My apologies up front for such a long post.
I have been seeing a Psychiatrist since last October. I had 13 appointments with her at her previous office, and 3 appointments with her since she moved to a new office on May 1, 2017. Upon arrival for an appointment on July 24, 2017 (my 17th appointment) to get a refill for my medications, I was told by the front desk employee the doctor no longer takes XXX insurance. I asked her when they were planning on telling their patients about this. She stated that they were in the process of doing this, and I asked why I hadn’t been informed since I was there for an appointment, and was told “We just found out about it this morning - her old office lied to us, she never took XXX insurance.” I told her that was not true as I was a patient from her old office and all my appointments had been covered by XXX insurance. She told me I could still see the doctor that day for $XX (3 times my co-pay) and I stated that I could not afford that. Seeing the doctor for depression, anxiety and paranoia, I felt blind-sided and began to cry. I stated that I had an appointment to get a refill for my medication, and now I couldn’t even get a refill. She said I could see the doctor that day (at the price she quoted) to discuss that. I told her again that I could not afford to pay that price, and left. I thoroughly expected to get a call from my doctor to apologize for the non-communication, but I didn’t get a call. On August 2, 2017 I called the office to ask how I could get a copy of my records sent to me. The gentleman who answered the phone said he didn’t believe they would provide the records to ME, but I could come by their office to get a form to provide the records to another doctor. I asked him email me the form (which he did). While on the phone I stated that I would like to get a refill on my medications. He said he would ask the doctor and call me back. When he calledback, he said the doctor wanted to know if I planned on keeping my next appointment that was scheduled for August 24, 2017. I told him that since the doctor was no longer accepting XXX insurance, no, I would not be keeping it. He stated there was a “snafu” and the doctor DOES take my insurance. I asked again, “When did you plan on telling the patients who were told it was no longer accepted?” He said “We already did.” I said “Really, because nobody told me.” He laughed, and said “Sorry about that.” He said he needed to let the doctor know I was not keeping the next appointment and would call me back about refilling the prescription. He did leave a voice mail stating the doctor called in a refill. I have found a new Psychiatrist, but can not get in to see him until mid-October. I will need a refill on my medications before that. Seeing that I had not yet submitted the request to send my medical records to a different doctor, I called the original doctor’s office today to make an appointment to get a refill. When the woman who makes the appointments asked for my name I was put on hold. When she returned she stated “Dr XXX was under the impression that you found a new doctor.” I said yes, but I cannot get in to see him until mid-October and I need to get a refill for my medications." She said she would talk to the doctor and call me back. Her voicemail said “The doctor said that you will either need to wait for the new MD appointment or ask your PDP to write a script for you, that she will be unable to do so.” Can a doctor terminate their services/obligations to an established patient on the grounds that the patient plans on changing doctors?