It has been 2 months since my last post. I’m slacking. I know. Don’t rub it in.
It has been a whirlwind of bullshit the last two months, and I’m going to try to be as vague as humanly possible on the topic so bear with me, and I pray that you get the general idea. Right now, I’m here to talk about Tricare (kind of), and how much I hate it (kind of).
Yeah, I know, it’s free healthcare and I shouldn’t complain, but holy mother of God I am irritated. Not to mention the shit storm we went through with a civilian clinic.
This whole situation is something I just want to be done with, and I feel like Tricare is making it as difficult as they possibly can. Do I think they’re doing it on purpose? No. But are they being assholes? Yes. We’re in a position where extra stress is not needed, and they’re adding extra stress. Maybe they’re not and it’s just my anxiety level, but I’m getting pissed. My hubby says I get upset easily, and he’s probably right. I’ll be the first to admit (kind of…sometimes…not all the time) that my anxiety level is higher than it needs to be on a regular basis.
We put up with a civilian clinic that first treated me like I was making stuff up and I was crazy, then lied to us, then withheld information from me, then lied to my PCM, then lied to me again, and finally by the last appointment refused to tell us anything about anything because we were “wasting their time” since we informed them this would be the last appointment we would EVER have with them. I still don’t know, and as far as I know, my PCM still doesn’t know the results of the last test that was done. That’s a whole other story.
Tricare, in the midst of this clusterfuck, changed my PCM. My new PCM, which I was unaware at the time he was my new PCM because he told me he WASN’T when I asked “Are you my new PCM? Am I not with her anymore? Am I your patient now”, returned a phone call stating that my current physician was backed up and he was picking up the slack for the day. I briefly explained to him the reason for my call, he then called me back and said “We want you to get reevaluated.” Me thinking “we” meant my PCM and whoeverthefuck this guy was that I was talking to, agreed with him. We fought over who I wanted my referral to go out to with him telling me I already had a referral for a The Devil Clinic, and then he wanted to send me somewhere else I had never heard of, for about 10 minutes until he finally said “Okay we’ll send you to (the place I said I wanted to go).” He told me once I got the referral, I wouldn’t need anything, no records, just call them and set up an appointment and we’ll figure out what the fuck is going on. Maybe not in those words, but those were the words in MY head. The dude barely speaks English (which…whatever), I couldn’t understand him (okay…a problem), and he couldn’t understand me (bigger problem), but by the end of the conversation I was confident he’d send the referral to the right place, and everything was normal.
The next day, I got a letter in the mail stating that this guy, who I had asked if he was my new PCM and he told me “No”, actually is my new PCM. So, already the trust between us was broken. He knew damn well I was his patient and told me I wasn’t. I called Tricare and said I was uncomfortable with having my Family Health Physician, aka someone I was going to be talking about my vagina to, as a male and I wanted my first PCM back. She told me it may not be possible, but would try all she could to get me back on this woman’s service. She initially told me I had to go into the base clinic and talk to Tricare there, but then said “You know what, I’m going to save you that hassle and just do it from here. If it doesn’t go through, go talk to Tricare on base, but we’ll try to get you taken care of.”
Again, relief came. FINALLY something is working for me. I got away from The Devil Clinic, I got my PCM back, and I got a referral for the place I wanted to go to. By that weekend, I had my referral. While I was running errands, I decided, “You know what. I’m going to take a break, sit in my car, open this referral and call that number.” So I did. I dialed the number. “Hello! This is The Clinic I Didn’t Want, This is Jennifer.” Silence on my end. “Hello?” I said “I’m sorry what was that?” thinking I didn’t hear her right. “Oh that’s fine. This is The Clinic I Didn’t Want. This is Jennifer” I said “Huh….can you hold on a second” She said “Uh….yeah.” I check the paper. Sure as shit, right up there in left hand corner of the paper was The Clinic I Didn’t Want and their address. “I’m sorry this isn’t The Clinic I Wanted?” She said “No ma’am this is The Clinic I Didn’t Want”
“Hm. Okay. Well. I have a referral for you guys and I need to get in for an appointment to get reevaluated.”
“Well we need your doctor’s approval and all of your medical records from The Devil Clinic as well”
“Oh well my doctor told me all I needed was to bring you the referral and I wouldn’t need anything else”
She laughs “People keep telling us that their doctor has told them that and I don’t know why, but we do in fact need the records from your base doctor and we need the records from The Devil Clinic. After we receive those, the doctor here will take a look at them, assess whether or not you actually need to be reevaluated, and if you do we’ll schedule the appointment for two weeks out. Unless we don’t see a medical need for you to be reevaluated, you probably won’t see us. Just have The Devil Clinic and your base doctor fax over the information and we’ll go from there.”
“yeah, but thisiseverythingthathappened and he said I needed to be reevaluated”
“I understand that ma’am, but we can’t help you until you fax that information to us and even after that’s done, you’re looking at about a week and a half to two weeks before we can get you in.” I said “Okay” and tried not to get upset with her. She wasn’t short with me. She was actually quite pleasant. Not irritated with me, but irritated that people kept calling expecting to get in because their doctor told them they didn’t need anything but the referral, when in actuality they needed SO MUCH MORE than that.
I got off the phone and was seething the rest of the day. What the actual fuck. Seriously? I told this guy I didn’t want to be seen at this place because I had never heard of it and had no idea how to even get to West Ashley. I asked around with some friends and none of them had heard of the clinic. I thought “okay, maybe I’ll give it a shot. Anywhere has to be better than The Devil Clinic,” until one of my friends said “absolutely not. Call them back and say ‘I got this referral when I specifically requested somewhere else and fought with my PCM for 10 minutes about it. I do NOT want to go there.'” Then the hubby told me “You being a female, you have the right to request a female doctor and you have the right to request what outside clinic you go to. Call Tricare NOW.” He retrieved the phone number for me.
Whilst talking to Tricare, I found out that my PCM had not been changed back to my previous one. I requested the change again and told them that I just felt more comfortable having her so I didn’t have to explain the situation to 4 new people including a man that has no insight on the workings of female body parts. That I would just feel better if I only had to explain it to the civilian doctor and his/her nurse and that was it. That I at least wanted a female doctor so that my doctor had a deeper understanding of how the female body works. Also, that I really liked the doctor I had before anyway. He told me “Go into the Tricare office tomorrow and talk to them directly. Fill out paperwork and we’ll get that straightened out.” Then we discussed the referral, and got that straightened out.
This (the above paragraph) all happened a little more than a week ago. I still haven’t received the referral, but I did as instructed and went into the Tricare office to request a PCM change. Their records still showed me as having the male doctor. I was informed that my previous PCM was full, so they gave me someone else. That was effective immediately. AWESOME! Totes satisfied.
TODAY I just received a letter stating that my PCM changed (back) to my first doctor. YAY! Then I read on. “Effective April 30”. “Oh good lord! SERIOUSLY!?” I said aloud, as I vigorously dialed the Tricare number. Turns out, records never showed that I switched from 1st PCM to 2nd PCM back to 1st PCM. My records just showed that I went from 1st PCM to 2nd PCM to 3rd PCM. BUT the Tricare office is showing that I went 1st to 2nd to 1st to 3rd. Oy…my head hurts.
I’m definitely going in there tomorrow and getting this straightened out. I keep getting the run around and I really just want it to be settled. If I can’t have my first PCM back, that’s fine, I’m comfortable with PCM 3, but seriously? Get your shit straightened out.
The stuff with the referrals was all the 2nd PCM’s fault. I’m blaming him 100% for not listening to me and for flat out lying to me. Someone somewhere up there hates me right now and I’m not sure what I did exactly to piss him/her off, but it has to stop soon, right? I learned my lesson, maybe…kind of…though I’m not sure what I did to piss him/her off…I get it. I did something. Let’s all move on from this and call it a lesson learned.
Knock it off.