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Author Topic: Follow-up doctor visits needed?  (Read 1463 times)

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Offline charlienj

  • Member
  • Posts: 4
Follow-up doctor visits needed?
« on: April 16, 2013, 08:47:06 PM »
Hi,

I've been on treatment for a couple of years and don't ever miss a dose.  For the past two years my viral load remains undetectable and my cd4 count continues to trend upwards. Life's not bad.

My question is, has anyone had any luck convincing their doctor to not require an office visit every time they get their results, especially if the results continue to be the same and improving every three months.  Office visits require some time off work, and cost me and my insurance money just to have my doctor say, "looks like everything is good." 

Email or even text can tell me that. Luckily I have insurance, but I can't help to feel like I'm being used as a cash cow. 

What is everyone elses experience?

Online Jeff G

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  • How am I doing Beren ?
Re: Follow-up doctor visits needed?
« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2013, 08:59:47 PM »
Hi Charlien , I sometimes feel the same way you do about this but if I were to play devils advocate I can see some valid reasons why doctors and patients need those visits .

After I was stable I was able to get my doc to see me every 6 months but I wouldn't want to push it further than that even if all is well with my health because then you are essentially asking a professional to take up their time and not get paid for the service they provide . They still must review you lab work and have the expense of staff and sometime even the lab itself to maintain . So its true , we are cash cows LOL .

Offline buginme2

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  • Posts: 2,748
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Re: Follow-up doctor visits needed?
« Reply #2 on: April 16, 2013, 09:01:38 PM »
How often do you get labs done and see a doctor?  Once every six months isn't too much to ask. 
"All I need are some tasty waves, a cool buzz, and I'm fine."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6e0gcEC1TWE

Offline charlienj

  • Member
  • Posts: 4
Re: Follow-up doctor visits needed?
« Reply #3 on: April 16, 2013, 09:08:34 PM »
I get my labs done every 3 months, and because I'm in a discordant relationship- it's important to me that I keep this frequency.

Regrading paying for labs and nurse's time- I still have no issue paying and going for the tests- and that's when I'm charged for the actual labs and nurse's procedure to take blood.  As far as I can tell, my doctor just reads a CD4 number and an undetectable viral load while I'm in the room.  It takes 45 seconds.

My goal is to see her only once a year for an annual (or if my numbers show any real change).

Online Jeff G

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  • How am I doing Beren ?
Re: Follow-up doctor visits needed?
« Reply #4 on: April 16, 2013, 09:19:48 PM »
HIV can be so inconvenient .

Offline buginme2

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Re: Follow-up doctor visits needed?
« Reply #5 on: April 16, 2013, 09:28:32 PM »
I get my labs done every 3 months, and because I'm in a discordant relationship- it's important to me that I keep this frequency.



I am in a discordant relationship also and go every 6 months.

If your doctor wants you to go every three, then either go every three or find another doctor. 
"All I need are some tasty waves, a cool buzz, and I'm fine."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6e0gcEC1TWE

Offline pochas2

  • Member
  • Posts: 75
Re: Follow-up doctor visits needed?
« Reply #6 on: April 16, 2013, 09:52:43 PM »
Hi. I used to see my doctor and [vampires[ every three months, now that I've been undetectable, I see them every 5 to 6 months. But when I have to see my cardiologist, I tell him "I do not know what I am doing here, I've been feeling good" and he responds to me. "you are here making my car payment" haha

Offline ARMANDO

  • Member
  • Posts: 243
Re: Follow-up doctor visits needed?
« Reply #7 on: April 17, 2013, 08:02:50 AM »
THE  nurse in the office always gives me the viral load  and cell ct over the phone and then i decide if i need to see the doctor!!

Offline ARMANDO

  • Member
  • Posts: 243
Re: Follow-up doctor visits needed?
« Reply #8 on: April 17, 2013, 08:04:35 AM »
i always get a copy of the labs and compare them to previous lab results,if i see a change,i set up an appt.

Offline randym431

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,106
Re: Follow-up doctor visits needed?
« Reply #9 on: April 17, 2013, 08:24:44 AM »
Im on an every 6 month thing. Many here probably are. My doc suggested it, not me. But I gladly agreed to the 6 month as long as he doesn't have a problem refilling meds when the drug store calls in. I also have a co-pay card making my cost -zero-. I haven't paid a copay for years.
But as I draw nearer to retirement age, I wonder how medicare and their drug prescription program pays for expensive meds?
I know a close friend with a rare form of leukemia where a med called gleevec (ie the magic bullet) keeps this in remission. The cost for 30 pills (one month) is $9000.
And he plans on retiring in a year at 66.
I'd like to know how this works if one lived in Canada on their national health plan?

Offline buttom_98

  • Member
  • Posts: 5
Re: Follow-up doctor visits needed?
« Reply #10 on: April 17, 2013, 09:32:09 AM »
If your numbers are stable, 6-month follow-up is the norm. It is suggested by the treatment guideline, not like your doc just wanting to see you. You might decide not to go. But your doctor has to set up the f/u schedule as the guideline says.

Offline LiveWithIt

  • Member
  • Posts: 377
Re: Follow-up doctor visits needed?
« Reply #11 on: April 17, 2013, 02:23:57 PM »
I get my labs done every 3 months, and because I'm in a discordant relationship- it's important to me that I keep this frequency.

Regrading paying for labs and nurse's time- I still have no issue paying and going for the tests- and that's when I'm charged for the actual labs and nurse's procedure to take blood.  As far as I can tell, my doctor just reads a CD4 number and an undetectable viral load while I'm in the room.  It takes 45 seconds.

My goal is to see her only once a year for an annual (or if my numbers show any real change).

Your doctor has to be paid.  Start a charity fund for yourself if to pay him if you want him to volunteer his services.
Pray God you can cope
I know you have a little life in you yet.
I know you have a lot of strength left.

Offline mecch

  • Member
  • Posts: 10,732
  • red pill? or blue pill?
Re: Follow-up doctor visits needed?
« Reply #12 on: April 17, 2013, 03:12:39 PM »
Hi,

I've been on treatment for a couple of years and don't ever miss a dose.  For the past two years my viral load remains undetectable and my cd4 count continues to trend upwards. Life's not bad.

My question is, has anyone had any luck convincing their doctor to not require an office visit every time they get their results, especially if the results continue to be the same and improving every three months.  Office visits require some time off work, and cost me and my insurance money just to have my doctor say, "looks like everything is good." 

Email or even text can tell me that. Luckily I have insurance, but I can't help to feel like I'm being used as a cash cow. 

What is everyone elses experience?

Let's clarify.

Scenario 1 - 
So, you go get blood drawn, but don't see your doctor. 
And then you want to skip going in to SEE the doctor, to get the results?

Yes, I have done this.  BUT - CAVEAT - the doctor does have to CALL me and spend a few minutes on the phone, and he has the right to charge me those minutes and he does.  (This is Swiss law - where everything is broken down into minutes + the kind of service during those minutes.)  Yes it saves me money and time.  Saves the doc only some time...  But its up to the doc to decide if he/she is professionally comfortable with NOT seeing.  He deserves to be paid - he has to sit there, read all your results and apply his professional expertise as to whether everything is OK and as to whether a visit might be necessary or not.  Right????


Scenario 2
You you go to get blood drawn, AND at that time, you see the doctor?
And you want to avoid a 2nd visit to see the doctor?

I don't think Scenario 2 happens, anyway, because most docs want the results, when they see you.

______________

Also, just a comment.  You have considered the possibility that the DOCTOR does not see you as a cash cow, but that office visits are his/her standard level of service.....

Also, he/she SHOULD be willing to discuss your concerns, as per time and money wasted.  And explain his/her rationale for the visit.  If he/she won't discuss this.....  hmmmmm.  not a good sign.....

« Last Edit: April 17, 2013, 03:15:51 PM by mecch »
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline mecch

  • Member
  • Posts: 10,732
  • red pill? or blue pill?
Re: Follow-up doctor visits needed?
« Reply #13 on: April 17, 2013, 03:17:05 PM »
But when I have to see my cardiologist, I tell him "I do not know what I am doing here, I've been feeling good" and he responds to me. "you are here making my car payment" haha

Do you find that funny?  Does your cardiologist?
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline mecch

  • Member
  • Posts: 10,732
  • red pill? or blue pill?
Re: Follow-up doctor visits needed?
« Reply #14 on: April 17, 2013, 03:19:43 PM »
HIV can be so inconvenient .

Yeah, this ass flu is sure a pain in the ass.

Listen people, if you are seeing "vampires" and profiteers..... I dunno.   Change your attitude, change the relationship, or change your doctors (if you can).
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline ARMANDO

  • Member
  • Posts: 243
Re: Follow-up doctor visits needed?
« Reply #15 on: April 18, 2013, 06:29:27 PM »
when i get my blood drawn,the nurse does it ,i never see the doctor, once the results come in the nurse gives me the results and she gives me a copy,if i feel that i need to see the doctor then i set an appt.he's cool that way.i wonder if he remembers that i slept with him about 30 yrs ago?!!!lol

Offline klassykitty

  • Member
  • Posts: 375
Re: Follow-up doctor visits needed?
« Reply #16 on: April 19, 2013, 03:57:54 PM »
I go to the dr. every 3 months, have for the past 2 and half years.  I imagine I will continue to do so for awhile.  I go next week so we shall see.

Michelle 8)



 
A true gentleman hold the door for his woman.
Then he smacks her ass!
Diagnosed 01-20-2011
01-23  CD4 32    VL 125,400
02-18        76     VL 189
03-14  no cd4 test done   VL-52
04-14   69  VL-UNDECTABLE  YEA!!
05-26   50  whoopsy  
06-27   71        %-7
08-15   64 WTF %-9 
10-16  80         %7  
2012  CD4  %Thing   VL-UD
01-18  87    7
04-18  93    8  
07-16  151  8         
10-18  83    9    VL-70
2013   CD4   %thing       VL-UD
01-28  121     9
04-24  148    11   
07-25  157    11   
10-22  185    13
2014   CD-4  %thing   VL-UD
02-07 201 YEA!!!!!!  %12

Offline pochas2

  • Member
  • Posts: 75
Re: Follow-up doctor visits needed?
« Reply #17 on: April 19, 2013, 05:57:01 PM »
Hi klassykitty...with this numbers, you have to be tested every three months....In my case I've been undetectable for the last 6 years. Now I go see my ID doc, talk about all my problemas, neuropathy, eye's problems, etc then he send me to see the "vampires" (lab-tech)for all sorts of blood work. A week later I call my doc's nurse to ask for my bloodwork's results and if  everything is ok, she ask me when I want to come back, 5 or 6 months. I always choose the 6 months, the nurse tells me ok, if I want to come back before just call her. I have a great relationship with my doc, I've been seen him and his nurse for 18 years. I'm very happy paying them for the great way they treat me and for keeping me alive all this years.

Offline LiveWithIt

  • Member
  • Posts: 377
Re: Follow-up doctor visits needed?
« Reply #18 on: April 20, 2013, 04:24:03 AM »
What I would prefer is to have a doctors visit, get my blood drawn and get the results via email.  Or there is some thing online that I can look into, but I have to get the info from the doctor if he or his staff even knows how.
Pray God you can cope
I know you have a little life in you yet.
I know you have a lot of strength left.

Offline emeraldize

  • Member
  • Posts: 3,260
Re: Follow-up doctor visits needed?
« Reply #19 on: April 20, 2013, 11:00:47 AM »
I get labs done quarterly (mostly) and visit every six months. I have openly lobbied for once a year in person. I assert they can use the time slots for someone new or sicker. If my counts stay in line then my annual visit plan should happen. Heck. When you compare this to people lost to follow-up then we are superstars of lab/visit compliance. Right?  Oh I should add I get results via email or vmail and have for years.

 


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