Letters to the Editor: Doctors abandoning their patients

Over the last year I have been experiencing problems with local doctors who write prescriptions for their patients, but then refuse to follow through with the insurance company to obtain prior authorization for their patient. Most insurance companies require a prior authorization for certain medications and I get that they should.

The problem is doctors want their patients to come in to see them to get a script and then refuse to take five or 10 minutes to obtain the required prior authorization, all the while charging insurance companies for seeing the patient. I’m sure many people in Delaware and Kent County are running into this problem.

The doctors are not following through with their patient care responsibilities. So the patient either goes without the medicine and experiences health problems or the patient is forced to pay out of pocket, which is costly if you can find a pharmacy that accepts cash for medications like Lunesta or Androgel to which there are no substitute medications that do not require a prior authorization. I have even heard of doctors charging a patient $50 to $100 just to submit a prior authorization.

This is a serious problem for seniors and some doctors just don’t care because it’s about the money. I have had doctors tell me to find a new doctor who handles prior authorizations. I guess those doctors are not aware this county and state has a shortage of doctors so most doctors are not taking new patients. When confronting doctors about this problem, it’s amazing to hear them pass the buck and make up excuses why they can’t or won’t do prior authorizations.

This issue is going to get worse so I’m calling on other patients to stand up and fight back by calling their state representative and demand a law, which requires all doctors to submit prior authorizations within 48 hours of writing a script. Furthermore to make it illegal for doctors to charge patients or insurance companies for obtaining the prior authorization.

The health, safety and welfare of each patient is at risk here and our state legislators need to protect the patients. Insurance will add more medicines to the prior authorization list in the future so what will doctors do then? Doctors must make take care of their patients by making sure they can get the medicine prescribed by their doctor.

Boyd White

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