Factors in deteriorating doctor/patient relations, particularly among elder healthcare-seeker...Insurance-company formulas for MD reimbursements, in recent years, have lowered payments to physicians and to other medical providers. To make up for that revenue loss, many physicians have increased their client load and have decreased the time spent with each individual patient. In order to pay the expenses or generate the anticipated revenue for the medical-office practice, the workload on the physician has not so much been increased as rejiggered, but this has increased the workload on office staff and on office facilities.
The office may not appear as clean as in previous visits, and the furniture may be worn, and the medical equipment may be out of date. Add that to waiting rooms which seem more crowded as medical offices see more patients than ever before, sometimes working longer hours. In such situations, patients needs are sometimes overlooked as the entire staff including the physician are bone tired.
Despite the stress involved in seeking a different medical provider or facility, there are some prudent alternatives to suffering the above nightmare scenarios. The first step to change a medical provider is to investigate thoroughly with insurance companies to be sure that the new provider is in their medical network.
If not, the costs to see the new provider can be very expensive. Once it is determined that the provider will be covered by the elder's health insurance, the elder must arrange to visit the office and meet the physician.
A huge red flag is if the new provider refuses to be interviewed. Just walk away from that provider immediately. Secondly, once a provider is met by the elder, look around the office. Notice if there is a long wait and a crowded waiting room. Also note if the office is empty, as there may be a reason no patients are visiting this particular provider. Thirdly notice the ambiance. The furniture should be current and in good condition. If the furniture and surroundings are in need of repairs, the provider may be cutting corners in other areas that directly affect the quality of medical care itself. Especially take notice of the medical equipment being used. It should be clean and modern. Finally the location of the new provider should be convenient for the patient.
But overriding all the above...is the doctor genuinely there for you: Is he or she a good listener, a warm professional with a welcome old-fashioned touchy-feely style of treatment...? If the answer is yes, than run to that provider as soon as possible and tell all your friends. You may have found that rare doctor that everyone is looking for but most of them disappeared years ago.