine's Day is coming!" (set 14 minutes ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
88,846 posts, read 105,272,563 times
Reputation: 34300
Quote:
Originally Posted by fluffythewondercat View Post
They had your husband as your emergency contact, so why on earth would they need "three names"? At that point I'd suspect they're compiling a marketing list.

I'm glad you refused to answer. It's none of their dang beeswax.
Having worked in a medical office, I can tell you that you need at least a second contact for when that first one isn't available, e.g. DH went to Home Depot.
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Old Yesterday, 09:07 PM
 
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
9,395 posts, read 5,813,519 times
Reputation: 34659
Well, I guess my future physicians are going to be completely out of luck, since I have zero emergency contacts.

There is literally no one who cares whether I live or die.
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Old Yesterday, 09:09 PM
 
Location: Tyler, TX, born + raised SF Bay
1,526 posts, read 841,681 times
Reputation: 1189
If it’s a new PCP, I’d expect these questions. Paper trail is precious for physicians. The perception of you as homeless or something is unsettling, but although I am unclear about how things work even within a practice, the impetus is to document everything closely. That’s both for insurance and CYA lawsuit purposes. Sucks, but that’s pretty standard. Go to a new doc, and it won’t be THAT much different.
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