Doctors are worth it. I have been seeing a doctor at this practice since before the move to the new building. I have had more problems with hospital staff than with PCT since then. I have always received outstanding service from my doctor, and have never been billed for the wrong type of visit, much less put into collections wrongly OR accosted by the office staff. You must remember that they are just that - office staff - and not necessarily trained in the psychiatric field. While their reported insensitivity is disappointing, I have never had problems with them. And I will admit I've been in their collections department before, for actual overdue bills, and the woman I worked with was more helpful than I expected from a collections or billing employee (based on my own past experiences elsewhere). In my mind, the only con is that I only get 15 minutes with my doctor when I could talk to him all day!
Good doctors, terribly rude office staff.
While my doctor is very professional and approachable, I have had terrible experiences with a general receptionists and an office staff member in billing.
I consider myself capable of being able to navigate difficult systems and working with a variety of people. That being said, I found the way I was treated by the office staff to be flustering, intimidating, and a bit humiliating. I'm concerned about how this affected me, and also about how it may affect other patients who may be less able or apt to be persistent and navigate through difficult social situations. I am getting treated for a mild case of ADHD, and can't even imagine how difficult that experience would have been for someone with clinical depression or another ailment. The general customer service seems to work against what someone might go to a psychiatrist for.
On June 4th I had an appointment with my doctor for a routine med-check. The rates for these appointments were posted at the front desk, and I noticed that, according to my insurance statements, I have been getting billed for therapy instead of the routine 15 minute med-checks. I politely asked the front office staff what my appointment was for that afternoon. She directed me to billing, downstairs. I then asked for a receipt for that afternoon’s copay. She said that my credit card receipt was all I would need, and was quite frustrated when I pointed out that "Psychiatric Consultants" was cut off of the top of the receipt. She angrily re-wrote the title at the top of my receipt. I chalked the experience up to a possible bad day, and saw my doctor without complaining. At this time I was also unable to find out what kind of visit I was being charged for that afternoon.
After my 15 minute appointment, I went down to billing. When one woman asked me what I was there for, and I tried to explain my questions, I was repeatedly interrupted. She was smirking at me and yelling, and I consequently had the hardest time even explaining what my questions. I realized that any discrepancy was probably not the billing department's fault, but just wanted to understand how I was being charged. She accused me of ending up down there because I had outstanding payments, but yet at the same time told me that upstairs they had no access to what or how I was being charged. At one point, she was actually yelling at me that the printer was across the room and that she would print up my billing history when she was able. Her demeanor was so aggressive that it almost felt violent. When I said that I didn't understand why the exchange had to be so hostile, she smirked again and said that she didn't either.
I left still not knowing what exactly I had been billed for, and was so shocked at how I had been treated that I ended up outside in tears. Another staff member overheard and approached me in the hall and apologized for the way I had been treated.
Horrible Book Keeping.
I love my therapist, but the accouting system could use major help.
In the past year I have been sent someone else's personal information, including her home address, social security number and full name. They accidently folded that sheet and mailed it to me with my monthly statement. Makes me wonder if someone else received my personal information.
They also sent me notices that I would be sent to collections if I did not pay. I had been making monthly payments, but the accounting office had overlooked that too.
They stated in their letter that my psychologist was concerned about the status of my overdue account. The same account that I had been paying on.
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