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I started this process in late January. I was scheduled to meet with the surgeon right away and I really liked him. After speaking with him I talked to the Coordinator, also very nice and assuring. I kept hearing, "Call us if you have ANY questions or concerns." Admittedly I am too easygoing and didn't want to seem impatient so I waited. And waited. Three weeks later I called the number I was given for the Coordinator. First off there was a LONG intro message that kept repeating that the process takes time because of the insurance company, patience is required, don't keep calling about a surgery date, and please expect 3-4 days for a call back - is this normal? Anyway, admittedly this made me very uncomfortable because of my personality... I hate confrontation and didn't want to be annoying (I know that is ridiculous since that is there job, but I'm being honest.) I did leave a message but no one called me back in the 3-4 date range. When I finally did get a call it was a reminder of my surgery date for the following week and I knew that was wrong because I hadn't even been scheduled for the required appointments yet. The caller apologized when I told him this and we both knew I had been confused with another patient. No wonder I wasn't being called to schedule appointments. I wasn't sure what to do so I found the email where I was first contacted about my interest in the program so I replied to it and explained my situation. I received a prompt reply saying they were sorry and that my email had been forwarded to the Coordinator. Still no call, but I did get calls from providers to schedule my other appointments. I finished up all of my requirements in mid May and I sent another email which was forwarded to the Coordinator and left a voicemail and still no calls. It's so frustrating and I'm starting to worry because I've spent so much money toward my deductible and if I don't have the surgery this year I don't know if I'll be able to afford to have it. I know I could find another surgeon at a different facility but how complicated is it to switch this late in the game? And it sucks because I really liked the surgeon. I'm just not sure what to do. I feel like if I call and leave a message for the surgeon he would make sure they submit my paperwork (I don't think they have because on the Cigna site there are no pending authorizations for me), but would I be stupid not to switch given the experience I've had? Surely this can't be normal. It blows my mind that they didn't call after finding out about the mix up to reassure me that everything was okay. And you'd think they would make sure that they stayed on top of my case to make up for the mistake. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

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My experience has not been like this. Initially the coordinator was very responsive. However I did email her last week and have not heard back. Also, I forwarded her an email I sent to the fitness coordinator and she did not seem to understand that I was forwarding her and said "oh you sent it to me by mistake, I sent it to the fitness person for you".

My surgeon is really great but I think the coordinator is over-worked and needs help.

You could try a consultation with another surgeon and speak to them about your other experience. Make sure you get your own copies of all your medical records.

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Keep us updated as it evolves. Like you, I wonder where and what the final result will be.😝

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I started this process in late January. I was scheduled to meet with the surgeon right away and I really liked him. After speaking with him I talked to the Coordinator, also very nice and assuring. I kept hearing, "Call us if you have ANY questions or concerns." Admittedly I am too easygoing and didn't want to seem impatient so I waited. And waited. Three weeks later I called the number I was given for the Coordinator. First off there was a LONG intro message that kept repeating that the process takes time because of the insurance company, patience is required, don't keep calling about a surgery date, and please expect 3-4 days for a call back - is this normal? Anyway, admittedly this made me very uncomfortable because of my personality... I hate confrontation and didn't want to be annoying (I know that is ridiculous since that is there job, but I'm being honest.) I did leave a message but no one called me back in the 3-4 date range. When I finally did get a call it was a reminder of my surgery date for the following week and I knew that was wrong because I hadn't even been scheduled for the required appointments yet. The caller apologized when I told him this and we both knew I had been confused with another patient. No wonder I wasn't being called to schedule appointments. I wasn't sure what to do so I found the email where I was first contacted about my interest in the program so I replied to it and explained my situation. I received a prompt reply saying they were sorry and that my email had been forwarded to the Coordinator. Still no call, but I did get calls from providers to schedule my other appointments. I finished up all of my requirements in mid May and I sent another email which was forwarded to the Coordinator and left a voicemail and still no calls. It's so frustrating and I'm starting to worry because I've spent so much money toward my deductible and if I don't have the surgery this year I don't know if I'll be able to afford to have it. I know I could find another surgeon at a different facility but how complicated is it to switch this late in the game? And it sucks because I really liked the surgeon. I'm just not sure what to do. I feel like if I call and leave a message for the surgeon he would make sure they submit my paperwork (I don't think they have because on the Cigna site there are no pending authorizations for me), but would I be stupid not to switch given the experience I've had? Surely this can't be normal. It blows my mind that they didn't call after finding out about the mix up to reassure me that everything was okay. And you'd think they would make sure that they stayed on top of my case to make up for the mistake. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Your going to see your surgeon from often to check on your progress so you don't want to always be waiting but then your surgeon maybe the best. Check reviews if you can check how well they liked different surgeons. Let us know how it turns out.

Sent from my LM-Q710(FGN) using BariatricPal mobile app

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Sometimes we have to put up with a little less efficient of an office staff to get the perfect surgeon or doctor. If so, hang in there, if not, keep your options open and you'll be able to get copies of all of your medical records for the new doctor.

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i’m sorry, this sounds really frustrating for you. Since you did like the surgeon and have had a few appointments with other providers now suggesting things are progressing slowly maybe trying your suggestion of contacting the surgeon directly is a good next step?

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I am very sorry that you are having this experience! I am also impatient but I had two surgeon going at the same time and see which one I got approve faster with. I had all my paperwork in when I first met them and just needed a couple more done. I was always calling them or e mailing them. Cigna was great to approve mine fast! I would bug the turkey out of the office or make a personal visit. This is your life they are playing with and you don't take a NO for an answer! If worst case comes, you have back up copy of your test and/or approval letters for surgery from other doctors and go with another weight loss surgeon. Keep us posted!

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I too went through this with the no response. I kept calling, went to practice on three different occasions. Finally sat in practice until I was able to meet my Coordinator, two months AFTER I completed required classes, doctor visits. Sometimes you have to step outside your comfort zone, especially if it’s something you really want. Good Luck!

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I'm the same way. Most surgeons give you a free consult so try someone else and let them know you are planning on switching (not thinking about but planning on) and see what happens from there. You might get good feels for the new surgeon too and all of your testing can be transferred over.

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I'm happy to say my surgery has been scheduled for July 23rd. The coordinator finally called me this week and apologized for the earlier mix up. She went into a big explanation about what might have happened but honestly I was so glad to finally talk to someone I didn't care. Thanks!!! 😊

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Well well congratulations are in order for you! If you can stay as motivated for the other facets I forecast Good Things ahead! Doesn't it feel good to have a firm date set? I 'll be watching b for more Good Things from you and Your Journey!

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Am glad to hear this for you. I'm walking away from the dr I was going to go with as I became very uncomfortable with several things (there is a post on this). The other dr practice is now not getting any response to the request that was made to get my records days ago.

Unfortunately, this is the type of behavior his office staff, one specific person pulls. Even when it was stuff THEY were to submit for me, they'd forget...they (one person) argued with me and CIGNA for TWO months - finally CIGNA and I were BOTH fed up, they called while I was at an appt with original surgeon and I took the policy in and had him look at the KEY PHRASE "has patient WITHIN the last 6 months...done xyz".

Nowhere in it did Cigna's bariatric surgery policy say "patient must meet with a nutritionist every month for SIX consecutive months and if they miss one, they must start over". LITERALLY, this is what the med tech/insurance checker told me. She and I went around and around. The initial 3 to 5 times I tried talking to her, I was alway polite and professional. Guess what, she bulldozed over me in every conversation. Finally told me with great exasperation that I needed to quit calling Cigna as I was getting things confused!!!

I finally played hard ball and was ready to walk away if the DOCTOR did not force them to push the paperwork through. Like "magic", they put the paperwork through..a few days later of course. It got immediate approval. When I went to my next appt, the med tech was so rude and hateful to me, I couldn't wait to get out of there. I stupidly didn't say anything to surgeon as she has worked for him for yrs and with my luck, she was a relative, niece, daughter in law. I had PLANNED to have a frank discussion with him AFTER surgery on 7/1.

Well, since then they dropped the ball on a few more things, I found out the name of the anesthesia partner's name that my dr. uses and looked at their reviews...they were NOT GOOD! Frustr8 will tell you, my gut had been telling me I need to walk away...so with what..7 days left until surgery, I met with another dr. I liked him very much but most importantly, he made more sense, he has more surgeries (by the 1000's under his belt) his anesthesia partner checks out with good reviews, his office staff was NICE! VERY NICE!

My original dr's staff has left me in tears over the phone (didn't let her know) at least 2 times. My dr. wrote my coumadin to lovenox bridging instructions on a sticky note and gave it to me. I took it up front and gave to his staff expecting them to type something up..nope, they handed it back. It was my husband who actually pointed out how crazy that was. I have thrown clots (PE's) after surgery just LAST year from inaccurate amounts of Lovenox for the bridging (bridging means getting off a major blood thinner like Coumadin and on to something like Lovenox which presents less chance for huge bleeding risks during surgery. So it is critical for my life and health to have those instructions documented on a dr's office papers...by him. All I had was this sticky.

Now though, things are feeling even worse. My original dr's office is not responding at all to the request to transfer my records. I fear, like they have before, that they are going to fight me all the way. I've already looked up that I will have to send a certified letter..and they have FIFTEEN days to comply. OMG, I cannot believe it has come to this. I warned the new dr that I was so afraid about what they would do and he was like "no, we'll get the paperwork". Well, his main surgery coordinator just emailed me asking me to try to intervene!!

It's FRIDAY NIGHT! This is so wrong...but after trying for 15-18 months to do everything right....I feel like I should have just let the original dr. operate. I'm so completely freaked out now..

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4 hours ago, KarenLR75 said:

Am glad to hear this for you. I'm walking away from the dr I was going to go with as I became very uncomfortable with several things (there is a post on this). The other dr practice is now not getting any response to the request that was made to get my records days ago.

Unfortunately, this is the type of behavior his office staff, one specific person pulls. Even when it was stuff THEY were to submit for me, they'd forget...they (one person) argued with me and CIGNA for TWO months - finally CIGNA and I were BOTH fed up, they called while I was at an appt with original surgeon and I took the policy in and had him look at the KEY PHRASE "has patient WITHIN the last 6 months...done xyz".

Nowhere in it did Cigna's bariatric surgery policy say "patient must meet with a nutritionist every month for SIX consecutive months and if they miss one, they must start over". LITERALLY, this is what the med tech/insurance checker told me. She and I went around and around. The initial 3 to 5 times I tried talking to her, I was alway polite and professional. Guess what, she bulldozed over me in every conversation. Finally told me with great exasperation that I needed to quit calling Cigna as I was getting things confused!!!

I finally played hard ball and was ready to walk away if the DOCTOR did not force them to push the paperwork through. Like "magic", they put the paperwork through..a few days later of course. It got immediate approval. When I went to my next appt, the med tech was so rude and hateful to me, I couldn't wait to get out of there. I stupidly didn't say anything to surgeon as she has worked for him for yrs and with my luck, she was a relative, niece, daughter in law. I had PLANNED to have a frank discussion with him AFTER surgery on 7/1.

Well, since then they dropped the ball on a few more things, I found out the name of the anesthesia partner's name that my dr. uses and looked at their reviews...they were NOT GOOD! Frustr8 will tell you, my gut had been telling me I need to walk away...so with what..7 days left until surgery, I met with another dr. I liked him very much but most importantly, he made more sense, he has more surgeries (by the 1000's under his belt) his anesthesia partner checks out with good reviews, his office staff was NICE! VERY NICE!

My original dr's staff has left me in tears over the phone (didn't let her know) at least 2 times. My dr. wrote my coumadin to lovenox bridging instructions on a sticky note and gave it to me. I took it up front and gave to his staff expecting them to type something up..nope, they handed it back. It was my husband who actually pointed out how crazy that was. I have thrown clots (PE's) after surgery just LAST year from inaccurate amounts of Lovenox for the bridging (bridging means getting off a major blood thinner like Coumadin and on to something like Lovenox which presents less chance for huge bleeding risks during surgery. So it is critical for my life and health to have those instructions documented on a dr's office papers...by him. All I had was this sticky.

Now though, things are feeling even worse. My original dr's office is not responding at all to the request to transfer my records. I fear, like they have before, that they are going to fight me all the way. I've already looked up that I will have to send a certified letter..and they have FIFTEEN days to comply. OMG, I cannot believe it has come to this. I warned the new dr that I was so afraid about what they would do and he was like "no, we'll get the paperwork". Well, his main surgery coordinator just emailed me asking me to try to intervene!!

It's FRIDAY NIGHT! This is so wrong...but after trying for 15-18 months to do everything right....I feel like I should have just let the original dr. operate. I'm so completely freaked out now..

I will say, as a person who used to work in a doctor’s office, that HIPAA allows for 30 days to send records. They probably know that and are just being salty by taking their sweet time. Definitely send the certified written request for the records. I know you want to get the surgery done, but just think, you’ll have post-op visits at this place, and you’ll have to deal with them for a while. Do you really want that knowing they have horrible customer service? Best of luck to you!

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3 minutes ago, LessFee said:

I will say, as a person who used to work in a doctor’s office, that HIPAA allows for 30 days to send records. They probably know that and are just being salty by taking their sweet time. Definitely send the certified written request for the records. I know you want to get the surgery done, but just think, you’ll have post-op visits at this place, and you’ll have to deal with them for a while. Do you really want that knowing they have horrible customer service? Best of luck to you!

30 days?! They could take up to 30 days??!! If they do that I may have to postpone surgery for 9 months!! OMG, I want to throw up. No, I was planning after surgery and the initial post-op visit to not ever go back again.

This is so completely unprofessional. So how do I figure out if the DR is encouraging it or if it is that spiteful employee? IF they take 30 days, I will be sure that everyone/everywhere I can let ppl know...will know about what they have to be willing to put up with if they choose his practice. I wasn't planning on leaving any negative reviews, I just saw this as best choice for me given all of the loads of concerns I have/had...and was tired of a med tech treating me like I was a piece of crud. Heck, forget the title, tired of anyone treating me or anyone else this way.

I could go 'hand collect' all of the freaking stuff I had submitted to his office. Lord knows it's not like they handled the letter to Cigna (my primary did that). I had my own psychiatrist and she filled out info and did a letter. My cardiologist will send my cardiac clearance and results of my tests to wherever it is needed. I did use a 'group practice' called Tri-S in downtown Ft. Worth for my nutritionist visit and attended a 3 hr clinic they did in early June. Since they provide this support for several bariatric docs in the area, I can call and ask for the records of my visit (what I don't understand is that CIGNA has ALL of this as these were their requirements - I guess I can't ask CIGNA to send copies to me/pay for copies?).

So...in the end, what could he possibly have that I cannot...at some GREAT inconvenience and time infringing on my work life...get myself and have it sent to new dr? Trust me, I've made it EASY for both docs.

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10 hours ago, KarenLR75 said:

30 days?! They could take up to 30 days??!! If they do that I may have to postpone surgery for 9 months!! OMG, I want to throw up. No, I was planning after surgery and the initial post-op visit to not ever go back again.

This is so completely unprofessional. So how do I figure out if the DR is encouraging it or if it is that spiteful employee? IF they take 30 days, I will be sure that everyone/everywhere I can let ppl know...will know about what they have to be willing to put up with if they choose his practice. I wasn't planning on leaving any negative reviews, I just saw this as best choice for me given all of the loads of concerns I have/had...and was tired of a med tech treating me like I was a piece of crud. Heck, forget the title, tired of anyone treating me or anyone else this way.

I could go 'hand collect' all of the freaking stuff I had submitted to his office. Lord knows it's not like they handled the letter to Cigna (my primary did that). I had my own psychiatrist and she filled out info and did a letter. My cardiologist will send my cardiac clearance and results of my tests to wherever it is needed. I did use a 'group practice' called Tri-S in downtown Ft. Worth for my nutritionist visit and attended a 3 hr clinic they did in early June. Since they provide this support for several bariatric docs in the area, I can call and ask for the records of my visit (what I don't understand is that CIGNA has ALL of this as these were their requirements - I guess I can't ask CIGNA to send copies to me/pay for copies?).

So...in the end, what could he possibly have that I cannot...at some GREAT inconvenience and time infringing on my work life...get myself and have it sent to new dr? Trust me, I've made it EASY for both docs.

How small is this practice? I only ask because usually, the doctor/doctors have no idea what’s going on with the front of house. They count on the practice manager to run the office and fulfill records requests. The manager has probably heard that you’ve been calling and is holding up your records. Before I took over, our old manager used to do that, too. It looks like you’re in good shape to get duplicates of what you submitted. That’s great! Just have those items sent over to a new doc, and they can write a new letter of medical necessity to get you reapproved with them if you want.

Just a heads up for the future: it’s always a good idea to create your own medical record. Anything you submit to a doctor or to your job regarding your healthcare (FMLA papers and such) should either be a copy, or if they require an original, you should keep a copy for yourself. If you see multiple doctors, you can keep different folders for each, or you can just have one big folder; whatever makes sense to you. This way, you have a bit more control over your paperwork!

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