We are losing access to yet another doctor – the 4th in 18 months. I’ve lived here for 27 years and we’ve only “lost” one doctor before, when she dropped out of our network (Blue Cross, Blue Shield back then). And, now they’re dropping like flies.
The first, our primary care physician, went concierge, charging a monthly fee and no longer taking insurance. Since we have good insurance, that was a deal breaker for us.
The second, our Pediatrician of 23 years, retired. The kids hadn’t seen him in awhile, anyway. Two of them had already switched to our primary care physician (see above). But one of them hasn’t officially made a switch to another doctor and I have to get his medical records before the end of the year. That’s on my To Do list. This doctor was of retirement age, so it wasn’t a big surprise. In fact, he was in his 80s, so it really wasn’t a surprise! But his letter mentioned that the upcoming healthcare legislation would make it very difficult for him to remain in the small practice he had.
The 3rd doctor, my Endocronologist, retired also. This came as a big surprise. He seemed to have a thriving practice and was voted one of Denver’s best doctors not all too long ago. He’s only 60. I know I hope Jay can retire prior to hitting 60, but it seems very young, for a doctor, to retire. 😉 The letter announcing his retirement was dated August 12th and his doors close September 27th. Yowza! I’m mailing in the paperwork today to have my records sent to me.
The letter related to the 4th doctor, our dermatologist, came last week from our healthcare provider. This doctor is no longer in network, which surprises the heck out of me. In the 15 years we’ve had United Healthcare we’ve never had a doctor drop out. I’m wondering if this means his partner is also no longer in our network. I hope not. We’ve been with them for ages. And they’re close to our house. Anyway, now I have to contact them to see what the scoop is. UPDATE: the doctor is no longer in our network because he retired like doctors 2 and 3 above. He was in his early 60s, so I guess that’s old enough to want to retire, but it strikes me as early.
We know a bunch of doctors. Most are very unhappy with the upcoming legislation. One is thinking of quitting to do something else. He’s going to have to, in my opinion. I can’t see his practice surviving the new rules. Another has a small practice and won’t be able to meet all the coming requirements for reporting, etc. He’s close enough to retirement that he’s just going to try and hang in there and pay the fees. It will be interesting to see what the other, younger ones do.
I’m from Canada so I have a bad feeling about where all this is going. My Canadian friends and family with money have, historically, been able to come down to the States for procedures. I know others, though, who’ve waited 13 months for an MRI, or three years for a knee replacement (which never happened anyway). I know people who do not like their doctors at all, but are afraid of being dropped and would never say a wayward word to them. I know someone who’s blood pressure is always high when she goes to see her primary care physician because she gets so stressed by her. But it’s great whenever anyone else takes it.
I’m just sayin’…