Post # 1
So I know that this has been talked about before but I am really frustrated and could use some good advice.
I am currently 16 weeks 5 days pregnant and I have been going to Planned Parenthood for my prenatal care up to this point (it is offered where I live). I only chose to go to PP because I knew how long it would take for my medi-cal to go through and I wanted to make sure that my LO was being monitored and that I was healthy. I went there with intentions of changing providers immediately once my medi-cal went through because honestly, who really wants to go to PP for their prental care.
Now I am this far along and STILL waiting for my medi-cal to go through and I have become extremely frustrated with PP for various reasons. I know I can’t complain since it is free as I am on temporary medi-cal through PP but still… here’s why I have become frustrated…
The wait time at Planned Parenthood as most people that have been there know, is almost an hour to two hours even with an appointment. I have YET to see an actual doctor, instead I’ve been shuffled from nurse to nurse that don’t communicate my concerns to one another. They want me to just randomly pick a doctor to deliver my child that I’ve never met or seen before and they have no intentions of having me meet him beforehand (this is huge concern for me because I’d like to give birth naturally in a birthing center). I was supposed to have a NT ultrasound along with my bloodwork to check on the baby and make sure that it wasn’t developing any abnormalities. I had no idea that there was a specific time frame that I was to get this done and they didn’t bother informing me so I could get it done. Lastly (to keep this short…er), I can’t schedule my appointments in advance because they don’t have any schedules up for the next month and the people that work there are not the kindest people I’ve encountered.
Okay.. I’m done. If you’ve gotten this far, thank you.
Now this is where I need advice. I am hoping that my medi-cal goes through sometime this week and that I’ll get my card within the next two weeks. I have an idea of who I want to see for the remainder of my pregnancy but how do I go about doing this? Will they be able to get my information from Planned Parenthood? If I switch around 20 weeks, will this make a difference? This is my first pregnancy so I am totally clueless..
Any advice is appreciated. Thanks!
Post # 3
Planned Parenthood is legally required to release your records to you (and you can bring them to your appointment with your new doctor) or to release them to your new provider with your authorization. (If they are generally bad about doing things in a timely way, it’s probably smart for you to go get them yourself).
If you are interested in working with a birth center, I would call them and see about how their system works and what will be the easiest way for you to work with them. Many of them do all-in-one billing (i.e. they don’t bill the insurance for individual visits, they just bill a lump sum at the end after you give birth). By that time your coverage should be in place, so it might not be a problem at all.
And don’t worry about switching – lots of women do it all the time, for lots of reasons. Obviously the earlier you can do it, the better, so you have more time to get to know your care provider, but lots of women go through most of their pregnancy with one doctor, and then, as birth gets closer, they start to be uncomfortable about whether that person will respect their birth plans, help them have the unmedicated/non- or low-intervention birth they hope for, and so they switch late in the game. You will be fine.
Post # 4
@michelledarlenehiggins: Just throwing in my two cents here, I would totally recommend that YOU ask for your records and bring them with you to your new doctor (I agree with PP, go ahead and call the birthing center to see what you need to do to get in with them. I know the one around me allows for you to go to little meet and greets with the midwives/doulas.) But anyway, I worked at a doctor’s office and I have definitely seen how long it can take for the office to send over your medical records. Most of the time, it gets shoved on the back burner, and forgotten about until someone calls screaming about not having their records sent over. Good luck and I hope you get your card in soon!
Post # 5
I had to change doctors at 30 weeks because my ex was transferred. No problems.
Post # 6
One other thing: a couple of really great resources (especially for first-time moms!) are Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth by Ina May Gaskin and The Thinking Woman’s Guide to a Better Birth by Henci Goer and Rhonda Wheeler. They don’t have much info related to insurance questions, but they have a ton of great information on the process of birth, what to expect, and how to navigate and negotiate your health care and labor support. Rebecca Dekker’s Evidence Based Birth blog also has lots of sound, up-to-date information on the research around birth, interventions, and care practices.
Post # 7
Thank you guys so much for the reassurance and suggestions. Sometimes you just need someone other than you husband telling you it’s going to be okay. Hearing all of this advice definitely makes me feel more confident that everything is going to be okay. Thanks again ladies. 🙂
Post # 8
If you get a copy of your records to give to your new provider, be sure to make a photocopy and keep one for youself. Mine were lost and/or not entered when I transferred, and I had to do all the same tests over again.
Post # 9
Hi, I went through something similar in Texas. I was even more panicked because I had spotting at 5.5 weeks and I didn’t get to see a real OBGYN till 13 weeks. Then it was a male and I wanted a female; I’m 16 weeks yesterday and just got to see the doctor who I’m going with to deliver my baby. IDK how Cali works, but in TX we can go to the ER even before our insurance card comes in. The insurance is retroactive from the date you applied here, so even without my card my ER visit was covered. Maybe you could go in and just say you’re cramping or something and they will give you a full checkup at the ER, and you’ll get to see a real doctor and get blood work and maybe even an U/S done. I did go to the ER when spotting, and it really gave me some peace of mind until I was able to see an OB. PP will give your info to the OB you go to, you can just hand carry your records or fill out a medical release form for your doctor to get the info. Same thing if you decide to go to the ER. My doctor wouldn’t see my until they got all my records from the prior places I visited (PP and ER).
Post # 10
@NonParloItaliano: Completely disagree. People using the ER as a primary care provider is one of the leading contributors in climbing health care costs. ERs aren’t meant to be used that way, they are meant for actual emergencies and you are taking away from those that actually need emergent care when you go there.
OP: I have to ask are we talking about insurance or medical assistance going through. If it is insurance that you are waiting to kick that is an absolute given then I would say switch now. If it is medical assistance I would keep going to PP until you are sure medical assistance is going to pick you up. PP is usually much more cost efficient and I would hate for you to start racking up huge medical bills. In the mean time is there a manager or some one you can speak with to get etter care there?
Post # 11
I don’t agree either, but my OB refused to see me until I got my insurance card, and they actually told me to go to the ER. There are all sorts of issues with the healthcare system, IMO. I tried to ask my OB and tell them I felt that was unethical for them to refuse me care knowing I had insurance and she basiclly shut me down. I contacted the insurance co and they also urged me to go to the ER. Are you pregnant, just out of curiosity? I didn’t feel like I had a choice once I started spotting. If you a pregnant and the current provider you are seeing can’t provide proper care and do time sensitive tests required throughout pregnancy, and your OB won’t see you, there isn’t really much of a choice. I was also surprised both the doctor and insurance company wanted me to go to the ER, not only is it more expensive, it’s inconsiderate to the people having serious emergencies. OP really does need to get these tests done and see a real doctor by this point in her pregnancy though, there is a window in which they can be done and once you’re past a certain week in your pregnancy it’s too late.
Post # 12
@NonParloItaliano: I just had my third child.
Post # 13
@CuriousOne: Thanks for the advice. I am waiting for my bloodwork to go through at PP before requesting my medical records. I will definitely make copies though.
@NonParloItaliano: Wow! I have never heard of going to the ER to get a basic check up before. I am not sure how California works with that. I do know that in California we can go to a doctor, but we have to pay upfront and I am told that Medi-cal will reinburse me up to 3 months of bills. However, some doctors won’t even see you unless you have the card so it’s kind of confusing to me. At this point I am not too worried about LO & I have the anatomy scan on Thursday (being done outside of PP) but if I did have any real concerns (like bleeding) I would make sure to seek medical attention ASAP.
@ieatunicorns: I am waiting for my insurance to go through and then I can start going to another doctor. Until then I am hanging in there with Planned Parenthood. I am hoping that I have my card before I have another appointment at PP, so it should work out. 🙂