Hi, guys! I'm new to the forum, and this is hella long, so bear with.
I chose Atlanta Bariatrics because I really liked Dr. Johnson, and Susie (the patient advocate) was super nice.I had six months worth of weight loss work to do, which I started around August of last year. Susie was great, calling me every couple of weeks to check in. I made an appointment, and met with Dr. Johnson, Tracy (the nutritionist), and Susie. I was told to complete the upper GI and EKG, see Dr. Van Haveren for my psych, and I would come back in three months to discuss the results of the Upper GI and the psych.
My psych was clear. I procrastinated, and the upper GI was done in January. I expected to get a call from Atlanta Bariatrics to schedule a follow up appt in February, since they had the test results. After three weeks, I hadn't heard anything. I called to make an appointment, and was told that Susie left the practice, and that I needed to speak to Latonya Taylor, who is Dr. Hart's pt advocate. I left a message... no response. I left a second message a week later... no response. She finally called me back, and said there was no need for a second visit. Send in all my documents, and I wouldn't need to be seen until the insurance approved my surgery. This concerned me, because the upper GI revealed a hiatal hernia, and extensive reflux. But if Dr. Johnson wasn't concerned, then I wasn't. Whatever.
I finally get everything I need, and I fax it to the office.On the coversheet, I left my callback number, and asked that the office called to confirm they recieved it. It was a 52 page fax, and we all know printers run out of ink, or paper, or whatever. No call. I fax it again the next morning. No call. I call the office, and I speak to the front desk. I ask if they recieved the fax. I'm told that Latonya will be out of the office for the day, so they don't know. They transfer me to her voicemail, and I leave another message. End of the week comes, no return call.
I'm sure, at this point, most of you are asking why I wasn't more assertive. I work nights for a local 911 center... so I get off of work at 6, and have to stay up until 8:30 when the office opens to call them. They close at 4:30, and I have to be back at work at 6 PM. It makes it super hard to contact the office while they are open.
So I finally call the office again. I talk to the young lady who answers the phone, and she says that because it's been more than 9 months since I attended the patient seminar, they have not kept my paperwork on file, and that I need to attend another patient seminar and start the process over. I blew a gasket. I explaned that the reason it had been more than 9 months from the initial patient seminar is because I had six months worth of weight loss work and was told I did not need to come in at 3 months, despite the fact I had been told otherwise by the previous patient advocate. She took my name and number, and told me that Latonya, the patient advocate, would call me at her earliest convenience.
Latonya finally called me back. She said the reason they could not find my file is because it was on her desk, Dr. Johnson had signed off on it, and that she does her insurance submissions on Fridays, and it would be going out that Friday. ( This was June 4th, 2012) She said she had gotten the fax, everything was fine, and as soon as they had an approval, the surgery scheduler would call me. I explained that my concern was that, while my insurance provider was staying the same, my company was changing plan administrators, and that I was concerned there would be a problem with getting the surgery approved before July 1st. She said it should be fine.
When I got my new insurance card, I scanned it, wrote her an email, and then realized I didn't have her email address. I called the office, and explained that I knew Latonya was busy, is there any way I could have her email address so I could send her this email. The young man who answered the phone said that they don't give out internal email addresses. Um, okay. Email is kind of how productive people communicate, but whatevs. So the only way to get them a copy of the new card is to fax it. Again, we're still faxing? Is this 1990? So I have my husband fax the card from his office. On the coversheet, I requested that they call me to confirm receipt. Again, no call. I have him fax it again, to be sure, and then I call the office. Apparently, Latonya is the only one with access to the fax machine, because I get transferred to her office. I leave a message, and of course, I get no call back.
I'm at my wits' end. At this point, I kind of want to take my $24,000 elsewhere. I have made an appointment with Dr. Paul Macik, but they can't see me until August 2nd. I've been working on this FOR A YEAR.
Has anyone else had these kinds of problems with Atlanta Bariatrics?