About 5 months ago my wife went for her regular scheduled doctor appointment. Upon arriving she was told she would not be seeing her regular physician. Her appointment was still scheduled, but with a different doctor. After much questioning, she was told a new #Health group had bought out the medical facility. They still had her medical records but would not say, if or when, her doctor would return.
I lost my doctor
We found out that losing your doctor like this happens a lot. It's not just your health insurance plan. It seems that nowadays big health firms buy out other firms in order to increase their share of business. Many times the doctors then become employees of the new firm.
It’s a contract problem
If the doctor wants to remain with the new health group and keep their office location and patients they have to sign a new contract. This may involve taking a pay cut or change in liability insurance. It could include many changes. If the doctor doesn’t agree with the new terms they must leave and find a new medical facility.
The laws are different from state to state. But in some cases, if the doctor leaves, the new group retains all patient records. The doctor is not allowed to contact his current patients and doesn’t even have the patient list.
This comes about from the previous contract that the doctor would have had to sign with the old health group. It may even state that he cannot practice within a certain distance of his old office.
I need my doctor
Where does this leave the patient? The office with the records won’t tell where the doctor went. The doctor can’t tell the patient where he went. All of this because the health groups are fighting over patients. This is another reason for health care reform. The doctors are caught up in legal contracts with competition clauses.
So far, the only solution to finding your doctor is to wait until he is established with a new firm. Then hopefully the new firm will announce the doctor joining their facility. At this point you should be able to find the doctor on the internet. Then you can make a new appointment and request your medical records be transferred.
In the meantime, if you have a serious condition, you will have to go to a new doctor at the new firm or find a new doctor somewhere else.
This is not a good thing for the patient who has formed a long standing relationship with their doctor. Once again the patient is left in the dust, while the big firms buy each other out.