"Fired" by pediatrician - Mothering Forums

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Old 08-11-2014, 03:26 PM - Thread Starter
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"Fired" by pediatrician

I live in Michigan and almost all pediatricians in my area have a vaccine policy of "no vax, no visit". I have a four month old son and was forced to leave his pediatrician because I would not agree to vaccinate according to the current cdc schedule. The dr completely bullied me and wouldn't even answer my questions regarding their safety. I'm not 100% anti vax I just believe in a smart, balanced approach. In Michigan, we have legal exemptions from vaccines so how can my son be refused care? Is this legal? I have tried everything I can think of to find a new dr for him and have not been able to find one that doesn't not have this stupid policy. Is their any legal recourse? Appreciate any help.
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Old 08-11-2014, 04:21 PM
 
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I am not aware of any legal recourse. You could write a complaint letter to his certifying board or state licensing agency but not sure what would come of that.

As far as finding a doctor, have you tried a family practice or general practice doctor? They seem to be generally more open to selective and non-vaxxing patients that pediatric practices. You may also try posting here http://www.mothering.com/forum/80-in...ohio-michigan/ for specific recommendations.
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Old 08-11-2014, 04:51 PM
 
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In most cases, it's not illegal for private businesses to refuse to serve clients. That's not to say that what these doctors are doing isn't profoundly stupid from their own standpoint because they're making it that much more difficult for parents to be convinced to vaccinate or seek out the vaccines that they want. But so far as I know, you don't have any legal recourse.

Exemptions are only relevant to schools, preschools, and daycares. Legally speaking, you don't owe any doctor an official exemption.

If they ever hand you a Bad Mommy form, usually entitled "Refusal to Vaccinate" and taken from the AAP, don't sign it because it's inflammatory and self-incriminating. That would be another red-flag sign to seek care elsewhere.

It took us forever to find a cooperative provider. Don't give up!

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Old 08-11-2014, 05:05 PM
 
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My outlook on this is you don't want their type as a doctor anyway. Family practices especially those that include CNM's and DO's make pretty non-vax tolerant care providers, ask around among delayed or non vaccinating parents here and in person, or call all the local providers that take your insurance (be prepared for rude shut-downs though). I don't find well visits necessary most of the time so I wouldn't stress too much about having a doctor until a health issue came up or something such as camp or school required medical documentation, so if the search takes longer that is ok. Also when your child is no longer an infant and you come to them you may have less of a fight as they realize your mind is made up by then. It helps me in avoiding a conversation about it to say kindly and confidently "no, we have a religious exemption" when the question of vaccines comes up (doesn't hurt to look conservative/religious when you get dressed that day as well). Don't engage them on the safety and efficacy of the vaccines as getting you to vaccinate by any means is kind of in their job description so you need to research elsewhere. Sign the wavier saying they recommend vax and you refuse as long as the language in it isn't too accusatory.
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Old 08-11-2014, 05:30 PM - Thread Starter
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My current dr is a family practice and I'm not kidding you that I've gone down the list and called every dr in my area and they either don't take my insurance, aren't accepting new patients or have a vax policy. I'm truly at a loss here and it feels so incredibly wrong. He currently has an appt in September with my dr (as we were fired from his pediatrician) and the first thing they said was he's going to have to get his shots that day. Before even meeting him, or asking about possible allergies or risk factors etc. Just "he's getting shots." I responded by saying I have a few questions about the vaccines first and they said you can ask questions but then they are going to want to go ahead with the shots afterwards. And also made it sound that they would do the shots as soon as the dr walks in the door. Even if you are 100% pro vaccine. On what planet is it not appropriate to discuss certain risk factors before administering ANY kind of medicine?!?! Imagine if you had a bum leg and you went to the dr and before the dr asked you anything about what was going on or anything about you they just forced you to take medicine?!?! This just doesn't make sense and this type of careless medicine where parents arent allowed to make informed choices about their own health and the health of their children is beyond scary. Do dr receive some sort of financial kickbacks for administering vaccines?
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Old 08-11-2014, 05:55 PM
 
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I'm so sorry, that must be very frightening.

I hope this helps: http://campbelllawobserver.com/2014/...ated-patients/
"Though doctors legally are able to deny services to unvaccinated patients in many situations, not all medical professionals agree that this is the best course of action. The American Academy Pediatrics, though strongly supporting universal vaccinations, discourages doctors from refusing to see unvaccinated patients. Turning away patients also appears to violate the Hippocratic oath, taken by the vast majority of American doctors upon their graduation from medical school, in which they promise to “apply, for the benefit of the sick, all measures which are required” and to “prevent disease whenever [they] can.” As more people opt out of vaccinations, more doctors must be willing to find ways to treat unvaccinated patients while protecting the health and safety of the general public."

I wonder if you can develop a relationship with a doctor or nurse-practioner at an Urgent Care Center ("Express Care," "Now Care," "Now Clinic," Multi-Care Express," etc). Many people bring their children there for sports physicals. I think the doctors working there are happy to have the job, and might be willing to hear you out if you make sure to sound calm, reasoned, and well-researched. Emphasize that you are not anti-vaccine, but that you are concerned with both safety and efficacy--if the vaccine's efficacy is poor (flu shot, pertussis/DTaP), then the safety risk is not worth it--as well as necessity (if you child is over a year old, rotavirus vaccine is completely unnecessary).
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Old 08-11-2014, 07:47 PM
 
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Sounds to me like the doctors are working together to deny medical care to those who do not agree to do the complete recommended schedule. That is quite extreme. I suspect that, although doctors have a right to refuse patients, they may not have a right to collude together to deny any medical access at all to infants.

You would need to find some other parents who have been victimized in the same way and then find a lawyer to help you sue, which is extreme. However, for PRO-VACCINE families to be deprived of access to medical care because they want to space out the vaccines and maybe skip a few is very bizarre and extreme and they really should be called on it.
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Old 08-11-2014, 10:02 PM
 
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I wonder if the ACLU would be helpful?
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Old 08-12-2014, 02:36 AM
 
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Are there any practices without that policy among those who don't accept your insurance? If you can swing paying for it out of pocket most companies will reimburse. Our family practice doc doesn't take insurance at all (to save on administrative costs) and while it's a minor hassle to fill out my own paperwork it's well worth it to have a great Doctor.
Maybe ask in your area in the Find Moms in your area forum for references, too.
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Old 08-12-2014, 09:11 AM - Thread Starter
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I tried asking if I could just pay cash for my visits and was told that was illegal! That if you have insurance, they must bill the insurance. It didn't make sense to me but I was told this by several places. They said it was considered fraud. ?!?
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Old 08-12-2014, 09:23 AM
 
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That is not true.

Unless the ACA has changed things, I always paid out of pocket for my and my family's care.

Tell them you do not have insurance and have to pay our of pocket. That is awful

Whenever ANYONE tells you something is "illegal", always ask for a copy of that law or a citation. Just as we have heard the mantra, "No Shots, No School", all our lives, we know it is not true.

Usually it is just policy that is decided upon by someone else and that the clerk is told to follow.

"The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie, deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive and unrealistic."
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Old 08-12-2014, 11:06 AM
 
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We switched to a Naturopath after being booted from the the pediatricians after a year - she doesn't accept insurance and even tho I have NP coverage they consider her out of network and my reimbursement is not even worth the paperwork. But I love her dearly, she's open to payment plans If I absolutely need to, and is also ok with me calling in quick questions rather than making an appt. We really only go once a year and I believe her well baby requirements are not nearly as frequent (although each visit is at least one hour long!!) and I'm ok with that. If you have insurance that they won't accept, then tell them you are uninsured and pay out of pocket if you can swing it. I don't think it's right for insurance companies to determine who they will allow you to visit by denying to cover the costs nor is it fair for doctors to not accept various forms of insurance because they don't like the payout.
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Old 08-12-2014, 11:49 AM - Thread Starter
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You have all been so helpful and supportive. Continued calling a few more places today and was again told I could not pay out of pocket. However, the community health center doesn't turn away anyone and doesn't have a vaccine policy so this is, at the very least, an option. You can't make appointments there. You just have to call in the morning and appts are handed out first come first serve. Also, we have a nurtropathic dr in town and she doesn't bill ins so will take cash payments but doesn't start to see children until two years of age. My son is only four months old. The second he turns two we are going to her. She sounds like she has an amazing philosophy on healthcare. This has been such an eye opener for me. There are so many gaps in how drs care for their patients and how much the government decides for us what we can and cannot do with our own bodies. There is no respect for the human body and nurturing it not medicating it. Sadness.
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Old 08-12-2014, 01:50 PM
 
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I tried asking if I could just pay cash for my visits and was told that was illegal! That if you have insurance, they must bill the insurance. It didn't make sense to me but I was told this by several places. They said it was considered fraud. ?!?
I'm not trying to be overly personal, but if you have state-provided insurance (Medicare), I think this is indeed true.

Carseat-checking (CPST) and WAH mama to a twelve-year-old girl.
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Old 08-12-2014, 01:51 PM
 
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I don't think it's right for insurance companies to determine who they will allow you to visit by denying to cover the costs nor is it fair for doctors to not accept various forms of insurance because they don't like the payout.
I think it is absolutely fair for doctors to decide which insurance companies they want to work with, and vice versa.

Carseat-checking (CPST) and WAH mama to a twelve-year-old girl.
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Old 08-12-2014, 02:36 PM
 
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I'm not trying to be overly personal, but if you have state-provided insurance (Medicare), I think this is indeed true.
Huh? My acupunturist does not accept state ins,(which i have) and yet he gladly takes my cash...yes, he accepts other ins's that cover alternate health practices.
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Old 08-12-2014, 03:20 PM
 
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http://www.cchfreedom.org/cchf.php/308#.U-qFDKOK0RY

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Medicare patients cannot pay cash for care. A 1997 law (Balanced Budget Act, section 4507) forbids private contracts between patients and doctors. With few exceptions, Medicare recipients cannot pay cash for a Medicare-covered service that Medicare denies until the doctor has opted out of Medicare.

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Old 08-12-2014, 03:26 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the info regarding the paying cash when you have ins. I do indeed have Medicaid insurance so maybe it's the same policy as Medicare. Medicare is insurance for the elderly so maybe it's not the same?
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Old 08-12-2014, 03:59 PM
 
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Thanks for the info regarding the paying cash when you have ins. I do indeed have Medicaid insurance so maybe it's the same policy as Medicare. Medicare is insurance for the elderly so maybe it's not the same?
yes, there is a big difference between medicare and medicaid..medicare is federal, and for elderly and disabled... medicaid is state, with federal funding for lower income people who are not elderly or disabled, and medicaid is based on income. The level of medicare provided is determined by your social security payout, for elderly/disabled. Medicare also varies in benefits from state to state, as does state medicaid insurance. The very low income who are elderly/disabled get combined benefits in some states.
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Old 08-12-2014, 04:01 PM
 
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Medicare
In the United States, Medicare is a national social insurance program, administered by the U.S. federal government since 1966, that guarantees access to health insurance for Americans aged 65 and older who have worked and paid into the system, and younger people with disabilities as well as people with end stage renal ...
Medicare (United States) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
https://www.google.com/search?q=medicare&rlz=1C1CHFX_enUS514US514&oq=medi care&aqs=chrome..69i57j0l5.1738j0j7&sourceid=chrom e&es_sm=122&ie=UTF-8#q=medicare+definition


Medicaid
[med-i-keyd] Spell Syllables
Word Origin
noun, ( sometimes lowercase)
1.
a U.S. government program, financed by federal, state, and local funds, of hospitalization and medical insurance for persons of all ages within certain income limits.
http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/medicaid
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Old 08-12-2014, 05:05 PM
 
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I do indeed have Medicaid insurance so maybe it's the same policy as Medicare.
That is probably the issue then. We are on Medicaid as well and it is illegal for doctors who can accept it, even if they choose not to, to take out of pocket payments from clients on it. I don't know if this is federal law or state-by-state but at least in Colorado that is the case.
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Old 08-12-2014, 06:54 PM - Thread Starter
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I bet that is it then. Thanks fruitfulmomma! Really makes you stuck between a rock and a hard place! Nobody takes your insurance and you can't pay out of pocket. How is this legal?!? Are we just not supposed to receive medical care?!? Like I mentioned before this experience has been a real eye opener! I went from having messa blue cross blue shield (teacher ins) to Medicaid. With the former, you could go any and every where and everything (even massages) were covered and now, with the latter, everyone treats you like a lepar! No one will even give you the time of day. I've actually even been hung up on! The "clinics" they send you to have subpar facilities and crazy policies like you have to wait in line to get an appointment. Such a shame! Gives you real perspective on things when you've been on both sides of the fence!
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Old 08-12-2014, 07:19 PM
 
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I bet that is it then. Thanks fruitfulmomma! Really makes you stuck between a rock and a hard place! Nobody takes your insurance and you can't pay out of pocket. How is this legal?!? Are we just not supposed to receive medical care?!? Like I mentioned before this experience has been a real eye opener! I went from having messa blue cross blue shield (teacher ins) to Medicaid. With the former, you could go any and every where and everything (even massages) were covered and now, with the latter, everyone treats you like a lepar! No one will even give you the time of day. I've actually even been hung up on! The "clinics" they send you to have subpar facilities and crazy policies like you have to wait in line to get an appointment. Such a shame! Gives you real perspective on things when you've been on both sides of the fence!
Have you tried calling your insurance provider? The point of being in network is that they've accessible to patients in that network.
If no one in network will accept you then you can request your insurance provider provide an exemption. Once the insurance company starts calling for you the practices might change their tune.
Also you might try writing or having an appointment for you with your doctor and/or office manager to explain how frustrating it is that you do want to vaccinate but have some reservations and want to work out individualized care and yet the no medical receptionist is dictating your child' care and leaving you only the option of no care.
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Old 08-14-2014, 12:09 PM
 
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We're on Medicaid too and I can totally commiserate! I was trying to switch to a fam practice doc at one point. When I called and asked if they were accepting new patients the receptionist said yes, and asked for my insurance provider. When I told her she said, "sorry we're not accepting new patients" and hung up!

My kids see a ped that isn't thrilled with our decision to not vax but he doesn't give us a hard time. Every time I had scheduled in the past the receptionist did say "he will be receiving x many shots on this visit" but I had no problem declining them during the appointment. I think it might just be something that they say under the assumption that the majority of their patients will receive shots at those certain appointments, not that they HAVE to or else.
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Old 08-16-2014, 08:21 AM
 
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Gosh this is sad. The us medical system is so broken. Makes me so thankful for our National Health Service in the UK.
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Old 08-16-2014, 09:31 AM
 
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I heard from a mom in a rural area once. The doctors had all gotten together and agreed that they wouldn't treat any families that were declining any vaccinations. So it was either vaccinate or do without medical care except for the emergency room.

I don't think that is an effective way to build trust.
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Old 08-16-2014, 09:50 AM
 
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Gosh this is sad. The us medical system is so broken. Makes me so thankful for our National Health Service in the UK.
And long may it remain. It seems like there are moves to privatize the NHS.

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Old 08-16-2014, 11:53 PM
 
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I read though that more than half of people in the UK would be willing to pay more tax to prevent that. So there's hope!
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Old 08-17-2014, 09:08 AM
 
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I do indeed have Medicaid insurance...
As a landlady of many years, I know that low income persons on HUD/Section 8 pay only a set amount of rent, and anything over that is illegal. So maybe there is a set price with medical re-imbursements too. If a landlord or doctor is caught accepting more than the set amount, they have to pay it back, with interest and are fined, even if it was the idea or suggestion of the tenant/patient. The landlord/doctor is supposed to know better.

So yes, it is illegal. That is too bad since it limits the choices of those on state aide.

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Old 08-19-2014, 09:25 PM
 
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This makes me so angry for you. One thing you can do, is some internet research on what to look for at well baby visits for the next few months. I'm not saying you shouldn't do them, but if you literally can't at this point, may as well find out some of the things they do and look for at well visits so you can keep an eye on your little one. I would also use this time to really research vaccines to decide which ones you want and what you want to skip- especially since it will be hard for you to even get to a doctor to have one or two shots, your child may grow out of the more critical age before you are at a place where you can get a select few shots, possibly eliminating your need for them altogether.


Listen up, doctors, the more you do this all or nothing crap, the more you are going to get nothing!

"Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect." ~Mark Twain

 


 
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