Summit Health ---- and the big wheel.

So I've been going to this nephrologist since 2005. Nice guy, I'm still breathing so guess he does a good job. Then, two years ago, he joins Summit Medical Group. Like with most nephrology, cardiologists and chronic conditions, you see the guy every six months. At the end of an appointment, you set up the next appointment for 6 months down the road. 

This worked well with the nephro's prior appointments. UNTIL --- October, 21, I see him, set up for 6 months, April, 22. Near the end of April, "Gee, I wonder why I haven't had the usual reminder the day before an appointment to confirm the appointment, bring my paperwork, co-pay and stuff. 

So I call. "Sorry we don't have any appointments scheduled for you. The earliest we have is in July."

"No. I have the appointment card. April, 28."

"Sorry, That can't be right. Whoever gave you the appointment, must have written it wrong."

Physician office staff are sometimes like little tin gods with the force of the Kraken behind them, so there was no purpose to continuing that conversation.

The appointment was Tuesday. I complain to the physician. At the end of the exam and whatever, we both go to the desk so he can watch me set up an appointment for December. The woman at the desk TELLS HIM, "We can't set up appointments for more than four months in advance."

So he sets up a reminder in November to have the staff call me in November, to set up an appointment in December. 

W...t Da F..K? Ya wonder how many other patients missed their appointments because of this assholery. 

It reminds me of my complaining to a local pharmacist about Summit Medical Group. His response, "Yeah, it's like one big wheel that keeps slowly turning and turning. Sometimes it stops. Then it starts up again. Nobody knows why....."

  


One of my annoyances with SMG is that before every appointment I get an email and a text telling me they need more information from me, with a link to a website. So I go to the website, I verify my birth date, address, blah blah blah. And EVERY TIME, as I continue through the site, the site errors out on me.

I can't be the only person this happens to.

Pretty unprofessional.


Formerlyjerseyjack said:

So I've been going to this nephrologist since 2005. Nice guy, I'm still breathing so guess he does a good job. Then, two years ago, he joins Summit Medical Group. Like with most nephrology, cardiologists and chronic conditions, you see the guy every six months. At the end of an appointment, you set up the next appointment for 6 months down the road. 

This worked well with the nephro's prior appointments. UNTIL --- October, 21, I see him, set up for 6 months, April, 22. Near the end of April, "Gee, I wonder why I haven't had the usual reminder the day before an appointment to confirm the appointment, bring my paperwork, co-pay and stuff. 

So I call. "Sorry we don't have any appointments scheduled for you. The earliest we have is in July."

"No. I have the appointment card. April, 28."

"Sorry, That can't be right. Whoever gave you the appointment, must have written it wrong."

Physician office staff are sometimes like little tin gods with the force of the Kraken behind them, so there was no purpose to continuing that conversation.

The appointment was Tuesday. I complain to the physician. At the end of the exam and whatever, we both go to the desk so he can watch me set up an appointment for December. The woman at the desk TELLS HIM, "We can't set up appointments for more than four months in advance."

So he sets up a reminder in November to have the staff call me in November, to set up an appointment in December. 

W...t Da F..K? Ya wonder how many other patients missed their appointments because of this assholery. 

It reminds me of my complaining to a local pharmacist about Summit Medical Group. His response, "Yeah, it's like one big wheel that keeps slowly turning and turning. Sometimes it stops. Then it starts up again. Nobody knows why....."

  

I have this problem with my OB-Gyn in SMG but in that office, it is only about 3 months out.  But my SMG dermatologist can do it a year ahead. The office staff imply that is is SMG, but clearly it varies from office to office.  My annual OB-Gyn exam has now been delayed about 5 months as a result and that's not only inconvenient, but could be a threat to my health.  I have complained about this to several offices, but I don't know if it will do any good.  IMO, any exam or other regularly scheduled appointment (annual or bi-annual or whatever) should be able to be scheduled at the time of the previous appointment.  No excuse otherwise.


sac - I pm'ed you. 


drummerboy said:

One of my annoyances with SMG is that before every appointment I get an email and a text telling me they need more information from me, with a link to a website. So I go to the website, I verify my birth date, address, blah blah blah. And EVERY TIME, as I continue through the site, the site errors out on me.

I can't be the only person this happens to.

Pretty unprofessional.

If you make it to the end, it asks you to confirm that they can sign you up or share info with a government entity.  Anyway, once I realized that this is a canned request, I simply ignore it (done with some 30-40 of those requests in the past 6 months).  No consequences so far.


A SH favorite...you have an appointment, but they don't tell you where, even after following all the prompts


But imagine an appointment system, where you can't book appointments for your customers or patients, beyond four months. That's what they have. A $5.00 appointment calendar from Staples would do a better job.

Then, add, the story above.

Anyone remember the comedy movie, "King of Hearts," where inmates at an asylum escape and take over a town? 


Formerlyjerseyjack said:

But imagine an appointment system, where you can't book appointments for your customers or patients, beyond four months. That's what they have. A $5.00 appointment calendar from Staples would do a better job.

Then, add, the story above.

Anyone remember the comedy movie, "King of Hearts," where inmates at an asylum escape and take over a town? 

But it isn't SMG's system that prevents that, rather the procedures in the individual offices.  My SMG dermatologist always books my next annual appointment when I check out from the previous one.  SMG needs to make a policy about this for all of their provider offices!


sac said:

But it isn't SMG's system that prevents that, rather the procedures in the individual offices.  My SMG dermatologist always books my next annual appointment when I check out from the previous one.  SMG needs to make a policy about this for all of their provider offices!

"my next ANNUAL appointment."  When was the last one? April, 2021 -to- October 2021 went smoothy. It was October, 21 to April 22 that went F.U.b.A.R..... AND iin October, 21, they "set" the appointment. I was even given a card to cherish and behold. 

Somehow, their computer system was changed over the year.


Formerlyjerseyjack said:

But imagine an appointment system, where you can't book appointments for your customers or patients, beyond four months. That's what they have. A $5.00 appointment calendar from Staples would do a better job.

Then, add, the story above.

Anyone remember the comedy movie, "King of Hearts," where inmates at an asylum escape and take over a town? 

I took my (elderly) mom to a salon appointment the other day and watched the woman at the front t desk juggle the phone and the paper calendar, and immediately thought how simpler and more efficient a system it is than most of the doctors I take her to. In this case, old school is often best. 


Formerlyjerseyjack said:

sac said:

But it isn't SMG's system that prevents that, rather the procedures in the individual offices.  My SMG dermatologist always books my next annual appointment when I check out from the previous one.  SMG needs to make a policy about this for all of their provider offices!

"my next ANNUAL appointment."  When was the last one? April, 2021 -to- October 2021 went smoothy. It was October, 21 to April 22 that went F.U.b.A.R..... AND iin October, 21, they "set" the appointment. I was even given a card to cherish and behold. 

Somehow, their computer system was changed over the year.

I've had this problem for a number of years with that office.  And no problem with the other office for several years.


Wednesday I get a call and voicemail saying I have a ‘negative test’ please call back

Thursday-call back, stay on hold 15 minutes, decide to ‘Press 1 to leave a message’. No such luck, disconnected

Call back, on hold for 50 minutes, finally get someone, tell them I left a voice Mail.  Honest to god, this is her answer ‘oh, I didn’t know we have voice Mail’. Then she puts me on hold for 10 minutes, gets back on the line and says I have to find your records.

Nope, nope nope.

I write to Summit Health Care Relations (or some other BS email name)

They call back from a blind number, leave a message saying how important I am as a patient, yada yada yada, call this number

I call back within 5 minutes, have to leave a message, and …crickets

I don’t care how good the Dr at Summit Health may be, I will never use them again


Summit Health is making some changes. Their offices in Short Hills on Woodland are closing at the end of the year. Offices are opening in Millburn and Morris Ave in SH. I am noticing that so many doctors in these new locations are not doctors but osteopaths or nurses.


Summit Health/CityMD was acquired by Walgreens for $9 billion a couple of weeks ago. 


galileo said:

Summit Health is making some changes. Their offices in Short Hills on Woodland are closing at the end of the year. Offices are opening in Millburn and Morris Ave in SH. I am noticing that so many doctors in these new locations are not doctors but osteopaths or nurses.

My primary care doctor at the Woodland office is retiring at the end of the year. One of the suggested doctors to use is a DO who started practicing 3 years ago. Another is an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse. Another is a MD new to SMG who has 20+ years experience. There are very few (almost none) SMG  internists who are accepting new patients.


I think we must have the same doctor. 


I'm sure we do. There is another poster who also uses the same doctor. 


Formerlyjerseyjack said:

But imagine an appointment system, where you can't book appointments for your customers or patients, beyond four months. That's what they have. A $5.00 appointment calendar from Staples would do a better job.

Then, add, the story above.

Anyone remember the comedy movie, "King of Hearts," where inmates at an asylum escape and take over a town? 

My Urologist also in Summit Health sets my appointments with him and for psa blood work six months out...Everytime....


It's so interesting, my wife and I have all our docs with Summit Health and have had far, far less problems/issues than with any other medical people we've ever dealt with...


It is now like this in pretty much every industry.   The concept of customer service, among larger companies in the US, is dead.    14 years ago I flew to Japan specifically to study how customers are treated in that country.   I was amazed at the gulf between what customers there could expect and what we saw here in the US.   And it's gotten SO much worse since then. 

   


sbenois said:

It is now like this in pretty much every industry.   The concept of customer service, among larger companies in the US, is dead.    14 years ago I flew to Japan specifically to study how customers are treated in that country.   I was amazed at the gulf between what customers there could expect and what we saw here in the US.   And it's gotten SO much worse since then. 

   

most of these people have been worked nearly to death and are leaving the business.  A whole generation of people expected every last thing to revolve around them, right up to and including the idea that the customer is always right.  They also refused to pay for anything because Reagan convinced them that they should be proud to avoid every tax that they could.  On the way out the door they have removed every corporate regulation that they could.  Now the following generations are reaping the "benefits"


I don't know.  Organizations like SMG, which I use a lot, represents the corporatizing of medical care, that's for sure.  On the other hand, because of the internet and the phenomenon of online customer reviews, I feel like these practices are more self-conscious about how they are viewed.  I'm pretty sure that in recent years, my Dr. appointments are more often on time or closer to on time than in years distant.  I also find that SMG is far more reliable and prompt in responding to my inquiries on their portal than other medical practices.  I have no significant complaints about their doctors.  Nobody has missed anything or misdiagnosed me that I can recall.


DanDietrich said:

most of these people have been worked nearly to death and are leaving the business.  A whole generation of people expected every last thing to revolve around them, right up to and including the idea that the customer is always right.  They also refused to pay for anything because Reagan convinced them that they should be proud to avoid every tax that they could.  On the way out the door they have removed every corporate regulation that they could.  Now the following generations are reaping the "benefits"

Yep, medical workers at all levels are bailing out of a sinking ship. I just turned 65 and am in pretty good health but I sometimes worry about my future medical needs. Will any nursing homes still be open if I ever need one? 


kthnry said:

Yep, medical workers at all levels are bailing out of a sinking ship. I just turned 65 and am in pretty good health but I sometimes worry about my future medical needs. Will any nursing homes still be open if I ever need one? 

the responsible thing to do is take a flight to the far north, Inuit Territory..Then, when the time is right, walk out on an ice flow................/



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