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Freaking out: Psych's office closed with no warning, and I'm out of meds

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Freaking out: Psych's office closed with no warning, and I'm out of meds
Old 01-14-2021, 03:20 PM
  #1

I see a psychiatrist (well a nurse practitioner, but same thing) for anxiety and depression. I was supposed to have an appointment today. Because of the holidays and such I kept forgetting to schedule, so this will be about 5 weeks since I last saw her so I am literally on the last dregs of my meds. I'm actually OUT of one of them...I had called and left a message with the practice's refill line (it's a large multi-office practice) at the beginning of last week, when I still had some, and no response. Realized I was out Sat, so called again Monday, this time the line was always "busy."

When I drove up to the office, the parking lot was completely empty. Very unusual, but thought maybe this was the one, random time when I'm the only patient scheduled? Nope. Walked up, doors are locked, lights out, everything. Nothing on the door. Wondered if maybe just office staff left, and providers were meeting patients at the door? Pulled out my phone and pulled the practice's name up so I could try calling, and saw the news articles. Apparently, the practice had let all their providers and staff know Saturday night that they were shutting down, and they were all laid off. I received NO information on this.

Like I said, I'm already out of one of my meds (Clonazepam), have a couple days of another (Buspar), and just a tiny bit more of the 3rd (Effexor). I called my PCP's office (closed by now as this was an evening appointment) and left a message (was getting choked up at the end) asking if she'd be able to help with this.

I'm so angry (not at the provider; she's a wronged party here too). I can't believe "they" think this is ok!


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Old 01-14-2021, 03:25 PM
  #2

Oh my gosh I am so very sorry. What a ----- thing to do.
The last thing any of us need right now is more stress, right?
I think you did the right thing by calling your PCP. I hope they can help. FWIW, I take ADD meds and have them prescribed by my PCP so they might well be willing to help out given this situation.
Do you think your provider wiill join a new practice?
I remember I used to have a doctor who'd prescribe my medication and would repeatedly not call it in to get it refilled. It was so frustrating and I'm still surprised that my current doctor are so competent.
Lots of sympathy.
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Old 01-14-2021, 03:25 PM
  #3

Would your pharmacist be able to give you a few days of medication for the one you are out of to tide you over? You might call your pharmacy and ask. Hopefully one of your doctors will get back to you in a day or two.
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Old 01-14-2021, 03:28 PM
  #4

agree with zip--a couple times i"ve been out of meds and needed a refill---and didn't have doctor's approval or some dumb thing and the pharmacist offered to give me a couple to get me through the weekend or until they could reach doctor.
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Old 01-14-2021, 03:31 PM
  #5

Thatís a rotten way to do business!

I would bet that your PCP can help with this until you can get in with someone new.

Keep your prescription bottles so they can see that you were indeed on those meds. If you can get online if your provider keeps a patient portal and print anything thatís there as well.

Did the news articles give any information as to what patients should do? Was there anything posted on the door with a number to call?

You can also try your pharmacy ó if they are maintenance meds sometimes they can give you a few to hold you over. Perhaps they would have some idea as to how to contact the provider.

Hang in there!


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Old 01-14-2021, 03:51 PM
  #6

I canít believe they think thatís ok to do. I agree with Zip about the pharmacist, especially since this made the news.

My PCP prescribes my depression meds so I bet your PCP can do it for you, especially given these crazy circumstances. And probably recommend a new dr for you.

Honestly, Iíd be calling the AMA or something and report the situation. They left you without meds and Iím sure they left many people, you included, in precarious mental situations.
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Old 01-14-2021, 04:33 PM
  #7

I would call the state medical board and ask them what to do? That is so strange? Wonder if something illegal went on. Usually a practice gives a 30 day notice.
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Old 01-14-2021, 04:58 PM
  #8

Oh no! It's unethical not to help you transition to someone new if you have been seeing them (and even more so if you have an appointment and you didn't even get notice of this). I'm guessing there are a whole lot of people in the same boat as you. I hope the pharmacy is able to help you. I can't believe there was no transition! WTH happened with them?? Those poor employees
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Old 01-14-2021, 05:10 PM
  #9

I am so sorry. I would guess your primary care probably can help with at least some of that. I have been on Effexor before. If you miss a dose even by several hours it can make you feel pretty crummy! I hope you get resolution tomorrow!

Nancy
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Old 01-14-2021, 05:20 PM
  #10

Thanks everyone. I've no idea what happened, but it all smells pretty fishy to me (on the board/owner/whoever's part). This is a large, multi-location practice. The news article mentioned this could affect up to 60,000 patients (meds and/or therapy)!


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Old 01-14-2021, 05:25 PM
  #11

Quote:
Was there anything posted on the door with a number to call?
Nope. There was literally NOTHING communicated to patients. Apparently some providers have been able to start reaching out to patients on their own - and obviously unpaid now, but I have heard nothing (maybe she doesn't have access to my info or is dealing with other stuff, who knows). Even tonight there was no sign on the door or anything.



Quote:
I have been on Effexor before. If you miss a dose even by several hours it can make you feel pretty crummy!
Thankfully that's the one I have the least to be concerned about (I hope). It's the one I have the most available of, and if my PCP doesn't prescribe me the meds (which I think she is likely to do, I'm just worried about the fast turnaround with the other meds) I'm pretty certain my neurologist would as she is the one who was prescribing it before she referred me out when that alone wasn't working.
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Old 01-14-2021, 07:48 PM
  #12

That to me screams legal/licensing issue.

Iíd put a call into your PCP and neurologist and ask whoever gets back to you first.
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Old 01-14-2021, 08:47 PM
  #13

No advice to add, but I think this is terribly unethical and I'm very sorry you have to deal with this

Let us know how things go for you.
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Old 01-14-2021, 10:27 PM
  #14

I wonder why the sudden shut down.

Financial issues?
Mismanagement?
Lost contracts with medicare & insurance companies because of some sort of wrongdoing?

Usually when a medical practice closes that abruptly there's something definitely wrong.

I hope you get your meds promptly and then find good and reliable ongoing care.
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Report them...
Old 01-15-2021, 03:12 AM
  #15

What this business did is patient abandonment. Call your State Board of Medicine and report them. I'd also call the licensing deprtment.

Doctors in my state are supposed to give you a 30 day notice in writing when they are closing their practice. They are suppose give you phone numbers to find other providers. Even if they drop dead, there are supposed to be contingency plans in place.

Due to COVID-19, I've had 3 doctors retire. It is because of age (60-ish) and practices were bleeding cash. Doctors can be sh*t businessmen. If the practice was really under water with rent and staff salaries, the owner got squirrelly and pulled the plug. Not cool.

The only script the other doctors might get weird on is the benzo. Don't be surprised if they balk renewing that.

For me to wrangle more meds it's my GP, then urgent care and last resort ER. You don't want to pitch yourself into a benzo or Effexor withdrawal.

While you are doing the above, start hustling NOW for a new psych provider. My best friend's psychiatrist closed his practice on 12/28, but did send out a letter exactly one month before hand. The only phone number was the state medical society referral line. (A jerk move).

I spent three days calling around until I finally found a psychiatrist who would write scripts for Ritalin for my friend. (Not all psychiatrists are willing to write for CIIs).

This is enraging. I'm livid for you.
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Old 01-15-2021, 11:25 AM
  #16

That is a horrible thing to happen to all the patients. Your pharmacy should be able to give you a few pills. I know from experience. Your primary care physician or neurologist will probably cover the needed meds for now. What a scare!
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Old 01-15-2021, 03:08 PM
  #17

Can you call your PCP/Neurologist and ask to have the prescriptions called in. They might be willing to do it even if it is after hours.

My uncle's pain doctor was seen on TV being removed from his office, he was charged with over prescribing medication. So maybe something like that is going on.
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Old 01-16-2021, 08:32 AM
  #18

Thank you everyone SO much! I'm posting an update. I really appreciate all of your care and support!
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