Monday, February 15, 2010

Beware The Minute Clinic

I was in the Minute Clinic near my house on Thursday February 11. I had a horrible case of bronchitis. After over a 2 hour wait to be seen, I reported to the nurse that I'd had two very bad asthma attacks as a result of the bronchitis, once around 11:30pm the night before and once waking me up around 6:30 the morning of my visit. I reported that I had also coughed up streaks of blood (which is common for me when I have bronchitis, which I get yearly) and that what little bit I was able to cough up was green. I also informed her that I'd been to the pediatrician earlier that morning with my son, and that the pediatrician had even stated that I needed an antibiotic when she heard how bad my bronchitis was. Because I'd only had the cough for three days, despite the fact that it had gotten serious fast, the nurse told me that I would have to wait four days and then call 866-389-2727 to have an antibiotic called in if I was not better. She told me that she recommended I go to my PCP for a steroid inhaler, to which I'd informed her that if I had insurance to go to my PCP I wouldn't have been in the Minute Clinic. All she could prescribe for me was Tessalon Perles since I am allergic to codeine.

This morning, I called the 1-866 number to have a prescription called in, as my symptoms had gotten much worse. I was told that I would have to follow up with the Minute Clinic again, paying another visit fee, in order to receive an antibiotic. This is not what I was told. I did not pay the original $62 to be told to follow up and pay it again. My husband is out of work, and we have no insurance. Going to the Minute Clinic was a last resort when I knew I'd needed medical care since I could not treat it myself at home. I was told by the nurse on Thursday that I would not have to pay for a visit to receive an antibiotic, and that all I'd have to do was call the number and speak to a nurse. The nurse at the clinic not only lied to me about getting the medical care that I needed, but also did not listen clearly to the original symptoms or to the need for medical assistance. She was more concerned about getting patients in and out than she was about actually diagnosing them properly and getting them the help that they need.

I will no longer be using the Minute Clinic services for my medical care.

I have talked to several other people over the past few days with similar experiences, being told to call in for a prescription or being given the run-around after seeking medical care at the Minute Clinic near them. I know I am not alone in this, and the Minute Clinics should not be allowed to continue treating patients with this lack of service.

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