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Va Medical Center, Nashville Appointment Problems


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They keep scheduling me an appointment but not telling me about it. This really sucks because now I have a "no show" on my record. I didn't even know that someone made me the appointment, because they didn't call me ahead of time.
I am having problems with one department/clinic that makes appointments for veterans, but doesn't bother to call them to tell them that they made the appointment. They don't call to ask the veteran when is a good time for him/her...they just make the appointment and expect the vet to show up.
I found out when I got a call from the automated message system that said "The patient who's birthday is on xx/xx/xxxx has an appointment at the VA Medical Center". it didn't even give a date and time or what clinic it was at. And the call was one day before the appointment at 3:30 PM...the VA closes at 4PM
I had to call around for about 2 hours to try to find out where and when the appointment was...and when I found out, nobody could tell me who scheduled the appointment or what to do about it.
Is anyone having a similar problem?
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  • Content Curator/HadIt.com Elder

That sounds like the old shell game from The Price is Right. The same thing has been happening here in Birmingham for years.

- Robocalls happen only 50% of time

- Received letters in the mail for an appt postmarked the same or next day of the appt

- Was given hand written appt cards when leaving clinic. They never show up in the auto appt system.
- The big surprise I got was an unsolicited appointment. I arrived and the doc said, what seems to bring you in today. I answered, your appointment letter.

A couple of years ago, the VA had this big initiative to educate patients about no-shows. They setup these easels with charts showing # and % met vs no shows for the past month or so. Have not seen those out in force for a while. Someone in my VAMC took a marker and drew body parts on the charts. Not sure if that got rid of the easels...

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I'm just trying to find someone in the clinic that has scheduled the appointments to talk to. It is a mental health clinic (psychology--the PhD type) and the appointments are for a group counseling...but I haven't been contacted about the group that they put me in nor have I been given any information about the time and frequency it meets. I don't know which Psychologist signed me up...but I am trying to contact them and figure out the details.

I know I need counseling, but the way they are doing it is stressing me out even more and I am beginning to resent the whole thing. They blow me off because I am a mental health patient...but right is right....and I deserve to speak with the person who is making these appointments.

I am not crazy...granted I have some issues...but I am not so far gone I don't know what is happening around me.

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  • Content Curator/HadIt.com Elder

Someone at your clinic is a slacker. If it continues, consider speaking with the person in charge of the clinic, the patient representative, or administrative officer of your facility.

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I have also had this problem in the past. To be on the safe side, periodically go to ebenefits and click on medical examination schedule. It will show your VA medical appointments scheduled for the next three months. By doing this I have learned of VA medical appointments scheduled for me when no other notification was given.

I know it is hard to believe any info on ebenefits is reliable or up to date but so far the info regarding my medical appointments has been reliable and up to date.

Good luck to you.

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  • Content Curator/HadIt.com Elder

I think you just gave me a reason to log into ebenefits periodically.

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I check my appointments from time to time on MyHealthevet and only once caught an appointment that was scheduled for me that I didn't know about....but I think someone in that clinic is scheduling them a day or two in advance and not telling me.

I'm going to call back tomorrow and see if i can talk to anyone about it. I have had time over the week end to cool off and not be so emotional...but I get that way when I feel like I am being blown off or neglected. I guess they figure that I should be able to just show up with little or no notice...I live a little over 20 miles from the VA.

I know it is relatively close, but I don't drive on the interstate and have to get someone to take me. I have an extreme phobia of interstate driving. It is one of my issues and they have been made aware of it. It is like they don't care. I am one more number.

I feel like they are also trying to pad the appointments due to all this scandal. If they can squeeze anyone in in under 30 days then they can look better and if I can't make it on short notice they can blame it on me for not going to my appointment. I try to cancel when I catch them at it....

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Barbamatt,

I hope you get your appointment problems worked out.

Good luck to you.

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They are not stopping The Numbers Game because of any scandals. I predict an increase in No-Shows cuz that'll cover their butts.

With the technology at hand there is no excuse for patients not to have ample, redundant appointment notifications.

Don't wait to complain, because this is part of the ineptitude and or degraded care veterans deal with at the VA.

This isn't how I get treated by civilian doctors.

Go to Patient Advocate, Hospital Admins and the IG.

The $16 Billion hush money is working people. Have you seen a scandal on the news lately? We will not get the VA we deserve unless we demand it.

Edited by Notorious Kelly (see edit history)
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I tried calling the clinic today, but got a voice mail....guess they don't even have to answer their phones....I had a thought and used Secure Messaging to contact one of my Dr. I sent him a message about my problem and he sent me a message back with in the hour and he said that he would work on changing the appointments to another time and that someone would contact me....he was apologetic, but I am going to have to wait and see.

I might still call the Patient Advocate. I'm not sure how much that will help. I've met him before and he doesn't seem to be too worried about complaints.

Edited by Barbamatt (see edit history)
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Just wanted to update on my scheduling problems...they got worked out and someone did call me and I got to schedule with a living person....I am more happy about it now.

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Barbamatt,

Glad things worked out for you. Hopefully they got their act together and this will not happen to you again. However, for your sake, I would keep checking the online appointments schedule.

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