I live in the SE. We moved into Alabama 4 years ago. It’s really stinking hard to get into a drs office here. They want you to fill out new patient forms BEFORE you are considered for scheduling an appointment, a lot aren’t accepting patients at all. Then its really hard to get an appointment with an endocrinologist’s office, you need a referral, it’s a 12-week wait for an appointment. And the nearest one is 90 minutes away, so you take off a half-day minimum to go for a checkup every 2 months. It makes working with vacation time extremely difficult. Then almost every place I’ve worked here takes a half-day on Fridays and so they want you to make all your appointments on Friday afternoons…but Drs offices are also closed on Friday afternoons.
They (My endo and my GP) don’t give out prescriptions for a full year’s supply, to make sure you continue to come to appointments, which is fine. I’m normally very good about attending appointments I make…but my boss recently had a major health emergency resulting in my needing to reschedule my appointment and they couldn’t take me this season and I ended up needing an emergency prescription. She filled it for 1 month, but it took 8 weeks to get an appointment. So then I had to make an appointment with my GP to get an emergency prescription because we are moving and won’t even live here by the time the endocrinologist can see me again. And I’m not sure he will fill the prescription at all because he’s not my endocrinologist and told me he doesn’t “do” diabetes care.
We are getting ready to move to another small southern city in less than two weeks and so it starts all over again. I need a referral to even get an appointment, which isn’t even required by my insurance. It’s just a way to make it harder for me as a patient to get service.
I know, there’s all these protocols and privacy regulations and maybe it stops people from getting upset with them for not having insurance coverage or not following their insurance protocols and messing up their coverage, but I just wish it were a bit easier. (I have ADHD too… so making things more complicated with additional steps is doubly-hard on me. I know that isn’t the provider’s fault, it just is what it is.)
I just feel defeated dealing with work requirements and managing my health care. I do not have a job yet in SC, so I’ll at least get established.