Since 1996, I have had 3 lumbar back surgeries (laminectomy diskectomy fusions rods & screws etc) and I have had one neck surgery (anterior cervical fusion.) I developed fibromyalgia right after my neck surgery. The back surgeries never stopped the back pain and even made it worse and eventually the doctors said that I had that failed back surgery syndrome. My back & neck & legs hurt all the time. I found a good pain management doctor and he put me on Duragesic Patches and Percocet for breakthrough pain. He moved me quickly up to the 100 size patch. I still have pain but it is bearable and I can function enough to almost be a normal person. My good doctor moved to Chicago and my next doctor continued my treatment. Now that doctor is moving to New York. He has already quit seeing anyone that has Medicaid. Now I need to find a new doctor but the problem is that I only have Alabama Medicaid. There is no such thing as a Medicaid directory of doctors. Medicaid workers will only say that I should "call around" to find a doctor. It isn't that simple if you need a doctor to continue Duragesic patches, especially at 100 strength!
I have called all the pain clinics in the Birmingham area and none take Medicaid. I am on SSI and cannot afford to pay cash. If I could find a doctor that would take cash, and if I could afford him, that doctor would have to be willing to fill out Medicaid Prior Authorization and Pharmacy overrides-Therapeutic duplication forms for each prescription he would write every month, every drug. Without that paperwork Medicaid will not pay for the medicine. The doctor would have to be willing to go that extra mile. Medicaid forms and Medicaid rules are sometimes overwhelming. (Most non-Medicaid doctors will not fill out those forms!) All the doctors that do take Medicaid only do epidurals and blocks and do not write prescriptions for pain medicine. I don't know how to find a doctor that takes Medicaid and would continue to prescribe the Duragesic Patches 100 and the Percocet that I have been taking for years. I don't want to go abruptly off my medicine either. Without the medicine I am useless & worthless and spend all day-every day- in bed and in tears. I don't want my life to return to that. Please help me find a doctor that will keep me on my current medication and that takes Alabama Medicaid. I have called over 60 doctors (Primary care, neurology, neurosurgeons, pain clinics that only do epidurals, orthopedic surgeons, physical rehab medicine & family practice doctors) and no one will do medication management.
Also, as a Medicaid patient I only have 14 doctor visits per year. I cannot afford to randomly see doctors to see what they will do or not do. I only have 10 doctor visits left this calendar year. I have ignored some other important medical problems so I can keep my doctor visits free so I can search for a pain management doctor. How can I call around and ask if the doctor prescribes the Duragesic Patches in 100 strength without sounding like a drug addict? (I definitely am not a drug addict!!) Just last week I wasted a visit on a doctor that wouldn't do an epidural and wouldn't continue my pain medicine. He basically said that I should seek a pain managment doctor, but he didn't know of any that take Medicaid! He said he doesn't prescribe narcotics and only does epidurals... and my rods and screws were in the way so he couldn't do a block on me either.
Please help me figure out how to find a doctor that will continue my medication and will take Alabama Medicaid. My primary care physican will not help me even though I have been a patient of his for three years. He refuses to write prescriptions for any narcotics. I always thought pain relief was the major thing for doctors, but it seems that if you are poor the doctors don't care if you suffer. It seems all doctors in this area think that if a person is on Medicaid they are either selling their drugs or using them to get high. I am not selling my drugs or using them to get high. I am an honest person not doing anything illegal. All I want is another doctor to continue what the other doctor has started. I cannot help that my doctors keep moving out of the area.
Most non-Medicaid doctors in this area only take people with insurance (but not Medicaid) and will not take "self-pay" people! And the non-Medicaid doctors that do take self-pay want between $290 and $490 in cash in advance just to make an appointment for a first visit. Maybe there is a compassionate pain management doctor out there someplace that will take payments instead of so much cash at one time. And maybe that doctor could get me into one of those drug company free medication programs instead of his having to fill out all those Medicaid forms (Medicaid won't pay without the paperwork!) But since I do have insurance, I doubt that a doctor could get me into a free medicine program unless they deliberately lie on the free medicine program forms. Once UAB (University of Alabama Birmingham) Kirklin Clinic social workers lied on the forms to get me free Nexium because Medicaid does not approve of Nexium no matter what forms you fill out and Nexium was the only medicine helping my reflux. I didn't approve of their lying on those forms, but they did all the lying, not me. I did get the Nexium that I so badly needed, sent to my home for a year without any problems. (UAB has a pain clinic but they have changed their policy so that now they do not prescribe any narcotics and they only do epidurals, blocks, injections. They did say that they could recommend/advise on using narcotics in a letter to a primary care doctor but they just couldn't write the prescriptions. How weird! If my primary care doctor would only do that everything would be fine and I wouldn't have to beg for help from strangers)
I hope this makes some sense. The main question is " How can I find a doctor that takes Alabama Medicaid and will continue my pain medicine, especially the Duragesic patch 100, when there is no directory of Medicaid doctors and not every doctor will prescribe such high amount of Duragesic patch strength?? The label "Pain Management" is decieving because here, in Alabama, most pain management doctors only do epidurals/blocks and they do not write prescriptions. So, How can I find a doctor that takes Alabama Medicaid and will continue my pain medicine? How do you ask the receptionist when she answers the phone? I can't waste appointments, I only have 10 left until January 2009. So, "How do I find a doctor takes Alabama Medicaid and will continue my pain management?