(06-08-2015 04:30 PM)Mosquitobait Wrote: ...I could not wait for everybody else to get their ducks in a row so that I could get a machine NOW, not 2 months from now. I went from taking 2 naps a week in January to 2 naps a day by my first appointment with the sleep doc in March. The sleep study was 3 weeks after that. Then the titration weeks after that. I apparently could not get across to him how quickly I was deteriorating or it didn't matter to him. I called repeatedly to move these tests up or give me a loaner - anything. I will return for one more appointment only because Medicare requires that followup to pay for my new machine. That will be the last one. This is a 4 month process that shouldn't be this hard.
I'm still really annoyed that they didn't do a split study. There is just no reason to hold a patient hostage like that. I'll get my GP to give me prescriptions for supplies....
This truly is part of the American Medical Care system tragedy. It should NOT be hard to get to see a doctor. Supposedly we have the 'free market' and the wonders of 'private medicine' here in America. Sometimes I wonder.
I noticed you were from Minnesota, so I picked up the phone and called the Mayo clinic this afternoon in an attempt to find out just how hard it would be to get an appointment to see a sleep specialist. Here's what happened:
I wanted to ask a simple question: What is the wait for a new appointment to the Mayo sleep clinic?
I called the Central Appointment number (507)538-3270, dialed ext 1 'for new appointments'.
~2:40pm - 2:43pm 'on hold'
Then at 2:43pm spoke with "Amy". I asked how long would someone need to wait for a new appointment with the sleep clinic if they wanted one. She said 'it depends' (implied that they would have to see if they could see me)...
I asked "It depends on what?"
She asked "What's your name?"
I said "why do you need to know? To discriminate?" She hung up on me
So I called back, and was on hold from 2:45- after 2:52pm
instead of option 1, waited for the general respond person, "Miranda" who happened to be a lot nicer.
I asked again, and explained I was asking on behalf of someone else I did not know on the internet. I wanted to know if Mayo was exclusive, screening out certain types of people, or why the initial phone person responded so evasively. After a quick apology, she explained:
a) that at least two departments at Mayo require general physician referrals:
The sleep medicine clinic and the rheumatology clinic.
So unless you have a diagnosis of sleep apnea or referral from a general physician, you cannot be seen at the center for sleep medicine. Parenthetical note: This is not unusual in my experience. I had the same problem myself earlier (which was part of the reason for my original post in this thread).
b) she said it can take weeks or months to get any appointment
c) but there is no restriction with regard to patient acceptance of medicare, only certain medicaid (presumably from different states?)
d) You can self refer to one of their general doctors, who would presumably refer you to sleep medicine if necessary, but she could not speculate on how long the referral process would take. She said she had scheduled such an appointment with a generalist earlier today and they were scheduling out to early August
e) Once in the sleep medicine clinic, they try to do everything as soon as possible, preferably within 4-7 days.
So there is my contribution to research in the Rochester, Minnesota area.
Anyone else have better luck? I'm truly disgusted by the attitude of the medical community towards patients. It's as if they are doing you a favor to see you. Is this by design, the wishes of the clinicians, or the outgrowth of management optimizations?
I can see reasons why clinicians my think it ideal, but in the digital age where patients are expected to self-manage, I wonder if the gatekeeper mentality is still appropriate, especially given the apparent scarcity of gatekeepers well informed enough about sleep issues to properly refer when appropriate.