I'm sure there are many incontinence sufferers that, for one reason or another, have had to change healthcare providers.
This has just happened to me. My current urologist is moving to a new practice. She has been a professor of urologic surgery at a large university, and she also sees patients in a clinic associated within the university. I was told the pace of her current position is more than she wants and feels she needs to spend more time with her family.
I'm sure I could have followed her to her new practice, but I made the decision to stay with the university. There are several excellent urologists there and one that I have seen before has agreed to take me on. Some of the reasons I'm staying are:
- All my records are there. They store them electronically, so getting them transferred to a small practice might have been problem.
- I seen another doctors within the university.
- My Predetermination of Benefits that authorizes Botox was filed by the university. Not sure this would be the case, but I don't want to start over again with this!
Part of my decision to stay was motivated by the opportunity to see a new doctor. While my old urologist took excellent care of me, she only addressed two of the issues I have, which are recurrent UTIs and my incontinence. I also have severe voiding pain, something she didn't know how to treat. I'm not faulting her; I guess two out three are enough!
I have had to change before, and here are a few tips that I learned while doing so:
- Try to find a replacement before you inform your current doctor. A good method is to explain to your family doctor what is going on and why you want a change, and let them give a referral.
- Don't burn your bridges! Try to remain on a good basis with the doctor. Remember, doctors are people too, and you never know when you might need them again. Most will understand the need for a change. I'm now on my fourth urologist.
- Transferring your medical records. In most states, by law, the provider owns your original medical records. You, however, are entitled to a copy. If you are still on good terms with your doctor, it may be best the let the new provider request the copies. There is generally not a charge for this. However, if you request a copy (which, by law, you can at any time) there will generally be a fee for this. One practice I transferred from charge a dollar per page plus a flat fee!
I routinely get and keep copies of any lab work, procedure results, etc. Most practices will do this for you at no charge. That way, I already have a copy of some of the more important records.
Hopefully I have made the right decision to change doctors. At my next procedure, the new urologist is going to try injection some Botox into my prostate to see if it helps with the voiding pain. She sees no reason to change the current treatment protocols for the UTIs and the incontinence, and I'm okay with that.
Published On: July 27, 2010