Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Why I Dislike Carilion

I had a long-standing scheduled appointment at 9 a.m. with an internal medicine doctor at Carilion's new Riverside facility this morning (4/23/2014). I had called back in February and asked for assistance in finding a doctor, explaining I was having stomach issues, and was directed to Internal Medicine and given this appointment by someone at Carilion's appointment desk. I asked specifically if this doctor would be a good doctor to see for my issue and was told "I don't know, I just make appointments."
 
Anyway, I kept the appointment. An internist should know about your internal organs, after all, and that is where I am having problems. After I arrived and paid my co-pay, the nurse called me back to the examining room. Then she asked me if I was looking for a new primary care doctor. I said no, I was there for a specific issue, I have a primary care doctor whom I like and I wasn't interested in switching. However, my primary care doctor had encouraged me to seek help elsewhere because her months of assistance have failed to alleviate my problem.
Then I was told that unless I was switching to this internist as my primary care doctor, she wouldn't see me. I asked if she would see me this one time - I even offered to pay the specialist co-pay - and I was turned away!
 
I sat sobbing in the examining room while the nurse went out. Another came in and said the same thing. My husband was livid. I went sobbing out into the waiting room where at least I was refunded my copay. However, I am in so much pain and have been unable to find a doctor to help me. What is wrong with a health care system that doesn't bother to alleviate suffering?
Obviously, Carilion's health care system is not set up in the best interest of the patient AT ALL and I find it to be the most appalling method of taking care of people I have ever experienced. Apparently all they care about are profits.
I do not understand why I couldn't be evaluated and looked at for referrals or whatever I needed instead of sent away crying in pain. This callous doctor, her nurses, and this entire organization should be ashamed of itself for what I experienced this morning. I can't believe any health care organization would turn away a patient - a paying patient with good health insurance, I might add - over some stupid policy such as this.
 
It is no wonder people leave this valley to find medical care. You certainly can't find it here.
 
When I had my gallbladder out last summer, it was at Carilion Hospital. You might want to read my blog entry about that, appropriately entitled A Comedy of Errors. It reads like a horror story. And I've been sick ever since - 10 months. Ten months solid of pain and nausea.
 
I don't know how this hospital organization receives any of these awards they tout. It can't be because they ask the patients what they think. Or maybe the patients are afraid to say because they fear they won't get care.

Well I am not afraid of the big bad behemoth of Roanoke. They owe me an apology, if nothing else.

13 comments:

  1. Wow, I am so sorry to read this! Terrible treatment for sure . Perhaps it's time to visit UVA and write a letter to Carilion's pres and/or the newspaper.

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  2. Carilion owns Roanoke and doesn't give a shit, plain as that, I expect them to change the name of the city to Carilion at any time. Even if they repealed Obama care we would still be stuck with Carilion a lose lose situation. You just need to learn Spanish and go to the ER and mumble pain and they will take care of you at no charge.

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  3. Wait a second...you already went to UVA, didn't you??? With my horrible experiences with Lewis Gale I couldn't recomment them either. You're right...health care in this valley is abysmal. My daughter is still going through all her issues with no resolve either.

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  4. My Carilion primary care doctor referred me to a rheumatologist last summer, even though I tried to convince her I wasn't having joint pain—I was having muscle pain. Wasted a day going to Roanoke only to be told that rheumatiology couldn't help me since my joints weren't bothering me. I'm learning more about health care from the Internet than I learn from Carilion.

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  5. Yes, unbelievable and very sad! I agree you should voice this to everyone via Roanoke Times to make others aware and get a reaction from readers. You have the gift of writing so use it to help everyone in the valley! Can your primary care doctor make a referral for you?!?

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  7. It's not just Roanoke. It's everywhere. I'm in Jersey and there's horrible medical care up here too. And it has nothing to do with Obamacare. This started back in the eighties when the insurance companies started getting big. Doctors who used to go into the medical profession because of passion, because they wanted to actually heal, retired and were replaced by doctors (and nurses) who only go into it for the money (mostly doctors from other countries and folks who can't get jobs anywhere else because they are discriminated against.) The way to get money because of the insurance companies being in the middle with their hands out controlling everything is by assembly line style and "make-a-jobs," no real treatment and certainly no prevention. Don't even think that by going to some fancy hospital like Mayo or Duke, the care will be any better. My mother went to Hackensack University Hospital when she got leukemia. They are world renown for treating cancer and her doctor was one of the top leukemia specialists. Long story short, her care was a nightmare. You're going to have to figure it out yourself, tell your primary care doctor who you need to see, tell that doctor what you think it is, what tests you think you should get, and hope you are right. Becky is correct. All the info is on the Internet. Also, it's time to sue the doctor who did the surgery. He did surgery on you and you've had post-surgery pain for 7 months. See if starting some litigation gets you some action.

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  8. That is horrible -- and exactly what is wrong with this nation's health care system. You should not have to switch doctors in order to see a specialist. That hospital, doctor and staff should be ashamed of themselves!

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  9. This is terrible, and I'm so sorry that you've gone through this. Believe me, you aren't alone. It's the insurance companies who are to blame in 90 percent of the cases. They will not PAY for out of Net, so called, expenses, and will not re-reimburse hospitals. So, I spent half a day at a local hospital "A" before being transferred to my own Health care provider's hospital "B", because, as the doctor at the first hospital explained, I would get a massive bill from Hospital "A". If you are still in pain after a gall bladder removal you do need to find out if you are now suffering from Pancreatitus. I know this condition well. Good luck to you and God Bless.

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  10. I can't stand doctors (and I despise medical insurance companies.) Carilion has not met our families' needs and neither has Lewis Gale. We've lived in several other cities and states and it was not much better. Doctors need to take a huge step back and begin doctoring with compassion and reasoning once again. These days it's all about functioning within the system and covering their behinds against malpractice claims. Your experience upsets me to no end. I say a letter to the editor of the newspaper about the state of medical care in our valley is in order. I don't understand Carilion's policy about switching to one of their GP's in order to see their Internal Medicine guy.

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  11. It is a shame you had to endure this type treatment. Unfortunately, it is all around us. It isn't about the patient, it is about the profits. I have to point a finger at Medicare/Medicaid (HHS) as they set the rules and the physicians do what they have to do to enjoy their profits. No one is checking on the "entitlement" funds (as our elected officials like to proclaim) to see how they are being used. The alternative would be for a hospital not associated with Carilion or Lewis Gale to open and we could all go there. Sorta like the Tea Party versus the Republicans and Democrats!! Bottom line, no hospital should turn a patient away, especially one with an appt.

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