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#269552 - 12/10/14 11:48 AM How do you deal with deadlines for your doctor?
Trey Offline
Registered Visitor

Registered: 05/29/06
Posts: 28
Loc: New York, NY
My employer's insurance company set a deadline for my doctor (not my rheumy, a specialist my rheumy referred me to) to respond to a very lengthy questionnaire about my spondy symptoms and prognosis for them to decide on workplace accommodations and whether to consider a prior absence exused.

He was out of the country for awhile doing humanitarian work, and when he got back and I had an appointment, he told me he had a huge backlog of other paperwork, the sheer volume of what they were asking for was going to take a lot of time, and he wouldn't be able to meet that deadline. I asked him to send a note explaining that; he did so, asking for an extension to Dec. 22.

My company refused, and extended their deadline only to this past Monday—one week later than the initial deadline. I let the doctor's office know, and my doctor said he'd try, but didn't think he'd be able to make it. And he didn't.

My employer's HR office responded saying it's my responsibility, not my doctor's, to get the paperwork done (even though I can't actually do the paperwork myself, it had to come from my doctor), though they extended the deadline to today and I let the doctor know. But Wednesdays like today he's in surgery, so the chances he'll make it today are low. I warned my company about that, and they responded, "it's "your responsibility to do whatever is necessary to meet the deadline, or we'll be forced to get the ball rolling on termination". I asked for examples of "whatever is necessary" actions I could take, but they had none to suggest.

In my experience, you build a relationship with your specialists based on factors you can research or have first-hand knowledge of: insurance acceptance, quality of care, ability to get timely appointments, how the doctor approaches a treatment plan, how much you're involved in your care decisions, etc.

By the time you have any info on how good and fast [s]he and his/her office are in responding to third-party paperwork requests, it's too late to pick a new doctor, and besides, if you like the doctor and have built a rapport, trying to switch doctors (even if there's time for getting a new-patient appointment, getting labs and diags done, etc.) leaves open the possibility of getting a doctor you don't like as much—but one that's equally bad at paperwork procrastination, since you still have no visibility into his or her timeliness with paperwork deadlines.

Thoughts? Thanks in advance.

#269579 - 12/12/14 08:22 AM Re: How do you deal with deadlines for your doctor? [Re: Trey]
SouthernMoss Online
Registered Visitor

Registered: 03/12/13
Posts: 1605
Loc: MS
Obviously, none of us have a good answer for you. It's incredibly frustrating when the responsibility falls on you, but you have no real control over the situation.

I am not an expert in employment law, so my only suggestion would be to consult an attorney who is and discuss your rights and responsibilities with him/her.

What is your current situation? Have they begun the termination process yet?
Ginny - 56 year old female
Dx with USpA in March 2013; changed to AS in July 2015
Iritis and Scleritis
unicompartmental knee replacement June 2014
MTX, Humira, Cyclobenzaprine, plus Indomethacin ER as needed
Supplements: Folic Acid, Vitamin D, Calcium, Fish Oil, Melatonin, Culturelle probiotic