Talk to parent's doctor?

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Quark
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Talk to parent's doctor?

Post by Quark » Thu Mar 10, 2016 1:04 pm

My elderly father has some medical issues and I think it might be useful to have a phone call with his doctor to discuss his condition and treatment. I'm concerned that my father is not asking the right questions and doesn't fully understand things.

Assuming my father gives appropriate consent, should this be a problem? Would the doctor be paid by Medicare and medigap?

Going in person with him would be a major endeavor.

kenner
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Re: Talk to parent's doctor?

Post by kenner » Thu Mar 10, 2016 1:10 pm

A good first step may be to place a telephone call to the doctor's office, explain your concerns, and learn what their protocol is.

flyingbison
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Re: Talk to parent's doctor?

Post by flyingbison » Thu Mar 10, 2016 1:14 pm

This may not be a workable option if your elderly father isn't very tech savvy, but my partner and her sister bought their father an ipad so that they could facetime with him and the doctor during his appointments, so that they could hear what was being said, and ask any questions.

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6miths
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Re: Talk to parent's doctor?

Post by 6miths » Thu Mar 10, 2016 1:15 pm

I usually go in with my mother if I have questions or just to see what is happening but sounds like you are not in a position to do that.

Depending on your father's condition you might be able to conference call with the MD if they agree to it. Getting a medical power of attorney while your father can still give you one might be a good idea too. Agree with call the MDs office to see what their protocol would be.
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delamer
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Re: Talk to parent's doctor?

Post by delamer » Thu Mar 10, 2016 1:17 pm

Yes, the doctor will talk to you with your father's permission. You should consider getting a medical power-of-attorney so you can get information about all of his medical care and make decisions if he becomes incapacitated.

Regarding the insurance, do you mean will it reimburse the doctor for your conversation with her/him? Based on my experience, doctor's do not charge a separate fee for conversations with relatives outside of appointments. They seem to just be a cost if doing business. Obviously, you want to be respectful of the doctor's time - for example, have a list of questions prepared when you call.

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6miths
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Re: Talk to parent's doctor?

Post by 6miths » Thu Mar 10, 2016 1:17 pm

flyingbison wrote:This may not be a workable option if your elderly father isn't very tech savvy, but my partner and her sister bought their father an ipad so that they could facetime with him and the doctor during his appointments, so that they could hear what was being said, and ask any questions.
This sounds good. I have also had calls from relatives put through to the exam room during patient visits or had the patient call the relative on their or my cell phone.
'It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so!' Mark Twain

arizonaslim
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Re: Talk to parent's doctor?

Post by arizonaslim » Thu Mar 10, 2016 1:27 pm

Quite frankly, I think that my mother's doctor is one of the most wonderful medical professionals on the planet.

And I met him only a few months ago, during a post-hospitalization follow-up with my mother. During that visit, I gave him my business card. After he sees my mother, he gives me a call so that we're both on the same page.

So, my takeaway tip is: Make an effort to meet your parents' medical pros. And be kind to them. They have a difficult job.

Quark
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Re: Talk to parent's doctor?

Post by Quark » Thu Mar 10, 2016 3:16 pm

Glad to hear this is something normal. I have a medical power of attorney. I'd put together a list of questions in advance and would offer to send it to the doctor.

Thanks.

anil686
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Re: Talk to parent's doctor?

Post by anil686 » Thu Mar 10, 2016 4:18 pm

Quark wrote:Glad to hear this is something normal. I have a medical power of attorney. I'd put together a list of questions in advance and would offer to send it to the doctor.

Thanks.
As a physician who cares for elderly patients (by in large) - I never charge (nor do I think physician's can) for conversations over the phone and I appreciate the opportunity to discuss cases with the family with the patient's consent. Since you have a medical power of attorney - that would not be an issue - just send them a copy to keep on file.

The recommendation to send a list of questions up front will allow you both to have a better conversation about what matters to you, allow the physician to pull together the answers in advance and save the physician time. I always appreciate those things versus just calling to "talk" with the doctor.

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Re: Talk to parent's doctor?

Post by Fallible » Thu Mar 10, 2016 5:54 pm

I think it is crucial that you not only talk with his doctor, but attend checkups with him, or, if you can't arrange that, have another trusted relative or friend do it. To help your father from here on out, you will need current and ongoing medical advice and so will any elder law attorney you work with.
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