Last week I received a form letter from a pediatrician; loosely it said that we could not be patients of that office, if we did not pay a fee of several hundred dollars per family, per year.  I pondered this.  I looked at my insurance claims and made a rough calculation of how much income was required to run his office and whether insurance payments alone could support the business.  Against my own instincts of self-preservation and natural born avarice, I decided that the man had a point and I would pony up.


I had been fond of this particular doctor because he is open minded enough to support the right to choose which vaccinations are administered, he makes strides toward sustainability with his choices in furniture, and toward holistic medicine through his choice of staff and he also offers supplements/herbs for sale onsite. My children have seen him for a wide array of treatments from biofeedback, to extensive lab testing, to Chinese medicine, to Reiki.


One of my children has not seen him as much as the others, and as it turns out, there is a high price to pay for not being sick with enough frequency.


In the past the office staff was frequently overwhelmed, and it was nearly impossible to speak with a nurse or doctor real-time.  A patient portal existed online to facilitate communication. Unfortunately this portal was afflicted by many glitches and the staff had no inkling as to how to make it work.  Phoning was not an option, voice mails take days to be returned and as I found out in CAPs reply, e-mailing was viscerally frowned upon, as the patient portal was the only official communication device for patient issues.  You see the vicious circle.  Luckily there was priority for sick children and though you cannot make an appointment a day in advance even if your child has a rampant fever, you can, on the morning of, call in and beg to be seen (not ever the night before – just the morning of).

Rebel with a cause I emailed my frustration about the patient portal on the night before. This morning I righteously and promptly called the office as I had two children with acute illness who needed to be seen by a doctor. I was told that an administrative decision had been made a couple months ago. One of my three children had been deemed inactive because he has not been to the office since November 2012. I explained the fever of 103, that the siblings had been assiduously coming in, and that the third child was simply not ill recently.  The unsympathetic (while flustered) voice on the other side of the line said I could take one of my sick children in for a sick visit, but not the other. Was this Sophie’s choice? Was it the judgment of Salomon? No, this was a moronic administrative decision made to enhance a bottom line that apparently this doctor does not know is fueled by humans. 

On several occasions this pediatrician offered in his own words that the quandaries we presented him were above his pay grade.  He, as most primary care doctors, outsourced 80% of symptoms to other physicians, who through specialized education have been assigned specific body parts. That said it appears he has given away the business of one child who had often been ill but he could not help, and he refused the business of the other who had not been sick often enough. So the holistic not only turned out to be not so holistic, but the business acumen turned out to be not so shrewd.


It boggles my mind why in an environment where the first tenet is to do no harm, a physician of this repute and tenure would not be in tune to how this perceived indifference affects clients (lets not call them patients), and in the end, will affect his bottom line and possibly his soul, quite adversly.

Let's be friends

The Women Behind She Writes

519 articles
12 articles

Featured Members (7)

123 articles
392 articles
54 articles
60 articles

Featured Groups (7)

Trending Articles

  • I followed up on 12/6/13 with this letter after a fax, a mailed letter and email were ignored.  This was also ignored so I will not be returning the the Child Center.  Very sad.


    I don't know if you are aware but my kids were very sick a couple
    weeks back and your office turned one out of three down for a sick
    visit because he hadn't been there in 11 months.  Apparently the
    office deactivated his file despite being one of 3 family members
    (customers). I wrote a long letter to the doctor about it. I faxed it
    over to the office, no one ever so much as replied.

    I am heartbroken that the people I entrust my children's health to
    could not even be bothered to address a complaint made directly to the
    physician. I understand business, I understand needing to deactivate
    patient in order to fit no one then, needing to charge a yearly
    administrative fee, and whatever else the business dictates.  However,
    I also understand that there should be a humane component to decision
    making that dictates what to do in a situation of that type. A family
    of three has one kid who isn't sick that often, or if you recall, has
    children who the doctor refers out because their issues are beyond his
    scope should not be turned away in a time of need.  How in good
    conscience would the office tell me that two kids can come in with
    their 103 fever but the third would be considered a new patient
    (technically) and hence could not be seen - that is inhumane.

    I have referred you to countless friends, The only reason we are not
    there more often is because doctor has referred us to others based on
    not being able to solve the issue at hand. I was coming for Reiki
    with you, I buy my supplements there, we had done
    biofeedback, extensive labs etc. Our insurance reimburses at a very
    good rate, it is beyond me how they could not only have turned my child
    down but also not ever returned my call. Very very sad.

    As for the patient portal, as stated  - it doesn't work properly.
    Your staff has never been able to resolve the technical issues so that
    I could use it as a means of communication.  I tried countless times
    and spent time on the phone but she was simply at a loss as to how to
    join the family members.

    Only one of my children is on the patient portal and I was able to put
    a copy of my complaint in there, and  guess what, it was removed. It
    is not in the sent mail. It is the holiday season, I hope that
    the doctor is aware of how the business is being managed and I hope
    that his children are treated with more love and attention than mine

    If I owned a business whose first tenet was do no harm I would think
    long and hard about having ignored that complaint and appeal, and I
    would definitely find a better way to clean out your patient database
    to make room for new patients.

    It's truly heart breaking.

  • So far no one responded to the letter...

  • Kimberly


  • I want to see if he replies to my letter -which is similar to the blog post - to be sure it wasn't simply poorly trained staff at fault.

  • David Henry Sterry

    who's the doctor you gotta name the doctor we gotta group-shame the doctor. where's the confrontation denouement?!