My Life the Seinfeld Episode: Chapter Two

Don’t typically do posts like this but I think this is straight up weird and another Seinfeld episode of my life!

Background: An attending physician at the hospital made me a follow up doctors appointment with another doctor.

Problem: I called the follow up doctor’s office just now and this was the exact conversation with receptionist, who answered the phone:

Me: “Hello, I am calling to confirm my upcoming appointment and to see if I can get an earlier appointment, Doctor _____ referred me to your office.”

Receptionist: “Hold please.”

(left me on hold for long time)

Receptionist: “No, there are no available appointments, you do have appointment on ____.”

Me: “Have you precertified the appointment through my health insurance company.”

Receptionist: “I don’t know ma’am.”

Me: “Ummm well, if you do not precert the appointment with my insurance company they will not pay the doctor.”

Me: “Do you have my health insurance information on file even?”

Receptionist: “I don’t know ma’am.”

Me: “Ummm, how could you NOT know!”

Me: “Well, could you look in the damn computer if your office wants to get paid!”

Receptionist: “No.”

Me: “Why are you acting so freaking weird!”

Me: “My question is a viable question, do you have the precertification from my health insurance company or not?”

Receptionist: “No, we do not have anything on file.”

Me: “Ummm, then how do you expect to get paid by the insurance company without the precertification required?”

Receptionist: “We will get your insurance card at the time of the appointment ma’am.”

Me: “Ummm, but that’s why it’s called a precertification, appointment has to be PRE-CERTIFIED with my health insurance company!”

Receptionist: “I don’t know ma’am, call your insurance company.”

Me: “Ummm, the doctors office has to precert, I am not allowed to do that!”

Receptionist: “I don’t know ma’am”

Me: “This is freaking weird, why won’t you give me any information!”

Me: “Bye!”

This is officially the most crazy conversation I have ever had with a doctors office in my life.

This makes zero logical sense.

Can any person in the world understand why the receptionist acted this way, to help me understand the logic?

I have no clue why!

Leave a comment

8 Comments

  1. Ummm..that wouldnt fly at any doctor I know of..If the PCP made the referral, then they would send over all pertinent info on the problem, supporting medical records, etc, a demographic sheet, and..drum roll please…A COPY OF YOUR INSURANCE CARD.

    What the hell kind of doctors office is so unprofessional?

    Boo to that.

    Some insurance companies don’t require precertification unless they do certain procedures ( MRI, CT, etc), but some require it for specialists. I will say, the PCP is, 80% ish of the time, responsible for initiating it. So I’d call your PCP. And since you may be calling anyway, I’d ask why this office is full of whack jobs.

    Reply
    • @mrsdeboots – it’s just really strange, I mean as you stated…why in the hell did they not send over a copy of my insurance card?

      Makes straight up no damn sense whatsoever…now, going to an expensive appointment and have no freaking clue if it will be paid for by insurance as there is no pre-cert.

      Some crazy ass messed up shit, that’s for sure.

      Think this must be due to the new “Healthcare Privacy Laws” in my state.

      F-d up stupid ass law, by the way.

      Reply
  2. Sorry, but I have to smile. I’ve had similar inconceivably stupid telephone conversations with utility companies in London and Berlin. Pooh have I blown my top!

    Reply
    • @nrulthecook, that’s funny. You have lived in so many places! It’s amazing, how is a young, handsome man like you, with your intelligence still single? Makes no logical sense to me. Do you have a post as to all of the places you have lived/traveled or perhaps a custom menu of such things.

      Roughseasinthemed – on the blogroll, has a custom menu of all the places she has lived, and it is very interesting. Have you thought of doing such a menu? I would read it so would many others, most likely. Not bossing – just a suggestion/idea.

      Your have a broad view of the world from all of your travels, love the recent photos of the city that you posted. Wonderful photography and wow does that city just looked so crammed full of people!

      Reply
  3. It sounds like this receptionist really doesn’t like or care about her job. I probably wouldn’t like doing it either, but it is a pretty important job at a doctor’s office. Maybe wait and call back later to talk to someone who has it a bit more together or ask to speak to someone else there? Or maybe file a complaint? Thank goodness this isn’t your normal doctor!

    I think the strangest interaction I have had with a receptionist was when I called up my doctor’s office because I was having a terrible reaction to some medication and stopped taking it (in hopes I would regain my ability to swallow and breathe normally) and the receptionist proceeded to actually scream at me that it was my fault and it was because I stopped taking the medication. I tried to explain how cause and effect worked, but that was a lost cause.

    Reply
    • Rebecca, I cannot believe that happened to you, although have had a similar experience. However, I would think that the receptionist would have gotten in for an appointment right away or directed you to the nearest emergency room for such a bad reaction.

      Doctors in the United States seem to have lost their sense of personal ettiquette.

      Everything is about money in the healthcare field it seems these days, I mean cannot understand why doctors act the way they do here in the U.S. over the past few years.

      The healthcare reform laws here in this state are just hideous. They really have made it to where I cannot call a doctor over the phone for any reason or the pharmacist, due to the new “healthcare privacy laws” here in my state.

      Healthcare reform should have a disclaimer on the law that says this:

      “The doctor cannot help you in an emergency”

      “Go to the nearest emergency room, so they can send you straight back home with zero assistance, and charge you a shitload of money for doing nothing for you.”

      Reply
  4. I ran a doctor’s office (by myself), including front desk and back office duties, for quite some time. I say this to inform you that you officially experienced Idiot Syndrome at its finest.

    I don’t assume this person was an idiot, I simply know for a fact that she A) does not take her job seriously and B) will probably work there for a very insignificant amount of time.

    You’re right. I was solely responsible for insurance verifications and pre-certifications and if I did not perform the necessary functions of my job, the doctor wouldn’t get paid and the patient would have found a different doctor who had a competent, self-motivated staff who’d ensure their time was not totally wasted by taking off work to show up for an appointment that wasn’t pre-approved in advance.

    Not every insurance company it policy requires such laborious effort prior to treatment/evaluation, but it is increasingly common and VITAL to the success of any practice.

    I’d call back and speak with the office manager so that you can receive the care you need in an appropriate time frame. Oftentimes, the office manager is unaware of the problem and unfortunately it depends on your persistence in order to rectify the laziness in a way that gets you the treatment you need, as well as saves future patients from the same misfortune.

    Frustrating, yes. But I’m confident that if you take the time to make another phone call to the person in charge, you’ll accomplish what you need.

    Reply
    • @a beautiful mess – Bingo! You hit the nail on the head! I did take your advice and left a message directly for the doctor, and said these exact words:

      “Your receptionist is an idiot, and would not take down my insurance information for a pre-cert.”

      “I do not have to use you as a doctor, would love to, but your office staff were rude and discourteous”

      “Shall not put up with such rudeness, as my insurance company would be paying high dollars for the visits.”

      You know me Brandy, had to just say it like it is….quite sure will hear nothing back.

      Fine with me, plenty of other doctors to use.

      Think you are right Brandy, she may lose her job, once the doctor listens to my message on his voicemail.

      Reply

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