Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Goodbye Prime, It was nice knowing you (not really)

Yesterday flew by in what seemed like a flash! I had a doctors appointment in the morning and had to get my medical records printed out since as of today I am making the switch to tricare standard. I can not tell you enough how happy I am about this. Tricare prime is free (other than the allotment they take out of hubby's check each month) but the standard of care, at least in my own personal experience has been horrible. It took me a year after moving to Virginia to even get into the clinic closest to my house, and I almost died when they tried to force me to go to Langley Hospital which would have been a 45 minute drive or worse in traffic. Umm, no thank you!

Once I was finally able to be "squeezed" in and started trying to schedule appointments I could never actually get in to see my PCM (primary care manager or basically my regular doctor) and to this day I still have not had a visit with my actual doctor. I have seen others, but never the one I am supposed to see. The whole system is flawed and extremely impersonal. I literally had two appointments within four days of each other last year and the doctor I saw both times didn't even remember seeing me!!

Now don't even get me started on my  experiences during this pregnancy. It has been a nightmare! The clinic I go to doesn't accept sick appointments or have an urgent care so anytime you are actually sick & don't have a scheduled appointment you can NOT get in to see your doctor. Instead you have to drive all the way to Portsmouth Naval Hospital and go to the emergency room. Can anyone else see how this doesn't make sense? If I have a severe cold & need a doctors note for work I am not going to go to the emergency room. It would be a waste of time for myself and the people working there! Or say for instance when I was suffering from severe morning sickness at all times of the day and night, but didn't have my first appointment scheduled for another month, I had to go to the ER just to get some anti nausea medication.

I found out I was pregnant at about 6 weeks along and didn't have my first actual appointment until I was 12 weeks! Before that the only thing they did at my 10 week appointment was make me pee in a cup & draw some blood. They also made us sit in a group and listen to a power point about being pregnant and blah blah blah. It was a waste of my time! My friend who is pregnant also & about two weeks behind me, is on standard & she was able to be seen at 8 weeks! Her doctor did an ultrasound and actually checked her out. I had to wait until I was 12 weeks to even get that kind of care! From then on she was being seen every four weeks or about once a month. Up to this point (I am already 6 months!) I have only been seen every six weeks.

So finally I have had enough and did the research on costs and what I need to do to switch. I've gotten myself a new doctor and am so glad I don't have to have my baby at Portsmouth Naval and worry about not knowing who the heck is gonna deliver my baby. I can make a birth plan and will have my own doctor who knows me and I can get in to see if I am having an issue with something. I feel like it's such a relief and I should have done this so long ago! Anyway, I'm off to get ready for a walk with my friend Megan & her adorable son Cody. I am trying to walk as much as possible to help me prepare for labor and not get too out of shape since I can't do a lot of other physical activities while I'm pregnant. I hope you all have a great day & sorry for the healthcare rant! ;) xoxo!


  1. That does sound awful. I have to drive to Portsmouth Naval too and it's a good 40m drive. I got stuck in tunnel traffic last time and it really sucked. I feel like it's just a bunch of bouncing around and different referrals. I have heard loads of bad things about Prime with pregnancy and birth too. They did say a nurse midwife was covered, but I'd still have to have my baby in that hospital and not in a midwife or birthing center. I just don't want people that are influenced in the ways of a hospital setting to try and influence me, and I'm not about to be confined to that hospital bed.

  2. I have no idea about Tri Care Prime. We have Tri Care Reserves and I had the same treatment that your friend had.

    So far, the pregnancy cost me $30. That makes me very thank for Tri Care.

  3. I hated the way Tricare Prime was done in Hampton Roads. I only got seen once, at that clinic on Little Creek, and they were jerks. All my friends hated it too. Thankfully, we moved.

    I kept Prime, but here in Pensacola it was a completely different world. I saw the same doctor for every appointment, could make same-day appointments if necessary, and my doctor did my delivery. It was all at one hospital with an attached outpatient clinic. I had a fabulous birth experience there. So don't think that all of Tricare Prime sucks, since it's very location-dependent.

    I'm glad you switched and are advocating for yourself and your baby. It's a crucial momma skill, and you should be proud!