finding a doctor continued

July 31st, 2008  |  Published in Healthy Indiana Plan  |  5 Comments

After being told that the physician to which I was assigned by MDWise under the HIP was no longer accepting patients, and that the person I switched to after that (being told by MDWise that their system listed them as ‘active’ or accepting patients) was also no longer accepting patients, I called another practice.  I asked if they were accepting patients and they asked if I needed to see a doctor or if a nurse practitioner would be okay.  I told them that it didn’t really matter because I just wanted to establish care with someone, get a general physical, and have the sebacious cyst on the back of my neck re-examined.  They took my information, and were able to look some of it up based on my MDWise RID, and then scheduled me an appointment for next week with a nurse practitioner.

I called MDWise to tell them this and they said that care with a nurse practitioner wouldn’t be covered, it had to be a doctor. I called the office back, canceled my appointment and tried to see if any of the doctors at that office were accepting new patients.  They weren’t accepting new patients, so I continued down the list of results from the MDWise web site.  Of the people on the list that I have called so far, 10 out of 20 are not accepting new patients.  Right now I am stalled at waiting to get a call back from one of the doctor’s offices who I was told was accepting patients.

One of the biggest confusions that I have encountered is the fact that many of the doctors on the list that MDWise provided are part of very large practices (the on-hold message at one of the practices said they had over 60 physicians) at the same location with diffrent offices and phone numbers.    It’s very hard to figure out who I’ve talked to already, especially since I’ve been transferred to different offices via the phone system.  The thing that has cleared things up the best for me has been to ask the seceretary “Which doctors do you schedule appointments for? Are any of them accepting new patients?”

I have been pretty frustrated by this process so far.  Last month, I went to a forum about the FSSA privatization and how it has affected people receiving food stamp beverages.  WFHB covered the event and its worth a listen just to see how messed up the program is and how many people have been treated unfairly or just had to jump through a bunch of needless hoops just to get their benefits.  At least there was a general consensus, even by the FSSA rep there that things needed to change.  A lot of people who did get their situations resolved did so with support from their state representatives or senators.  I would really recommend that if you’re having problems with the HIP, that you contact your Indiana rep. as many actually have social workers working for their office who might be able to help you navigate the crazy HIP system.  You can look up your representatives at the state’s Who’s Your Legistator page.

  • Did you keep a list of the doctors that aren’t taking patients currently?

    Sounds like the beginnings of a useful website….

  • I just tossed the list in the recycling yesterday since I was done with it. Unfortunately, I get the impression that this data changes with more frequency than I could update a site. The reason for this, I believe, is that the majority of the doctors are with a single, really huge provider called IMA which seems to have a somewhat high turnover. However, it might be the kind of thing that would be really useful if the physicians would get on board and update their records. Of course, ideally they would do this through the insurance provider or the insurance provider would occasionally poll to find out which of the doctors were currently accepting patients.

  • Susie

    Healthy Indiana Plan sucks…most doctors make the nurse see you because they must not get enough money from Indiana to make it worth their while…They then just scheduled me appts with other providers and the doctor still never saw me..I’m starting to wonder if it’s worth it

  • Susie

    I forgot to say and there are no doctors to choose from in the first place…you get the lowest quality of doctors because there is no one in my list. I have 3 doctors to choose from.

  • @Susie: Thanks for sharing your experience. I think a lot of others feel the same way. I’m curious about your opinion on this question: are you more concerned about choice, or quality of care? Would a choice of only three doctors be okay if you felt they all provided good care? What factors make you feel like a doctor is providing the care you want? Also, do you feel like nurses (are they nurse practitioners?) aren’t able to provide the same level or care that doctors do? If so, what are the differences?