Growing up back in Faribault, Minnesota - I never had a problem receiving an interpreter for the doctor's office. Onward to Gallaudet University in Washington, DC - I never had a problem receiving an interpreter for the doctor's office. BOOM - Here I am in Cave Spring, Georgia - I was told by the local community that its near-impossible to receive interpreting services in the doctor's office and even in the hopsitals. Please note that Faribault and DC indeed has a large friendly deaf community but Cave Spring stands out because this town has nearly 1,000 residents and approximately ten percent of them are deaf or hard of hearing. Where else in America can you find a community that has ten percent of its resident deaf or hard of hearing?
On the Internet - Through my insurance provider's website, I made my pick of a family doctor based on how close her office was to my home and the Wal-Mart Supercenter that I could shop after the appointment.
I called the doctor's office through video relay services (VRS) and the secretary was friendly and told me to come in the next morning to fill out paperwork before I could schedule an appointment. That went well, I thought since the secretary had no problems with the VRS.
The very next morning, I stopped by the office and I was warmly greeted by the secretary and was given two pages of simple "paperwork" as I turned in my insurance card. Within 15 minutes, I was given an appointment at this Monday, June 19th at 2 pm. That was easy and quick, I thought.
At this point, I asked for an interpreter to present at my appointment and suddenly this secretary turned to an older lady who appears to be a nurse and quickly talked back and forth. The secretary wrote back that the doctor knows some sign language - and I wrote back that its wonderful she knows sign language but as she is a medically professional doctor, I will also need a professional certified interpreter alongside. With my reponse, I was "put on hold" for several minutes as the secretary and the nurse talked at length and the nurse took over the secretary's seat and went over the computer then she wrote to me that the office cannot serve me because they are not the assigned PCP (Primary Care Physician) on my insurance card. I notified the nurse that I'm new to the area and the PCP that is assigned to me is not my choice and I choose this office. The nurse replied, "contact your insurance company to change PCP then come back."
There you have it - I will be back to that doctor's office and I will blog on my second attempt.