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gagelle
@gagelle

Posts: 21
Joined: Jan 05, 2018

Couldn't get appointment at Mayo Clinic.

Posted by @gagelle, Sun, Feb 4 2:13pm

Some months ago, I was having severe stomach pain. My bloodwork revealed that I was anemic. My doctor recommended a gastroenterologist for an endoscopy and colonoscopy. However, I live in a backward city with poor medical care. We have a tremendous shortage of specialists. In fact, there isn’t one neurosurgeon within 400 miles of my home. Auto accident victims have to be transported by helicopter to a major medical center.

The waiting time to see a gastroenterologist in my city was almost two months. In the meantime, I was in severe pain and was rapidly losing weight because I could only eat bland food. I tried to contact The Mayo Clinic in Pheonix. I was told that there was a 6-month wait to get an appointment with a gastroenterologist. The representative, however, said that if my physician sent a referral, I might get an appointment sooner. She sent one out but I heard nothing back. It has been more than six months since the referral was sent. I also asked the Mayo Clinic’s representative whether I could fly out to Pheonix and come in through the emergency room. In a hostile tone of voice, she said that she didn’t know. I subsequently found out that a U.S. hospital cannot turn away patients who need emergency treatment. (I also have excellent medical insurance which always pays for all my medical treatment.)

I was also told that I could not be seen at The The Mayo Clinic in Minnesota because one has to go to the closest geographical location to the patient’s residence.

Luckily, I was finally able to get an endoscopy/colonoscopy in my home city. A precancerous polyp was removed from my colon. That was where I was losing blood. I went through months of unnecessary suffering because I live in an area with poor medical care. As I already mentioned, I could not utilize the top-notch physicians at The Mayo Clinic in Pheonix.

I have read the “U.S. News and World Report” ratings of medical care in the U.S. I was shocked by the disparity of medical care in this nation. Wealthy coastal areas in New England, California, NYC and Washington DC have the best hospitals and physicians. Those who live in rural areas or small cities have medical care that is grossly inferior to the more affluent coastal regions. For example, the average life expectancy in my city is 5 years lower than in the wealthier coastal areas. This disparity in medical care is a national disgrace. As the wealthiest nation in the world, we should be able to provide every citizen with quality medical care.

The Mayo Clinic is an exception. By building facilities in rural areas, they are able to provide the best medical care in areas that need it the most. Unfortunately, I could not even get my foot in the door, so to speak. In fact, I was given the feeling that I was not wanted as a patient at The Mayo Clinic.

REPLY

Hi Gagelle,
First of all, I’m really glad that you were able to an endoscopy/colonoscopy locally, that a pre-cancerous polyp was successfully removed and the root of the pain was resolved. I also appreciate the recognition that Mayo Clinic’s campuses are helping to address the disparity of access to good medical care in rural areas.

However, it’s disheartening to hear about the challenges you had seeking care at Mayo Clinic and that you are left feeling “not wanted as a patient”. I encourage you to call the Office of Patient Experience to tell them about your experience.
Office of Patient Experience
8 a.m. to 5 p.m. CST, Monday–Friday
507-284-4988

@colleenyoung

Hi Gagelle,
First of all, I’m really glad that you were able to an endoscopy/colonoscopy locally, that a pre-cancerous polyp was successfully removed and the root of the pain was resolved. I also appreciate the recognition that Mayo Clinic’s campuses are helping to address the disparity of access to good medical care in rural areas.

However, it’s disheartening to hear about the challenges you had seeking care at Mayo Clinic and that you are left feeling “not wanted as a patient”. I encourage you to call the Office of Patient Experience to tell them about your experience.
Office of Patient Experience
8 a.m. to 5 p.m. CST, Monday–Friday
507-284-4988

Jump to this post

Thank you. I’ll do that.

Mayo clinic is not perfect by any means and I would guess the type of insurance you have may have played a role in you getting in or not getting in to be seen.
There are also many other factors that play a role in that though, such as if you self referred or had your physician refer you. Whether they deem that you can get that care in your area , also the fact that in May they are updating the entire electronic records system and so things are a bit backlogged and crunched as a result of that etc.. many things can influence you getting an appointment with the Mayo clinic , including the area you are trying to get in to.

If you need those services in the future , I would suggest being referred to internal medicine or self referring, and letting them coordinate the care. If your personal physician is making the referral and knows the specialty area , then let them refer you. Making a self referral to a speciality area can sometimes result in a denial.

I also encourage you to contact the office of patient experience and let them know about your concerns. Providing that feedback is important in helping the system improve to meet everyone's needs.

Liked by Jamie Olson

I experienced the complete opposite when I was diagnosed with H-pylori and a pre-cancerous flat poly hiding under an Ulcer in my Cecum.

I called Mayo Clinic in Rochester and spoke with appointments. The lady I spoke with was very nice. She explained to me everything I needed to do in order to get an appointment.

First thing was get all my medical records and call her back in one week. I called her back exactly like she requested with all my medical records. At that point she looked at what was available in Rochester and held the first date which happened to be 2 1/2 months away.

Then she said you mentioned you lived in Florida. Our Florida campus maybe able to get you in sooner? Call this number and let them know you spoke with me. They will want you to fax your records to the GI Department.

I called and spoke with the Fla. GI department Then faxed everything like she requested. All 50 pages of medical records. 3 days later they called me back with an appointment for seeing a DR. in 2 weeks.

I think being flexible and able to travel to any mayo location for the soonest available appointment, helps to get you in sooner.

@travelgirl

I experienced the complete opposite when I was diagnosed with H-pylori and a pre-cancerous flat poly hiding under an Ulcer in my Cecum.

I called Mayo Clinic in Rochester and spoke with appointments. The lady I spoke with was very nice. She explained to me everything I needed to do in order to get an appointment.

First thing was get all my medical records and call her back in one week. I called her back exactly like she requested with all my medical records. At that point she looked at what was available in Rochester and held the first date which happened to be 2 1/2 months away.

Then she said you mentioned you lived in Florida. Our Florida campus maybe able to get you in sooner? Call this number and let them know you spoke with me. They will want you to fax your records to the GI Department.

I called and spoke with the Fla. GI department Then faxed everything like she requested. All 50 pages of medical records. 3 days later they called me back with an appointment for seeing a DR. in 2 weeks.

I think being flexible and able to travel to any mayo location for the soonest available appointment, helps to get you in sooner.

Jump to this post

@travelgirl, This is great information to help in planning, I agree that flexibility is a real plus as a patient.
I would like to add some to you your response from my experience because it might also apply to one of our members at some time in the future. – I "had" to have my appointment at the Rochester location because of the specialist that I needed to see. Sometimes, there might not be an option for where patients are treated – so Always Ask!
Hugs,
Rosemary

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