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Rachel

Specialists that have nurse line or email with no charge fee

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Have any of you been fortunate to find a Specialist that will communicate with you by email or a nurse line. The specialist I took my son to last December will do 30 minutes phone conferences for $175. I tried to ask a simple questions about a reaction to a medication and the staff said that I would need to set up a conference call. Is this how most specialist in the area of PANS/PANDAS and Lyme treat patients. I have insurance and they will not pay on conference calls like this.

 

I have a cardiologist that works with us weekly by email and calls my house at least once a month. This doctor is willing to collabotate with other doctors since this condition is affecting DS blood pressure and heart rate. I guess the other question, I need to ask is Will your specialist collaborate with your main doctor? Hope I am not confusing you. I live in Oklahoma and our insurance will allow us to go see other specialist but treatment with IV has to stay within our state.

Rachel

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Insurance will only pay for a face to Face meeting. Doctors can bill you for any service that is "uncovered". I've never heard of any docs billing for emails or simple nurse communications, but it is ethical for them to charge you if they are giving patient care on the phone, as opposed to routine follow up issues

 

I work in a busy primary care office. The patients will call with their questions. The receptionists will ask in detail what their question is. It goes to the doc in the computer system as a phone message. In the docs spare time (unless it's flagged urgent, it gets handled in almost real time) the doc types up the answer and depending on the complexity has either a receptionist or nurse return the call with the info the doc has written. These types of things can include questions about labs, medications, quick questions about care plan, ect. If you have a complex or new issue the doc will ask you to schedule an appointment bc its risky to give care over the phone and you really can't bill for it. It's very reasonable to call and request these types of things but you will not get a call back from the doc directly.

 

The doc will call directly if there is a bad test result or a very urgent issue. However, if its really urgent the office will likely refer you to the ER.

 

The only way to really email with doctors that are HIPPA compliant are through the patient portals keep in mind that when you email your doc through the system, most if them are set up as phone messages, and are monitored by receptionists in the same way as I described above. If the message seems urgent enough the doc might answer themselves but usually it goes through the office.

 

Most docs do and will speak with other care providers when necessary and appropriate. Good specialist will write letter and forward office notes to primary care givers. Not all of them do, but it's the right thing to do in medicine. Our primary care docs talk to specialists all day long concerning patient care. So my answer to that question is yes.

 

The bottom line is, if you have a question such as, can I give my child Motrin at the same time as clonidine, it's very appropriate to call the office and ask to leave a phone message for the doctor. If the question is, my child is in a flare, and he sprained his ankle and I can't get him to leave his room and he's screaming at his sister, what do I do? Then of course an appointment is necessary.

 

Most docs won't just pick up the phone and chat away with you about all of your questions. That's what office visits are for. Button really should be able to communicate with the office to get answers to specific questions within a few days.

 

I hope that sheds some light on how at least our office operates.

 

Btw, our office loves when people call and say if like to leave a phone message. Please let me know approximately how long I can expect to receive my answer? May I call back in a few days if I haven't heard? They will bend over backwards to help. But if you call, demanding to speak directly to the doctor or to receive a call back, they may get irritated. Just because it doesn't work that way, and doctors would have to make calls such as those either early in the morning, lunchtime, or late at night.

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Thanks Joybop for your answer. The other doctors that I use with my son work this way. I can leave a message and they will get back in the next 24 hours. My problem is that I can't leave a simple message and get an answer back. I'm frustrated and don't feel like I will be able to get the care that my DS needs with this new doctor's office.

Rachel

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I am truly blessed because I have my Docs cell number. I really try not to use it but in times of crisis it has been my best line of communications. We pay out of pocket so I view this as a perk. And will certainly only use it in emergency.

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