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anonymousguest

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About anonymousguest

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    Illinois
  1. That's the problem. They didn't have to take my word for it. They refused to even speak to my insurance company until they had the verbal release to communicate with another physician. It is standard practice to call to verify benefits and eligibility when setting up treatment for anything. Also, I offered to pay cash upfront for the first visit, just to get in to see someone, and they still refused to do it without the "referral." Clearly, it wasn't just about the insurance, and if it is a regular office procedure, why don't they have a clear policy they can refer me to as to why this is required--once the "we need it for billing" excuse was exhausted, no one could (or would) give me a reason why they needed it.
  2. Thanks all. I had the appointment today and I got the care I needed, in spite of the obstacles. Until I'm better that's all I'm concerned with. It's nice to know I'm not the only one who found it odd, but I can see how it might be necessary to them. Although if it's that risky of a situation and they're that concerned about me being pregnant, I would have expected to see one of the two actual pdoc MDs at the practice--instead they had me seen by a nurse practitioner. It really doesn't seem to fit with how risky they made this all out to be.
  3. Sure, I wouldn't be surprised by that at all. However, this isn't my insurance company releasing information or requiring any release of information for treatment. This is between two local doctors, and insurance hasn't even been involved at this point. Even if that were so with my ins company, it sounds like that would also be a violation of the Retaliation/Waiver section, as quoted above, since insurance companies are covered entities as well.
  4. Well from the sound of HIPAA, it sounds like they can get away with pretty much anything since it includes a provision that allows them to release protected information without consent for "Treatment, Payment, and Healthcare Operations." Although I can't think of a logical reason why that information would be required for any of those things. I think that's what I'll specifically ask about at the appointment. However, it does also go on to say, under the Retaliation and Waiver section, that: "A covered entity may not require an individual to waive any right under the Privacy Rule as a condition for obtaining treatment, payment, and enrollment or benefits eligibility." To me, that sounds like exactly what they did, which is definitely a violation.
  5. Thank you for your response. I agree that it's done now, but I still would like a reason. I plan on continuing to look for another pdoc, even if I have to drive hours. The ONLY reason I even entertained the thought of going there even once, is because I promised my DH I would get help as soon as possible. Thank you for giving me some validation that it's not just all in my head. One thing I forgot to include is that before they would even have the doctor consider taking me, they required my previous psychiatric treatment records--which I had, and brought copies of to them. So they had my entire psychiatric treatment record (for several days) before they made the request to get my OB's "referral."
  6. I just need some perspective from others with mental health illnesses. I honestly do not know if I'm just being super ultra paranoid and hypersensitive, or if I have a valid complaint. DH doesn't seem to understand why this bothers me and I know that I'm not in a good place now. I apologize for length, but some background is required. I'm BPII, dx in Sept 2006. I have been seeking mental health care, including from various pdocs, since 2001. So, not new at this game. I was medicated religiously from the time of dx until last year, when I started trying to conceive. I'm now eight months pregnant and unmedicated, and having trouble. I moved in Jan of this year and am new to the area I am in now, therefore no established pdoc yet. Background over. I called the closest pdoc to me that takes my insurance in my new area (next closest is literally hours away, I live rurally now). They took all my info and said they'd call back if they doc agreed to take me as a patient. That was it, no more caveats at that time. Then when they called the next week, they said he would take me, but they couldn't make me an appt until I had my OB here call them and give them a "referral." First, my insurance NEVER requires a referral for mental health care, ever. I can print that right off their website, and they also verified it when I called. When I asked the office if they had called my insurance to verify my benefits and eligibility, they said they couldn't do that until they got a "referral." They refused to call unless my OB called them first. After going back and forth with them on it several times, I eventually said to heck with it, I'll just suffer. It's too much BS and I'm in no condition to deal with it, I'm not going there for anything. At that point, my husband took over, did what they asked, and what happened was that my OB called them, and then they called my OB and made my appt for me, through the OB's office. No one ever even called me, except to say, "You have an appt at this day at this time." (And it was my OB's office that made that call, not the pdoc practice.) BTW, I have not signed ANY releases or paperwork at all at either office--so neither of them have any releases with my signature allowing them to share medical information with the other office. TO ME, this feels shady, untrustworthy, and violating. I feel violated. Why did I have to reveal to any other doctor that I was seeking psychiatric care? Shouldn't that have been my choice? As a matter of record, my OB was already aware that I have this condition as I was upfront with him from day one. That's not the issue. The issue for me is that I was REQUIRED to inform some other, unrelated doctor of mine that I was seeking this kind of help, as a CONDITION of being treated. This is also a rural area and very patriarchal, and it feels very much to me like a "we do things our own way down here" kind of thing. I strongly suspect if it were my DH seeking treatment, he would not have had to deal with this. DH doesn't seem to understand why I'm so upset. I tried to explain that to me, it's like if I thought I had an STD and tried to seek treatment at my family doc, but my family doc refused to even make me an appt unless I call my dentist first and have the dentist call the family doc and give his "approval." Why is that required?? It's my private health information, shouldn't it be my choice? Also, as I said I've been receiving mental health care for a decade and in ALL the providers I've seen in multiple states, this is the FIRST time I have ever been required to do this before a provider would even make an appointment. Would you feel uncomfortable and have trust issues with this doctor in this situation? Or am I just obviously so ill that I can't see this clearly? Thanks if you read or have any advice.
  7. Well DB this is completely anecdotal, but my experience was the complete opposite. I ate loads of sweets (because I have a sweet tooth anyway, not that I was craving them any more than normal). However, I DID crave meat in ridiculous quantities. I remember one time when I was craving red meat so intensely that I HAD to have it RIGHT NOW and the only red meat we had in the house was a pound of hamburger, so I just cooked it and ate it out of a bowl with a spoon--the whole pound. Anyway, my son despises sweets and refuses to eat meat about 85% of the time. He's a little over 2 now.
  8. When I started on Topamax, I also started on a very low dose of Seroquel (50mg/day at night to sleep) so there's that to consider. Before being on Topamax, I was gaining very rapidly and consistently (while on both Zyprexa and Depakote at the same time). When I went on Topamax (or more likely when I went OFF Z and Depakote), that gain stopped, but I did NOT lose anything at all. For a short time, my weight stayed the same. Then I very verly slowly gained a very small amount, and my weight stabilized again. Then I went on a diet and started losing a lot of weight from the diet. A couple of times I've gone off my diet plan and gained back some lbs; as soon as I went back on plan, I've dropped those lbs. So yes I have gained weight while on Topamax, but I didn't and don't think it was caused by the drug. I also didn't lose anything going on Topamax either though. I really don't think Topamax has had any effect on weight in my case.
  9. well I'm no expert. but I can tell you that a lot of things changed in me permanently after childbirth, one of them being my aggression threshold. it became hair triggered (while unmedicated). that was one of the symptoms which directly led me to seek mental help. I kept waiting for things to "go back to normal" you know, for my hormones to "settle down" and everything would be like it was inside me before. ten months later when I was still different I realized things weren't going back to the way they were before and now I am who I am, after childbirth. whatever all the hormonal changes triggered in my brain was permanent for me, even after the hormones returned to their normal levels.
  10. I've only been diagnosed for a little over a year. We've only been through about three main drugs with various side drugs and various dosages of said main and side drugs. Throughout all drug combos I have continued to cycle. The length and duration of cycles varied, but never *really* stopped. At times, they were so mild and transient it was almost as if they weren't there--I almost didn't notice. (almost)But my point is they never actually stopped. Is this even a realistic goal for me--to END cycling? Will it ever END? Does that actually happen for anyone, has it happened for any of you? Or should I just be shooting for the controlled manageable mild cycling that I have sometimes had? Is that my best hope? It just seems like those mild baby cycles always grow stronger and stronger (even while medicated) until, like now, they eventually beat me down into danger again.
  11. When I have a detailed, practical plan that includes the means and opportunity.
  12. I am on 200mg of topamax and have zero cognitive effects from it. It's working very well for me. I titrated very slowly. I took 25mg per day for seven days, then 50mg per day for seven days, then 75mg per day for seven days, then 100mg per day for seven days. After one week at 100mg (50mg am and 50mg pm) I went to 200mg (100mg am and 100mg pm).
  13. It doesn't seem like a good idea. For one reason, Topamax doesn't cause weight loss for everyone who takes it. It didn't for me. It did stop the weight gain, finally. But hell that could have happened because I was finally off depakote and zyprexa. The "dumbing down" effect doesn't happen to everyone either though--didn't happen to me at all (I take 200mg). Who knows what dose they're putting these people on at the diet centers. They may be putting them on such a low dose that those side effects may be minimal. I still think it's a bad idea though. Who knows what might happen to "normal" folks who go on these drugs.
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