Company Tries to Stifle Online Reviews with Patient ‘Gag Orders’

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Lisa

Subject:

I simply want to state patients regardless of gender or insurance or lack there of have the right to decent medical care with respect and dignity.
If the doctor is performing within the laws and legislation and standards of AHIMA,JCACHO and HIPAA then the doctor has nothing to worry about. I'm a health care student, a mother, a fiancee and a patient as well as a consumer. My grandmother was an ER nurse for 4 decades, my cousin is a doctor, my fiancees cousin is a heart surgeon and I also went to school for medical assistance before deciding I wanted a degree in health information technology.

The laws and standards are put into place to protect patients because things have happened in the past to compromise that. I am not demonizing health care providers as I am going to be in that field myself on a different level. And I have many relatives whom are health care providers. but there are good doctors and bad ones, good nurses and bad ones and the list goes on. This buisness causes burn out and some people get in to the buisness for the wrong reasons.
And as a consumer/patient/mother/fiancee/future health care worker with other family members in the field in other states I see nothing wrong with a practice,hospital or provider of any service even of a medical nature being evaluated for the good or the bad. I am greatful for angies list as I can finally pick the right doctor and do not have to simply depend on word of mouth to find one for my children. and I can also find a great plumber, hair dresser and any other great service provider I want, and I can warn others if the service provider or buisness was awful or advise them if it was great. health care is expensive as many other services are expensive. Why should I have to pay 2 grand for a crown because a dentist screwed up a filling (happened) why should I go three months in pain because a doctor told me my infected gall bladder was only gerd(happened) why should I buy a a car, a television that doesnt work (has happened) why should I dish out money for a tutoring service that can't help my child (also happened). Its not that consumers are narcissistic or whiny. Its that we are sick and tired of wasting our time and money and being walked on. And if being a proactive well informed patient,consumer (whom is also a woman by the way) makes me a narcisstic whiner...then i'd rather be a narcisstic whiner(no offense) than a sucker or a victim that repeatedly gets bad service because I didn't have any way of knowing the place I was going to for that service,good etc was going to treat me that way. If I am going to pay between $180-$300 per kid for a physical and $500+for a dental procedure or a grand for a appliance or machine that supposedly is going to work, and thousands for tutors or home improvement that supposedly will be delievered I want to know I am getting my money's worth. And if that makes me difficult then "cheers to being difficult"

Lisa

Subject:

I love this site, I just joined Angieslist just now. I found out today my family and I were dismissed from our pediatricians practice for no reason. The practice is known for being kind, but one of the doctors pushes natural remedies and expensive juices and sometimes does not give a resolution when you go for treatment. I would name him but I am fearful of what he would do if I did. I learned I was dismissed after I requested to be transferred to the other branch (where all the doctors are wonderful) and I asked for a new doctor. I was probed why I wanted a new doctor and when I replied I was unsatisfied with treatment so I stopped taking my child to the doctor in question but still loved the other doctors in the practice I was told the medical records would be transferred and I was prompted to call back for an appointment. I did so, and then found out I was dismissed, my family is dismissed for "Life". I was very heartbroke by this, It felt like the pediatrician was breaking up with us so to speak. All because I gave an honest non abusive opinion. I would love to leave a review but I am afraid of the further action the doctor would take. So I would suggest, that if you find yourself in this situation with a doctor before you complain find a another doctor first or do not answer the receptionists question,its a trick question. I will never answer that question honestly again. Now I have to scramble to find a new pediatrician and its really hard. That's why I joined this club. I was surprised to find the practice with the doctor that burned me on the good list, but the practice is great, only the one doctor is not, and he was not listed on the review. Even so I would be too afraid to speak out against him after the backlash I got for just wanting to transfer to a different doctor in his practice. So what I have learned from this experience, is stay with a good doctor, and if you end up with a bad one but the rest of the practice is good, do not complain on that one doctor or they will dismiss you from the entire practice as punishment. This is a sad fact but it ones I am as of today being taught.

EM

Subject:

N.O. Doc -- you have one of the best comments. Thank you for posting it, especially since you are a physician and we need to hear more from you and other doctors.

EM

Subject:

jb.mcmunn--agreed. Highly unlikely that a physician would write 'lovely but retarded woman' on a file that he knows could be read by others.

Having said that, I, as a woman, must say out loud that I find that many women complain endlessly about their doctors. And, for the most part, I find that they are generally ridiculous complaints. I am in my 50s and all my life I have listened to my friends whine and bellyache about the most ridiculous things about their family physicians. Or even specialists.

I have seen some of the same doctors myself and have never EVER experienced the negativity that some of these other women report. If they wrote about their experiences on a website, it would, quite frankly, be lies.

They say we women go to the doctor about 7x more often than men and I believe it. Basically, we are narcissists. We elevate ourselves on pedestals, and expect others to enable us in our self-worship. And what better way to engender that than to get a doctor to fawn all over you.

So when the doctor gets frustrated and admonishes us for not doing more to look after our own health, our feelings get hurt and the first thing we want to do is lash out (at him). Ergo, complaints.

We women are our worst own enemies.

EM

Subject:

There should be no need for gag orders because there should be no need for "physician rating" websites because there should be no such thing as a 'good' or 'bad' doctor.

There should simply be doctors.

Medicine is a calling. The priesthood is a calling. Teaching is a calling. So is engineering, the law, police service, etc.

These are professions and there should be no such thing as a 'good' or 'bad' professional. No good or bad cops, no good or bad teachers, no good or bad engineers.

What kind of medical school pumps out bad doctors? Hmm? If it's out there, let's close it down.

N.O. Doc

Subject:

I do not think these gag contracts are the right answer. As a physician, I have had two people post negative things about me online. One is the only review on a certain site. Both of these individuals were offered appropriate medical care, but only wanted high-potency narcotics, which I told them I do not prescribe. Anyone who goes to this one site (not Angie's list) will likely not make an appointment with me unless they are sophisticated enough to realize that slander online is a possibility. I would love to be able to respond to these posts, but the sites in question require registration AND FEES ANNUALY to keep my rebuttals up. I won't be blackmailed into a subscription to a site. As far as Ronin Martin's statements, they could not be further from the truth. Medicare pays for resident level education; the kicker is that they give the training programs $100k/yr per resident. The resident is lucky to get paid $45k of that and is used to generate more income for the teaching hospital by basically acting like a physician's assistant to the attending faculty. All US medical schools charge tuition ranging from about 8k/yr up to about 45k/yr. Medical students either get family to pay this or take out loans (most common approach) that then compound interest and end up costing a lot more than the average house by the time they are paid back. There are greedy doctors out there. I know it. But the average medical doc is barely making over $125k/yr. Yeah, that is better than 35k/yr teaching, but think about this...the teacher did not do 4 years of undergraduate, 4 years of postgraduate (at insane cost) and then work like a dog for chicken feed for 3-7 years to get their certification. After 11-15 years of school/training after high school, you do kinda expect to make more than minimum wage. Think about it like this: before a cardiothoracic surgeon gets to cut on his first private patient, his high svhool classmate who became an auto mechaninc right out of high school will have earned almost 1 million dollars in gross wages at 55k/yr.

John

Subject:

What are the doctors supposed to do about defamatory lies? The legal doctrine of defamation prose seems to have been thrown out the window. It will protect teachers and cops and ministers and plumbers, but doctors get the shaft. Why?

jb.mcmunn

Subject:

LOL! "Doctors need to learn to accept online criticism, warranted or not, Stephenson says".

Ok, let's all post nasty lies about Ms. Stephenson and see how well she takes it.

Whether it's a doctor or anyone else, no one should be able to post libelous remarks about someone anonymously. How would you like to see a review of your work where someone accused you of being a child molester? You'd like to be able to hold them accountable right? Same with the doctors or anyone else.

As for the "retarded woman" comment, I will bet the doctor used a transciption service or voice recognition software that mangled what he dictated. You could have easily called the doctor and asked what that remark was supposed to mean. You probably would have received both an apology and a correction in the records. It appears that instead you chose to just whine about it. Apparently a high IQ does not equate to having common sense.

Ro Thompson

Subject:

Doctor's already protect each other. Patients have a right to know what other patitents have experienced with a doctor. I have multilple, severe health problems and am now permanently disabled. I have been through a gammet of doctors. Do you know doctors only have to pass a course with a 'D' to be able to practice? There are a lot of bad doctors out there - I want the ones who made 'A's' in medicial school. Although I'm a college graduate, former college professor (head of the department) and corporate/state agency executive with a 141 IQ, one doctor wrote in my medical file and sent a letter to my referring surgeon that I am mentally retarded! The exact quote: 'lovely but retarded woman'!

phil brewer

Subject:

I looked up a random sample...actually a focussed sample of ten doctors who I know personally to see their ratings on one of these sites. They are given a 1-5 star rating. The highest number of people who submitted ratings on any one doctor was ten. Ten patients out of 2 or 3 thousand patients that the doctor sees every year are able to establish an overall rating of the doctor. And they are self selected, presumably because they either really like the doctor or they really don't like the doctor. It's all just hogwash.

Saoirse

Subject:

This has been as predictable for decades as the sun rising and setting. Hundreds of thousands of family physicians have worked for decades to ENSLAVE their patients to government researchers. Naturally, they will look to corrupt the jurisprudence that has made this tacitly possible even further. They are all Josef Mengele's acolytes. Don't believe me? Try reading Eileen Welsome's 1999 book, The Plutonium Files: America's Secret Medical Experiments During the Cold War. Tuskegee wasn't an aberration; it was a bellwether.

Ronin Martin

Subject:

It's all about them.. no matter that taxpayers subsidize their education. Like wall Street, doctors are just another group that figured out how to get rich off the backs of "civilians" .. we paid for their servcies and when the deny them IE Medicare pays less that they can gouge from insurance carriers... so they refuse to accept it.. that's the real Medicare story
We need a more "Republican" approach to health care.. state funded euthanasia seems to be answer.. cheaper and provides a quick profit to terminate via lethal injection.. it's the American ideal... no money? You have no reason to live since you cannot consume.

Chrissy

Subject:

A good doctor has nothing to fear from patient comments made online. If the doctor is a quack, then they had better develop a better bedside manner, or maybe go back and refresh their education. Either way, patients are more educated and more informed because of the internet. Doctors need to include factors like that in their practice or pay higher malpractice insurance premiums!

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I second the original question (still unanswered). Speaking as someone who logged in today to try to find an attorney, I see this category as one that's exactly what I have my Angie's List membership for:

1. It's important that I find a good one
2. I'm not an expert enough to know myself who is a good one
3. The industry is full of advertisements and misinformation
4. I wish I knew what experiences other people have had


?
I don't care about lawns--I planted mine in clover and don't have to mow it. When I do need to mow I use a rotary Fiskars mower, which is great--or a scythe. That's right--a scythe (the European type, which is smaller, and it's very good exercise). Gas-powered mowers, chemical fertilizers and weed killers--all nasty stuff that gets into everyone's air, soil, and water. I'm sure my neighbor doesn't like my wildflowers, semi-wild pockets of fruit bushes, and unmown areas and yes, dandelions (I have 10 acres) but that's too bad. It's better habitat for wildlife, especially the pollinators on which our food supply depends. I think this obsession with the Great American Lawn is a waste of time and resources. Plant some food instead.


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I'm not sure Angie et. al. want you to have a complete answer to this question. By re-subscribing at the Indiana State Fair in 2012, I think I paid $20.00 per year for a multi- year subscription. Maybe even less. At the other extreme--and I hope my memory isn't faulty about this--I think the price, for my area, for ONE year was an outrageous $70.00. And they debited me automatically without warning. I had to opt out of that automatic charge. I like Angie's List, but if some of the companies they monitor behaved the way they do in this respect, they'd be on some sort of Pages of Unhappiness. I'll be interested to see if this comment gets published or censored out of existence.
?

That's very difficult to answer without seeing the house. As one poster said, the prep is the most important part. On newer homes that don't have a lot of peeling paint, the prep can be very minimal even as low as a couple or a few hundred dollars for the prep labor.

On a 100 year old home with 12 coats of peeling paint on it, then the prep costs can be very high and can easily exceed 50% of the job's labor cost.

A 2100 sq ft two story home could easily cost $1000 just for the labor to prep for the paint job. That number could climb too. Throw in lots of caullking  or window glazing, and you could be talking a couple or a few hundred dollars more for labor.

Painting that home with one coat of paint and a different color on the trim could run roughly $1000 or more just for labor. Add a second coat  and that could cost close to another $1000 for labor.

For paint, you may need 20 gallons of paint. You can pay from $30-$70 for a gallon of good quality exterior paint. The manufacturer of the paint should be specified in any painting contract. Otherwise, the contractor could bid at a Sherwin-Williams $60 per gallon paint and then paint the house with $35 Valspar and pocket the difference. $25 dollars per gallon times 20 gallons? That's a pretty penny too.

That was the long answer to your question. The short answer is $2000 to $4000 and up, depending upon the amount of prep, the number of coats, the amount of trim, and the paint used.