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Mayo Clinic Scottsdale / Refusal of Service

1 Scottsdale, AZ, United States Review updated:

After 15 years as a patient and scheduled appointments with 3 specialists at the Clinic this year,
the primary care department and Dr. Bruce Kimbel, M.D., (who has been my doctor for 10 years) have
refused to schedule me in as a patient to see him
because I have not been into his office for 3 years.
I received no notice of this policy and they will not
reinstate me. This is bad because your Primary Doctor at Mayo is the one that schedules blood tests, chest X-rays, colonscopy, gives shots and schedules
you with specialists. That Department and the
Patient Liaison Dept. have both refused to re-instate
me. I am a Medicare patient with Supplemental insurance and I have agreed to personally pay any
additional costs that my insurances will not pay.
I have always done this in the past. I cannot under-
stand no loyalty for being a long-time patient, not
notifying me and them not listening to my request
for reinstatement. My husband is also a patient
of Dr. Kimbel but he has not been denied service.
I was in Dr. Kimbel's office 90 days ago with my
husband. Now, I cannot see him for myself. Using
Mayo Clinic as our primary health care source was
one of the main reasons we moved to Scottsdale. Has
anyone had this problem?

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  • Sd
      14th of Oct, 2016

    I have had great care at Mayo but have found the organization in the neurology department in Phoenix is not designed well for tertiary care. In Phoenix it is very hard when I have need of a quick resolution in my care to reach a doctor let alone a nurse either practioner nurse or just on staff nurse. I am better off going to the emergency room at the Mayo Hospital. You cannot just call in and get a quick response from your doctor.

    In the neurology group in Phoenix that I deal with, apparently that department is short on neurologist and the doctors there are too busy because of the shortage. This gap in their ability to respond is troubling. Patients like myself who have come to Mayo with a resulting diagnosis of a disease that is rare and dangerous at times often need a fast response in their care from the neurology group to avoid going to an emergency room where even those doctors do not understand the disease. I have experienced this problem repeatedly since I went to Mayo to be diagnosed and treated. It has been approximately five years now but the situation with the response to quickly help patients at least in that group has not improved and in fact it has worsened.

    My response now has been to seek out other doctors, neurologist, and cardiologist within the city who are specializing in this type of disease. I am sorry to say that diagnosing a patient's disease is the only phase the Mayo neurology group in Phoenix is good at. They are not able to respond in a timely matter to patient needs to avoid a hospital emergency room and possible hospital stay at all. And most definitely do not respond to even a patient's inquiry concerning their care. I can say that with absolute proof and my last event convinced me that I had to go elsewhere for ongoing care.

    A typical example of what I have been saying just happened. My latest A Typical event that I call crashing happened on 10-7 and continued through 10-9. I avoided the hospital but only because my current DO with Honors called my Mayo neurologist directly and talked with the neurologist at Mayo who adjusted my heart meds slightly to bring my BP that climbed to196/125 during the event down. However, it took the DO two days to get though to my neurologist and I got the medication change on Friday afternoon. It did help and I did not got to the emergency room but it was close.

    On Monday 10-10-16 after the event had resolved, I had sent in an email with some current stats for my neurologist and a request for the name of a Mayo cardiologist so in the future I was not so dependent on my neurologist for heart meds. The neurologist along with my husband had discussed the cardiologist and my emailing in the information during my events on my last visit with him. He knows he is too loaded with patients but still wants info on the events as this is still a very rare disease and the A Typical events give him more info that he wants to consider for all patients with this disease. So I have continued giving him more information for his knowledge base as it happens. I did not know the doctor was on vacation starting that week but it should not have made any difference. I sent in the stats on the event and then asked for the name of the cardiologist he would like to refer me to and noted my kidneys seemed to be impacted on this last event and since I was coming in for a warfarin blood test should I have a urine sample done while I was there?

    The response from his nurse after that email on the patient portal was terse at best and I responded to the nurse's email to me on their patient care portal that same morning immediately. I asked for a call back to discuss her response and had hoped to talk with her about her obvious ire about the emails which she informed me were not there for the information I was sending the doctor, maybe some upset at having an outside doctor basically insist on talking with the neurologist, and some of her other obvious dislikes in my behavior. I followed the email request up with a call that afternoon. This is Friday and the nurse has still not responded to my request for a call. What else can I say? Not even an email to explain why she is unable to respond! I am disappointed in the demeanor of the staff. Something is not right when the nurse refuses to return calls from patients and is miffed when a patient dares step out of whatever box of behavior the staff has devised. This goes from the receptionist to the nurses in that group. I do not feel that going forward this is acceptable and there are alternatives. And for me my health as a professional should have been her first concern. I really like the neurologist but along with being short staffed the culture of the staff within this group is also a concern for me.

    +1 Votes
  • Jz
      13th of Sep, 2016

    Their in business!! Period. Please make sure you get a receipt when presenting your insurance information. Somehow, some way, they have a knack of mishandling, losing, or "no insurance stated". You will end being sent to collection and paying out of pocket for their sloppy customer service.

    +5 Votes
  • Py
      19th of Aug, 2015
    Best Best Advice

    Mayo is good at what they do, you walk in the music is so nice, it is like a hotel, they ease your mind, but it is a cult like place, they pass you around to milk your insurance in each department. If you don't have money to pay, or have really good insurance, you are second class...They no longer collect co-pays like they use too, so you get behind. I was turned over the credit agency for a 25 dollar co-payment that I never received a bill for, I thought it was illegal not to collect the co-pay...But it makes sense, If a patient does not have the co-pay to pay at the time of services. The cancel their appointment, So May has decided to not collect the co-pay at the time of service but bill insurance company, But they did not think through that they have to bill the patient the co-pay in a timely manner, so what they do is turn you over to a collection agency, ruin your credit because they did not do proper billing. Then the ban you from getting any other service in there hospitals until you pay your bill. They are like any other hospital, just build more beautiful, with soothing music and state of the art, paintings, and decorations, so your mind does not know when you are being mistreated...

    +7 Votes
  • De
      26th of Jul, 2015

    Mayo Clinic needs to live up to their stated goals of public service and compassion. They have a responsibility to serve the community they set up shop in, not just skim profit at a huge markup under guise of an educational organization doing research. Being a 800 pound Gorilla in the medical world Mayo drives away competent private practitioners from the neighborhoods they operate in and then create a monopoly for themselves making it possible to DICTATE arbitrary one sided conditions to patients. This is not decent, perhaps not even legal.

    +5 Votes
  • Mu
      13th of Dec, 2011

    nice try...are you paid by mayo clinic mr.ricky? people do not come to the complaints board to praise corporations... unless you are paid to do so. people come here to complain just as i am! This place is sick. what the heck is this world turning to. So much for informing... when the latter is filled with 'people' trying to counteract our words of wisdom. People die... really? you sound like a bad fox journalist. spreading shenanigans.

    +3 Votes
  • Ri
      13th of Dec, 2011

    That's not been my experience. I've found Mayo to be the BEST in my entire life. As an aside, I've seen medical facilities with great new equipment, but that equipment isn't the best choice for the MRI that is needed. Personally, if someone was going to offer me a specialized MRI for $500, I'd turn around and run like hell.
    Calling any instructional medical facility 'filled with nazi's' is just plain ridiculous. I hate to tell you, but just about every hospital is an instructional medical facility; you just aren't informed enough to know so. I also hate to tell you that sometimes, PATIENTS DIE. We all die, and most die after receiving medical care, which was the best effort, but for one reason or another, was not able to save them. Personally, I'll stick with Mayo. I consider it the best in the world, and can give you first-hand examples of why, if you have a couple of days to hear about them.
    I just think you should seek out medical care elsewhere. I doubt you are going to be happy there either.

    0 Votes
  • Mu
      13th of Dec, 2011

    i had a baaad experience with mayo clinic in scottsdale, AZ. They are a joke. for a simple MRI 7000 dollars, went through and on an ANCIENT scanner. Few months later i need another MRI and outsourced it to a MRI place near my home that was cutting edge and a super modern scanner for 500 bucks... what the heck mayo? Both out of pocket. Then the doctor was all fidgety about doing it elsewhere when infact it was higher resolution at the cheaper place. two weeks later he cancels on me! Talk about a rip off, avoid mayo clinic, they are nothing but a scam. Most of the doctors students are all amatures. One of my friends dad was KILLED by an ignorant mistake by a student doctor. Its a school and filled with nazis doctors with crazy ideas that end up killing patients. You never hear the bad because of their million dollar marketing. its a sick scam. Most of the damn nurses are immigrants as well as doctors. Its just a big fat money grab.

    +5 Votes
  • Fe
      2nd of Sep, 2010

    mayo clinic in rochester, mn. has sharply declined.after enduring two painful extremity surgeries, first procedure failed, second surgery failed by a so called expert my care needs were not met.multiple screw ups by dr. and staff.i complained to patient affairs office only to be politiced around and threatened that the doctors would not help me with health concerns and told i had to sign a contract, if i would not sign it they would refuse to provide any health care.i will not sign it.this sounds illegal.mayos only concern is greed and cya-ing.has anyone heard of such contract between drs. and patients.mayo clinic needs better management.

    +3 Votes
  • Ri
      6th of Jul, 2010

    0 Votes
  • Ri
      6th of Jul, 2010

    I might suggest to you, in Rochester, there is a Patient Services Department in the Gonda Building, on the first floor, that is there to hear any complaints such as the condescension you mentioned. I once had a questionable situation occur with a nurse practitioner, and had no concerns in bringing it to their attention.
    Hope that helps.

    -1 Votes
  • Ri
      6th of Jul, 2010

    That could be true, but how do you think it's going to look in the eyes of a jury looking at a suffering patient after the fact, and maybe worse off because of the actions? Which way do you think the court case will go?

    And how much would it cost to get to that deciding point?

    I would think that it is better for cooler heads to prevail and look at the options before regrettable actions or irresponsibilities are taken, no matter what the law states. Saving a few bucks only to have to spend millions on each single litigation later just doesn't make good business sense to me.

    Remember, we are talking Common Law and Tort Law in these situations. It's probably not what you think it is like.

    Just my own humble opinion.

    0 Votes
  • Ri
      6th of Jul, 2010

    I don't think you are going to find too many doctors pulling 36-hour shifts; except on television. It's so dramatic. Some interns, very, very rarely, maybe, but 12 to 18 is more realistic; and again those are interns and a few, very few residents.

    More important, most people going to doctors have real ailments, not nuisance complaints. This is especially true at Mayo, given that most of the patients seen there are referrals, ie. they have already been seen by other doctors who could not provide a resolution. Since you have not been seen at Mayo, you would not have anyway of knowing that. A lack of knowledge is commonly referred to as a certain degree of ignorance; which is not normally used as a pejorative as you have chosen to use it. Personally, I know I am ignorant is many areas. I wouldn't try to perform surgery, engineer a building, or even fly a helicopter (since I haven't piloted them in about 40 years and I'm sure they are different from what I remember); but then again, I don't think a doctor has the legal knowledge that I have, and I would guess that neither do you. However, I am not about to call you 'ignorant', or 'lacking', or try to ridicule you publically for not having such knowledge. It may just be sarcasm on your part, but I just don't understand why you need to go there. The initiator of this thread had a valid issue; others had valid and respectful input, and then someone decided to call people ignorant. I just don't get it.

    0 Votes
  • Ri
      6th of Jul, 2010

    Stealth Pilot,
    What is your occupation?

    +1 Votes
  • Ri
      6th of Jul, 2010

    Stealth Pilot,
    You chose your occupation, and you knew that 36 hour days were included. I've been treated at Mayo in Rochester. I consider it the best, and I know it sees everyone. If you work there, you know the First Ethic of the Clinic: "The interests of the Patient will always come first". If you do work there, and cannot abide by those ethics set in stone by Drs. Mayo, leave. You don't belong at Mayo, at any of its campuses.

    +2 Votes
  • Di
      1st of Jun, 2010

    I have not yet decided whether or not to pursue a complaint or even further action against the Mayo Clinic, so I will not go into detail about my care recently at the Methodist Hospital in Rochester. But I would like to comment on the condescending tone of the above note from a physician. They state, "You probably don't understand..." Patients are much more aware and understand much more than physicians give them credit. When they are in your office, they are often in a weakened and vulnerable state and so this makes them easy victims to dismiss. They are simply too tired, sick, and terrified to confront the physician with his rushed and dismissive ways. We understand you are stressed and pulled in all directions, do you think this is not also happening in our lives as well. There is a dangerous quality among some physicians in which they elevate themselves high above the rest of the population. They become dismissive of the "mortals" and therefore dangerous. This attitude is probably much more prevalent in prestigious hospitals and institutions. In this difficult economic time where the quality of medical care appears to be declining everywhere you look, maybe it would be best to go to a doctor who respected and listened to their patients rather than those who are presumed to be "the best". In my case, had anyone listened to my concerns about their "medical decisions" they would have avoided both horrific incidents that occurred during my hospitalization. I raised specific concerns on more than one occasion, and I was brushed off. As a result, I am still suffering the side effects. One brave staff actually admitted to me that it was the hospital's fault but I am sure the records do not reflect that. I have worked in hospitals and know the CYA game. And yes, boo hoo to physicians who are not getting paid immediately. What gall one must have to make the above comment in response to a story of someone TRULY suffering. The patient may suffer a terrible quality of life and possibly even die due to lack of medical treatment, but YOU were stretched financially...Please! Yes the government can do a better job, but physicians should be part of the solution, making sacrifices to combat these challenges rather than turning their back on those who desperately need help. Just like the rest of us do every day in our jobs and our lives.

    +2 Votes
  • Go
      20th of Sep, 2009

    My Mom was treated for breast cancer and my parents are on medicare and have a good supplmental policy from Boeing but when my Dad's diabetes caused his heart to stop at his non-mayo cardiologist office we couldn't get him in for a second opinion at Mayo. Then when my Mom needed a family practice doctor on their side of Phoenix (an hour away from Mayo) she was told that they were no longer taking Medicare. My dad is a retired corporate attorney and he had to pull every string he could (her oncologist called up to get her in) to get her in to be seen (she is also now diabetic). but they refuse to treat him.. Having connections isn't how this should happen.. If the best clinics in the country only treat the health wealthy our health care costs will continue to go up not down.. It is greed pure and simple

    So when the doctors were in medical school and Medicare was paying the cost of their residency and interniship at an average of over 100k a year do you think they hated Medicare? It works out to be a 400, 000 grant (not a loan ) for almost every doctor in the US and it is that money that they are supposed to pay back over the life of their practice..

    If any doctor refuses to take Medicare they should immediately be required to pay back the full cost of their education plus interest (which is about 700, 000 each).. How easy to suck on the Government and how soon they forget where their got their education from.

    Lets stop paying to train specialists and watch the primary care shortage correct itself in a few years. Ahh yes my doctor who makes on average as a specialist over 350k a year has bills to pay? What his second home on the lake, his kids private school. give me a break..

    +4 Votes
  • Do
      26th of Aug, 2009

    Zipper- I am a family physician in Texas. It sounds like your family doctor has decided to stop seeing Medicare patients.

    My partner and I also made this decision last year. Medicare patients typically are difficult to care for because they have more complex health problems and thus need more time in the office and pose a greater liability to the physician. Unfortunately Medicare pays physicians very little for the service they provide, if they pay at all. The government has a bad habit of not paying their bills on time. If you have listened to the news lately many of the auto dealers that participated in the cash for clunkers program have not received payments as promised by the government. They are now in a financial crisis and some have had to repossess the cars they sold to their customers.

    The doctors in my area recently went 6 months without receiving payments from Medicare because the company they hired to process claims was "running a little behind schedule". All we could do was sit and wait. This put many physicians in a bind. Our own collections ran so low that I we did not have enough money to pay our payroll taxes when they were due. The IRS then placed a lien on our clinic! We had to pay huge penalties to get ourselves out of the mess with the IRS. I was pretty ticked off to be treated like this by the government when the government was to blame for our financial crisis to begin with. My partner and I had been frustrated with Medicare for years but this was the final straw for us. The only reason we waited so long to close our practice to Medicare patients was because we cared about the impact it would have on them.

    You have to realize that your doctor has his own bills to pay. When he is forced to choose between continuing to seeing certain patients versus laying off his employees or going bankrupt he has to make a difficult decision. Instead of blaming your doctor you should blame the government for the terrible job they have done managing Medicare, Medicaid, the Veterans Health Administration, etc.

    There are some other things you probably do not understand. When a patient has not seen their physician for 3 years they are no longer considered an active patient. The doctor patient relationship essentially expires after this period of time. Patients who see their physician again after a three year period are then considered "new" patients. Your doctor probably did not notify you that he could no longer see you because you had dropped of the census of current patients. It is not economically feasible to expect a doctor to notify every patient he or she has ever seen when a policy change is made, this is why the 3 year rule exists. Had you been in to see your doctor recently you probably would have received notification of some sort. Your doctor is now unwilling or unable to establish a new doctor-patient relationship with you because you have Medicare. I am willing to bet you will have a difficult time finding another primary care physician. Most doctors that continue to contract with Medicare have closed their practice to new Medicare patients. They simply cannot afford to grow this part of their practice.

    +2 Votes

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