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By LOHENGR1N On 2014.03.25 20:16
They just announced that the regional hospital here is closing......this Friday! Emergency Room will close 10 A.M. Friday morning. All the associated services will also close, visiting nurses, hospice, everything. Of course it was announced at the close of business day so all questions remain unanswered at least until tomorrow. Questions like what happens to the Doctors whose offices are up there (my Neurologist) what happens to all the PCP's who maintain rights to practice there? The announcement stated that patients would have to go to a Pittsfield hospital or one in Bennington VT. adding at least 45 minutes to 1 hour to any emergency ride. There's going to be some busy phone lines around here folks. Is this the emerging state of health care? What a nightmare. Looking like the more things change the worse they get.

By parkinit On 2014.03.25 20:46
So sorry to hear this on many different levels. Horrible for you. What is going on with our health care system? It's so scary to all.

When my dh's neurologist was told we are on hospice, he just said "goodbye" (actually seemed like "good riddance"). Our private care physician cried with us and said, "I'll be here for you if you need me." That was special.

Where has compassion and care gone in the medical field? We got a glimpse that it is still there and a glimpse of something scary.

By ResistanceFutil On 2014.03.26 06:51
I hope one day our medical care will be free from the private, for-profit system that underlies so many, if not all, the decisions made by hospitals and insurance companies.

I'm sorry for the extra burden this has imposed on you and your neighbors, Lohengrin.

By jaxrock On 2014.03.26 07:52
And my husband's neurologist..who has been his doctor for 12 years, told us at the last visit, he is "leaving his practice in spring 2014"...well, that's now.
And he started the neurological dept. at the hospital!! He just said it was time for him to go.

Uncertain times for many of us....

By jcoff012 On 2014.03.26 22:43
My own doctor, who has been by my side these last seven years, told me last year that she would be leaving private practice this year because of all of the new red tape, all the record keeping, all the restrictions imposed under the new health care system...I hope she changes her mind, as I love her dearly. But, because I do, I wish for her only the best..if that means, like all of yours, she has to call it quits, so be it. Like Al, we have nowhere else nearby...going to San Francisco three to four times a year is expensive enough...We do it gladly for this new neurologist, but agree that something HAS to be done for all of us involved with a chronic disease.

By umajane On 2014.03.26 22:58
After 42 years of seeing my internist he retired. I am so happy for him. He is now a personal friend. It took me 2 years to find a new primary care physician and I am thrilled with my new doc. So it takes time but in time you will find a new MD hopefully nearby.

By LOHENGR1N On 2014.03.27 00:08
I guess for the time being my neurologist will still be there, but I know of what others have spoken about here. A couple of years ago my PCP retired. I saw him for my exam and then three weeks later got a form letter he sent to all his patients announcing he was retiring in month. I had been going to him for over thirty years and he couldn't say anything at my visit, just sent a form letter. So much for establishing a relationship with your doctor huh? I am glad for those who retire also and for when we find a new doctor we can like and trust.

However from a P.D. sufferer's point of view; Our time is short, well shorter than most and while a new doctor suits some when my neurologist goes I don't know how I'll be handling it. A new doctor won't know my quirks or my intestinal fortitude. My doc knows I don't complain and if I do I have a legitimate reason. A new doc? If they have patients who are easily rattled and complain a lot might not understand I'm not like that. A doctors notes are kind of like posting on a forum. One can read it and draw a conclusion based on their feelings or mood when reading it. Or skim over it and miss the intended point. There will be no history there or any learning of how my P.D. effects Me and my life. I think I'll just truly see them as a pill pusher, I don't know....well you kinda know what I mean and I don't want to wander into those scenarios right now. The only thing for sure around here is that at 10 A.M. Friday the hospital is closed and so is visiting nurses and hospice in the whole Northern Berkshire County M.A. Some Doctors offices will still be there and some won't.

Something else they need to address is they keep saying you can either go to Pittsfield M.A. (Berkshire Medical Center) or Southern Vermont in Bennington V.T. BUT, many here have Medicare supplemented by Mass. Health. so while in a pinch or emergency Mass Health will cover out of state they won't pay others states for medical care available within reasonable distance from you, so We don't really have any choice of where to go. (sounds kind of like "you can keep your insurance if you're happy with it no one is going to take if from you". Only to have them cancel people off it. ) Take care, best of luck and still hanging (clinging) in there

By jaxrock On 2014.03.27 07:42
I know what you mean.....Dr. K knows all the nuances of my husband's PD battle....he knows the nuances of our relationship.........knows my husband's personality and background....and mine.
I'm sure his file of 12 years is pretty cut and dry....
My husband said it felt like a blow to the stomach when told about his leaving his practice.....
And there is no doubt the new regulations are the reason for the retirement...not age..since he's a young man. He even admitted as much.
My positive thinking, though, says..perhaps new eyes on this old PD situation will help my husband's case.
Good Luck to all of us....

By lurkingforacure On 2014.03.27 13:35
This is happening everywhere, and for the same reasons. Our first neuro left the practice because of the red tape and having to wait 120+ days to get the piddly amount the insurance companies or medicare/Medicaid pay.

We have had three primary care docs quit practicing for the same reasons. It is rampant and widespread. What good will it do to have insurance if no doc will take it, even assuming you can find a doc?

By Trusting On 2014.03.27 21:26
I'm so sorry to hear this is happening. I'm in the mid-west and we are all bracing for it to the best of our abilities. I wish you the best in finding a new doctor but I know how hard it can be. I also know that stress can be hard on PD patients.

My husband is seen by the VA and the last time we were there he had a different doctor too. I hate what the government is doing to our healthcare. Wishing you the best.

By LOHENGR1N On 2014.04.07 23:57
A sigh of relief for the moment here, at My regular 3 month check up today I asked My Neurologist if He had plans to retire soon with the hospital closing. He said not at all He wasn't going anywhere unless to jail for trespassing (the building his office is in is on the hospital campus but not owned by the hospital.) so far they were permitting the Doctors and their patients on the campus grounds to get to the building.

Then in the conversation that followed he cursed me! lol, he didn't swear at me. I asked him to give me a call if things changed. Then I said who would have thought hey? When you diagnosed me in 1986 that all these years later we'd be here discussing his retirement and how my pcp retired a couple of years ago sending out form letters to his patients. I said the prognosis for life expectance back then wasn't very good. ....(a little back ground for those who don't yet know, when I started on medication he said you'll be on this for the rest of your life. I pressed him how long is that? He hesitated ....again I asked how long? 15 years he said, if you're extremely lucky maybe 20. I said Doc, I'm 33 years old couldn't I get 25 0r 30? We'll have to wait and see he replied. I turn 62 this year!) .... so what's he say today? You're holding on pretty well you're going to be around forever! You'll probably die from getting hit by a bus....I looked at him .. or a truck or lightening. (hum all things I've said online over the years about the stages as I say I'm probably a late stage 5 of getting hit by ..insert any of the three above I've used in answers.) Is he reading me online? If so thanks a lot Doc! Parkinson's couldn't get me in the time frame so now you say I'll be around forever?!?! I showed him he was wrong before now I've got to show him right? How the heck am I going to live forever? To say nothing about developing a phobia about buses, trucks and lightening!?!?! Maybe he isn't such a nice guy after all? I'll have to bring that up at my next appointment.( BTW he moved his office once and didn't tell me I found a note on the door when I went for my appointment with the new address on (different building even) Well take care, best of luck looks like I'll be around awhile hang in there

By carman96 On 2014.04.08 09:55
You are funny Al! You have definitely beaten the odds. I think it's just not in your nature to give in. Stubborn and or obstinate maybe? LOL
None of us ever knows for sure what's going to happen. We could be driving very carefully and get hit by a bus, etc. All we can do is just try to be as healthy and careful as we can. No sense in going around being paranoid about something that may never happen, right?
Glad your doc is sticking around even if the hospital isn't.

By jcoff012 On 2014.04.08 18:06
SOOO glad you are going to be around for some time, Al! lol...Hugs! Jane

By JulieB On 2014.04.08 19:08
I am so glad about your doctor, Al. Happy news in the midst of all the changes healthcare seems to bring so many. And may you keep the docs scratching their heads for many more years. :) xo

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