Apparently, the blood test episode I’ve chronicled in this thread, in which my results have been held hostage for 24 days, is coming to a close. I was ready to call Ted Koppel and see if he wanted to start another Nightline: American’s Blood Held Hostage. I received a call this morning from the Human Being at the soon-to-be ex-doc’s practice that went something like this:
HB: Good morning. This is Sherry at Dr. D’s office. I just wanted to tell you that she did send a card out to you yesterday. Dr. D looked at your test results and said that they were within normal limits. He said he’d discuss them with you at your next appointment.
Me: [snicker] Which is—
HB: [pre-emptively] October 12. Okay?
Me: Yeah, right.
So, I’m thinking, what are the chances that I’ll actually have that meeting in October? Pretty slim, given this treatment. And what if I get acutely sick in the meanwhile? Will I test this organization that has already shown how disorganized and unconcerned it can be by requesting an appointment or will I just throw up my hands and head for the ER?
The way this was handled raises trust issues. Do I trust the practice? Hell, no, when I have to chase them for weeks to get simple results that should have been available in a few days at most. Do I trust the doctor? If his group practice is a reflection of his philosophy, hell, no! While I hope that it is true that the test results were good, should I believe the postcard that says so, or must I look at the lab tests myself to be certain I’m not being lied to? Should I wait four-plus months to see them, or should I haul my ass over there and pick them up?
The big issue: is this practice more concerned with profitability than with patients?
The bright, shining hope is that there is a physician, who is the husband of a friend of a friend, who is fed up with the way patients are treated and wants to do something about it. He plans to open a practice in September, after getting some legal issues squared away. If he succeeds, he’ll get my business and I won’t have to deal with these idiots again.