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PostPosted: Sat Jan 15, 2011 7:49 am 
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Just as title says. Had a follow up appt, doc took urine sample. A week later his secretary calls and says im dismissed and they do not give second chances. Luckily i had filled the refill he gave me i now have 4 boxes of 8mg and each has 30strips. I had no idea ambien is something that could cause me to get kicked out and i even listed it on the form for him as current drugs being taken. He never said not too take it and ive been on it for 5 yrs..... never abused it. Truth is i think he wanted to get rid of me since im an insurance patient and he only gets about 50 a visit where a cash patient pays 175 i think. O well now im screwed. Why is it eaaier to get pain meds then to get a drug to help yourself get better.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 15, 2011 8:24 am 
Wow that sucks!! I cant believe you got kicked out for that. Im not real sure if it would be the reason you mentioned because although you only pay $50, your insurance company picks up the rest of the bill so they actually get paid a full amount. Well, they get however much more the insurance company will pay them. This is unreal though. How can they do this. Has ambien not showed up in your system before since you said you been taking it for 5 years? This angers me because i dont feel like you relapsed as im sure thats how they are looking at it. Well, i hope you can get something figured out and i guess it is good that you have something left to taper with. But, i dont see how they just kick you out without doing a medical taper. Thats putting you in a dangerous position. Well, its doin harm to you by putting you into withdrawal. Maybe not actual harm but its causing you pain and agony. Hopefully something will work out!!


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 15, 2011 8:53 am 
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Well the 50 they were getting was from the insurance not me. I had no copay at all so 50 was his total since he billed horizon 175 but they only paid 50. And your right it had to have shown up befor he has run 4 tests on me. Noot much i can do now though except hope to find another doctor who takes insurance and is accepting patients. If i go down from my 12mg a day to 8 then i have 4 months worth so im not too worried just yet. Its just so frustrating trying to get help and being fought everywhere....... Trying to find a good doc... him accepting you... then haqving to go to 5 pharmacies cause 'sorry we dont have that' or 'sorry we dont carry that at all'..... all while getting that look they give you. But at one time i could get 180 norcos in 5 minutes while waiting there.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 15, 2011 10:07 am 
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That really sucks. How rigid of them! If I were in your shoes, I'd start looking for another doctor. But in the meantime, I would write a very professional, civil, but firm letter to the doctor explaining that you did disclose that medication use to them. I would add how they never informed you that if you actually took that prescription that it would/could result in termination of your treatment and how very unprofessional and punitive their actions were. Even if they don't take you back, maybe they won't do it to another person in the future. Good luck.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 15, 2011 10:43 am 
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Wonder how this showed on your screen? Ambien isn't a benzo, and it certainly sounds as though you didn't hide the fact you took it. Have you tried contacting the doc? It sounds like you have a reasonable explanation, so why roll over?


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 15, 2011 10:54 am 
Honestly, moman makes a good point. To the best of my knowledge, ambien wouldnt show up as anything that they usually test for. So, what did it show up as and if anything they would have had to specifically test for it and if they did that, then they knew you were taking it. Somethings smells a bit funny here. Seems like you got railroaded or something. I would have a serious problem with this. I would be up their demanding more details and answers because if they knew you take ambien and were ok with it, then they cannot kick you out of the program. No way no how. This is just wrong!!


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 15, 2011 11:07 am 
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Ambien is a type of benzo, is it not? Maybe it would show up as such? Not sure, just a thought. Still sucks though - and I would definitely still contact them (I'd do it in writing) and argue your case.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 15, 2011 11:47 am 
Nah, ambien is a non-narcotic sedative. Its definitely not a benzo. Im not sure if maybe it could give a false positive or something but surely if its been taken the whole time, then its been showing up everytime. They just flat got railroaded.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 15, 2011 12:07 pm 
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Actually, I just did a search, and although ambien is not technically a benzo, it "shares some characteristics of a family of sedatives called benzodiazepines". And it "binds to the GABA receptors at the very same location as benzo's".

This tells me that it could indeed show up on a test as a benzo. I hope this provides some clarification.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 15, 2011 12:16 pm 
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This may be a newby question but what does railroadded mean? I also wondered how it showed up also i know its a controlled substance but its also non narcotic so im a bit lost. Thats why i thought doc was just using it as an excuse to get rid of me. Probably didn't even screen for it he just saw it in my file and used as an excuse cause just so happens it was 2 days after my insur paid him the 50. Just sucks money comes before health once again. Sad part is if he would. Have simply said he cannot accept only 50 for his time maybe we could have worked out an agreement.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 15, 2011 12:24 pm 
Railroaded is just a word i used because your doctor seems to have just kicked you out for a falsely justified reason. For instance, you said your doctor has known about the ambien because its in your file, well if nothin has been said all this time an all the sudden you got kicked out for taking ambien, then you got railroaded. Just kicked out for an invalid reason being that the doctor knew about the ambien and only now decides to kick you out because of money. If this is the reason, it does not surprise me one bit this day in time. Its just wrong wrong wrong!!


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 15, 2011 12:47 pm 
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Hatmaker thanks for that. What makes it even worse is im sure i tested positive for bnzos as i take xanax which he also knew about and approved in small doses.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 15, 2011 12:51 pm 
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This really does not make much sense to me at all - any of it - or should I say none of it! I would most certainly agree that something else seems to be going on here. I'm not sure what that something else is - whether it is insurance issues or what - but this just does not add up. I guess what I'm just as confused about is why you didn't push them on all of this? Or did you? Did you ask them why if you had already disclosed Ambien and had been on it for as long as you have seen this doctor, why this is first coming up now? I'd also wonder about Ambien even showing on a standard test. As others have said, it is most certainly NOT a benzodiazepine - although it is sort of in that family or at least in the ballpark. Perhaps an analogy is comparing Tramadol to an opiate. It does act on some of the same receptors but it is not an opiate nor will it show up as one on a standard test. At least Ambien is a schedule IV controlled substance (non-narcotic) while Tramadol is not but still, this really does not make sense.

If you are able to get a new doc, it sounds like this one or at least his office and operation need some help and you need to move on from them. However, I would also have strongly suggested and would strongly suggestion to anyone who finds themselves in this situation in the future to stand up for themselves. Don't let any doctor/nurse/clinic, etc. walk all over you. If they come up with a bogus item like this please, QUESTION IT. Ask why this has not been a problem in the past? Ask why they didn't say something when you first disclosed you were on Ambien? Did you ever sign a contract with them that said they would kick you out with no second chances? Did that contract (if it exists) specifically include Ambien?

There is a lot I don't understand about addiction and treatment but this crap has to be at the top of the list. How on earth are doctors "TREATING" addicts but kicking them out of their practice for a single infraction? I guess I could see diversion or something. If you are caught selling your Suboxone, I get that. I understand kicking that person out, but a single relapse? Is relapse not PART OF THE DISEASE??? I guess this is part of the problem when we let every Tom, Dick and Harry (MD/DO) treat addiction rather than those with specific addiction training. I guess we have to take the good with the bad. While it is great that Suboxone is widely available, through any MD who takes a day to get certified, we also have to realize that many of these docs really don't have much knowledge or experience with actually treating addiction like it should be treated. They just simply don't have the training or expierence. We have to keep in mind that they have jumped through a couple of hoops put there by the government - not some medical society. They have met the GOVERNMENT'S requirements to treat addiction - not the standards of healthcare or addiction medicine.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 15, 2011 1:04 pm 
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Donh... i just was told this yesterday afternoon and trust me i wont just accept it. I wanted to see if anyone else had heard if this and do a bit of research before flipping out on them. As for contract yes i did sign one and it did state immediate dismissal for narcotics and benzos and illegal drugs. Nothing about ambien of course. I know about the insurance payment cause when i got home yesterday i got the explanation of benefits whcich im sure they also got same day or recently. All in all im sure its money related and ambien is an excuse. I will talk to him Monday but if his mind is made up not much ill be able to do.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 15, 2011 2:02 pm 
This just sends my anger level to the max!! You said the contract said narcotics etc. etc. Well, ambien is neither a narcotic nor an opiate. And although it can act like a benzo, its not. This is a situation where i would truly make a stand and fight this to the end. Regardless if you stay with this doctor or not. Your fight could prevent this from happening again to someone else. Im just baffled by the fact that the doctor knew you were taking ambien and unless their is some facts being left out here(I dont doubt you at all but just for reference) then this is absolutely wrong. They cant just do what they want with someone. You have rights!! This is the time to use those rights because i say again, this is flat out wrong!! I would love to put that doctor in his place with this one if i was you. Myyyy lord what is the world coming to. Im actually a bit speechless with this. Is this for real? lol. Are we being punked? lol joke. I would take this to the highest level or whoever is above this doctor because their is definitely some things in this situation that are just not justifiable. HE/SHE CANNOT DO THIS!!!! Sure a doctor can, to an extent do as he/she sees fit but this doesnt fall into that category. This falls into just plain inhumane. To put the money before the health of the patient. This doctor, who i would hardly call a doctor, should not be treating people. And by goodness if i had something to do with it, he would not be a doctor when i got done with him/her. Thats just how i've always been. I've had things happen with doctors before where the doctors disclosed my medical records to someone he wasnt supposed to and i took it the distance an actually got some rule or policy changed at the medical center that this happened at. I dont let people walk all over me an thats exactly what this doctor is tryin to do. He thinks he can just dismiss you and you'll just lay down and except it. Prove this SOB wrong!! PUT HIM/HER IN THEIR PLACE!!!! Sorry this is happening to you!! I really do hope this works itself out!!


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 15, 2011 2:19 pm 
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That is so flat out wrong of this doctor. As you disclosed that medication, he had the opportunity to turn you down as a patient in the beginning, and in treating you, he was showing that he accepted you taking the Ambien. I think Hat's idea is fantastic. Write a clear and specific letter and send it registered. I bet they will accept you back. Then, you can go about finding another doctor, as this one had violated your trust and I do not see how you could ever trust him again. HE is the one that needs to sign a contract!!!!

Hey, if you decide to write the letter and want some help making it sound....like something that will make them sit up and take notice....maybe we could help you draft it. Just a thought.

P.S. If doctors are treating addicts and really want to help them, WHY would a doctor just drop a patient, even if there is some sort of a 'relapse' which there wasn't here? I don't get this!! Addiction frequently includes relapses and mess-ups. Why do addiction doctors ditch and run when ADDICTION rears its ugly head? I guess I'd expect they would do some sort of warning process and then closer follow up first.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 15, 2011 2:39 pm 
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Perhaps if you don't remain with this doctor, you might provide all of us with his address as well. I wonder what he would think about getting one or two dozen letters from across the country that help to educate him to what addiction really is. I'll bet that would shock the hell out of him and his staff!


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 15, 2011 2:46 pm 
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thanks everyone for the support. ive left no facts out unfortunately. but i also have not actually spoken to the doctor only his secretary who is not even a nurse. i will for sure speak to him on monday, giving him the benefit of the doubt maybe they confused me with someone else. maybe they forgot or didnt re-look to see what i disclosed to them on my sheet. this is ashame if it truly is for money which i will never know for sure. about a yr ago i had a bad toothache which turned out to be an abcess(sp). went to my dentist first thing on a monday morning and first thing they did after i checked in was call me over to an office. woman said i owed $72 from my last treatment that insurance didnt cover and they couldnt do anything until i paid that amount in full. my mouth was swollen and i was in clear pain but all they cared about was the money end of it. im sure that if i didnt pay i would have been told to go home or end up in the ER. it really is ashame what is happening in this country with healthcare and even when you do go to an ER the first things they ask is for your insurance card???? i really hope all this was is an oversight by someone at the doctors office. around here very few sub doctors take insurance. but of course they take cash....cheapest i found a month ago was $275/visit. i will certainly update this on monday as soon as i speak with him.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 15, 2011 2:51 pm 
I had a benzo script from a previous doctor when i started suboxone treatment and I told them from the get go and it was not looked at as a problem. I tested positive for it a few times and I think the doc forgot I told him about it but all he said to me was "what benzo are you taking cuz it showed up on the drug test?" and I told him and he said "oh ok thats fine" and that was that. I soon ran out of the Rx and then the sub doc actualy wrote me a script for the benzo himself because he knows I need it. To bad some doctors cant be as understanding as my doctor was about it, freaking kicking you out for ambien? thats just insanity. Although kicking you out after 1 so called infraction is uncalled for i can see how your doctor could be worried tho with you being on xanax, ambien, suboxone all at the same time. 3 CNS depressants at once regardless if the person is tolerant or not will probably make a doctor a bit concerned but if he ok'd it then he should of at least gave you notice you had to start weaning off them thats not fair.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 15, 2011 3:06 pm 
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Without a doubt releasing you or anyone else, due to insurance reimbursement, really stinks. If that is what went on here, that is just wrong. There are no two ways around that from where I stand. However, we really do need to keep in mind that healthcare, dental care, eye care, whatever, is a business - no different than if you went to see an accountant, attorney, or have someone fix your car. I don't want to sound harsh, but if you went to the local auto repair shop to have your car fixed, they too would likely come out and state that you have to pay your prior bill or they will not provide additional services. I own my own business (not involving patient care) and that's how it works with me as well. I just had a client call to order some new/additional services and I had to tell him he would first have to pay the balance on his previous services before I could do more. We really do have to keep in mind that these doctors, nurses, dentists, whatever, went through many years of school at great expense. They pay huge amounts for malpractice insurance. They pay their staff, they pay for the equipment, they pay to have the equipment serviced, they pay their billing company, on and on. Healthcare is business just like all others. I know there are parts of our society who feel that healthcare should not be business and should be provided for free - although look at the story of what is happening to the patient from Canada. Yeah, they get their care for "free" but they can't even take their Suboxone home (to start) and have to undergo laws about starting doses. No system is perfect. I agree, like most do, that the USA system needs help as well. We just all do need to remember that our doctors, dentists, nurses, whatever, work for a living just like the rest of us do - or at least should. Is it really fair to expect them to provide us services for free? Would we provide our services for free? If so, be sure to let your boss know that you no longer need that paycheck from him or her. The medical community has been hit by the USA recession just as much as everyone else. I have one friend who is a dental hygienist. She had to take on a part time job at a restaurant because people are not having their teeth cleaned every six months like they had been. They now stretch it to 9 or 12 months due to the economy. So she works a part-time hostess job to make ends meet. Is this the same person who we now expect to take care of us for free? If we don't pay her, who will? A second friend is a surgeon in New York. He has struggled for several years and finally through in the towel and took a teaching job at a medical school. He loves being a surgeon but he loves a steady paycheck even more - or at least needs it.

Oh Lord, I hope I didn't start a huge issue here. Honestly, I really just want to point out that there is another side to consider when expecting free healthcare from your providers.


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