Glynda R. on October 30, 2021
I am currently receiving breast cancer treatment in the form of a targeted medicine every 3 weeks until Jan. 2022. I have already had the bulk of my treatment with this local hospital. I recently started a new job at a competing hospital. My medical insurance has now changed (due to my new employment) and my current hospital where I am being treated is now out of network meaning I have to pay thousands of dollars out of pocket for the remainder of my infusions and appointments. Therefore, I made the decision to transfer my care to my employer's hospital so I can take advantage of their insurance.
I emailed my current nurse navigator regarding the above and she sent the email to the doctor's office. The doctor's nurse emailed me back and basically said sorry to see you go, call the new hospital, get medical records, sorry to see you go. She gave me as little information as possible. So I called her back and stated what is the process for transferring care. She said "we don't transfer care". I said what happens if my infusions get delayed and how long can they be delayed until I see a new doctor as I an concerned about reoccurrence or how this would affect my prognosis (which is excellent). She says the infusion can be delayed a week. She essentially provides me no other information.
While I do not expect a going away party, and did explain that this was due to a change in insurance, I did expect her/the doctor to provide me a little more assistance in getting transferred over. Perhaps a discussion or some type of communication about delayed treatment and what impact it could have, perhaps a referral (I doubt it since other hospital is competing).
I felt like since I told them I would be transferring, I just got dumped with no information. I have already called the new hospital and am waiting for a call back to get an appointment. In the meantime, I am feeling quite scared that my treatment/prognosis is being impacted and feeling quite alone.
Do I have a right to feel disappointed in my current doctor? Isn't there some sort of process when a patient decides to transfer their care from doctor/hospital to another? Is that asking too much?
Thanks for listening.
Nicole Jarvis, LMSW
Nov 2, 2021
Cancer and Careers Staff Comment:
Thank you for reaching out to Cancer and Careers. I’m sorry to hear that your healthcare provider is being so abrupt and refusing to provide you with any information or support on how to transfer your care. Seeing as this seems to be more of a medical/care related question, as opposed to one focused on work specifically, I’m afraid I can’t offer you much guidance. With that said, I think it would benefit you to get in touch with a patient advocate at your original hospital to explain the situation and the challenges that you are coming across with your oncologist’s office. Perhaps they can advocate for you and/or guide you on the next steps you can take in order to ensure that your transfer of care goes smoothly and there are no gaps in your treatment. I’d also discuss the situation with your new doctor’s office and see if they have better luck obtaining your records and thus getting you on their schedule as soon as possible to continue your care and make sure there is no delay.
I’m so sorry that this is causing you such stress and they are treating you this way, I do hope your treatment is able to continue without issue and your new provider will take the time to answer your questions and provide you the support you need (and deserve).
Best of luck.
Nicole Jarvis, LMSW
Assistant Director of Programs
Cancer and Careers
Nov 3, 2021
Thank you, Nicole. I was able to bring my issue to my Nurse Navigator and she conferred personally with the doctor. He referred me to a doctor at the new hospital and a referral was faxed over to the new doctor. This helps!!
I do understand it not being work-related. I thought since it was a new job and new insurance that it was and perhaps others had this issue. Thank you so much for responding and your time.
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