I went in, and saw a doctor who didn’t bother to introduce himself. He asked me why I was there, and I started with my most pressing problem… an injured back which had caused me to fly home from a holiday a month early.
Without me even lifting my shirt, he told me it was just muscular, and an insurance company would never pay for it. He did not know who my insurer was, nor had he even done anything more than make a snap judgment on my condition.
He had me stand up, and show him my range of movement. I bent forward, backwards, and side to side. I assure you, there wasn’t much range. Maybe 20% of what I normally enjoy. He said “I have a good range of movement”. Maybe if I was 80…
In any case, the move that most aggravated my back was any twisting motion.He didn’t check that range of motion. In fact, he still hadn’t even asked me where the pain was, or touched the affected area at this point. When I brought that to his attention, he said “I assume this is lower back pain?”. It wasn’t. It was mid back.
He finally inspected the area closer, and stuck to his guns, saying it was “just” muscular. I told him I didn’t really care whether I had a broken spine or a sore back – I just needed a doctor to say that it was injured and how, so I could present it to the insurance company as requested.
Reluctantly, he typed up a wishy washy letter and told me I’d have to give the girl at the front desk $50. When I enquired as to why, he said “Medicare doesn’t cover insurance claims”.
I have no idea if there’s any truth to this, but I was 5 minutes into a 10 minute appointment. I told him that I had other issues to discuss, to which he replied “you didn’t make a double appointment”.
First of all, I did.
Secondly, I actually didn’t need to… there was time left in my STANDARD appointment.
Thirdly, if a fee was due for the “insurance letter”, he should have let me know that BEFORE writing it.
Lastly, at no point did he offer me any TREATMENT advice.