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Need a New Rheumatologist

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#1 mollie


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Posted 09 June 2011 - 05:10 PM

Hi Everyone,

I have not posted for awhile. I just received the worst news ever today. My rheumatologist is no longer taking Medicare patients and I'm now officially a Medicare patient. I have seen him for over 5 years and he has helped me so much. My actual diagnosis is UCTD with many scleroderma markers. Hoping that you may have suggestions for a rheumatologist with knowledge of scleroderma.

Thank you for any assistance.


#2 Shelley Ensz

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Posted 10 June 2011 - 03:06 PM

Hi Mollie,

I'm really sorry that your rheumatologist isn't accepting Medicare anymore. There is a very major scleroderma center in Houston. Have you given them consideration?
Warm Hugs,

Shelley Ensz
Founder and President
International Scleroderma Network (ISN)
Hotline and Donations: 1-800-564-7099

The most important thing in the world to know about scleroderma is sclero.org.

#3 enjoytheride


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Posted 12 June 2011 - 12:40 AM

I heard that many doctor's were not taking new Medicare patients but continuing to see their established patients. But your doctor actually said he will not see you anymore? That's scary.

His office should at least make arrangements for you to be seen by someone else. And give you time to make the change.

Is there any chance that you have been caught in the office machinery and that he would not want this policy to apply to you?

#4 mollie


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Posted 13 June 2011 - 09:22 AM

Thank you for your reply. It is really scary that all of sudden you find yourself without a doctor, especially if you have gone from not being able to walk to having a somewhat better life. He did not give me any recommendations but said that he would support my meds until I found a new doctor. I did find a rheumatologist and my appointment is in August. My rheumatologist who was treating me had a small practice and the new medical requirements (including insurance requirements) apparently are now affecting many doctors and especially those that see Medicare patients even though they have supplemental insurance like we do. Everyone thinks that Medicare is free, however, my husband and I now pay $7000+ for Medicare and Supplemental Insurance. Medicare insurance costs are based on your annual income if you are still working part-time (I'm working part-time but my husband is not working as he is my mother's caregiver...however, he has to pay the same rate for Medicare insurance that I do because we file jointly). Also, as I am on IVIG, our drug costs are pretty expensive until we reach the catastrophic level, which takes about 3-4 months. I am relieved that I have located a doctor, however, I know that this may not be "the one." I have multiple specialists, however, it really is exhausting trying to find a new doctor that will be responsible for your overall care. Sorry for the rambling.

Thank you again for listening and your responses.


#5 Sweet


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Posted 17 June 2011 - 08:45 AM

Hi Mollie,

I'm sorry to hear this. For about the last year, I've been worried about the same thing. My doctor has actually talked with me about it, and in each of his patient rooms he has a sign that talks about it, and encourages everyone to talk to the government about it. I've been seeing the same rheumatologist since diagnosis (almost 12 years) so I hope the same thing doesn't happen to me. I hope you find one that you truly connect with, and that can continue to help you.

Warm and gentle hugs,

ISN Support Specialist
International Scleroderma Network (ISN)