I will start this posting by apologizing up front for the long delay in posting. I will also apologize if any of this posting offends anyone because I am dismayed at the growing numbers of calls that I am receiving from ADHD/ADD folks here in Portland Oregon (OR) who are having problems with their new providers. The scenario goes like this: Patient X is being seen by a provider who either leaves their clinic/office and is transferred to a new provider. The new provider either doesn’t believe in ADHD or doesn’t want to continue the previous medication. Most of the time that previous medication was a stimulant and the new provider or their clinic’s policy is to avoid prescribing stimulant medication. So the new provider attempts to convince the patient that their symptoms are really related to underlying depression issues and will want to switch the patient to an anti-depressant. Or the new provider will attempt to convince the patient that their issues are related to underlying anxiety issues and wants to prescribe something for anxiety. While we can debate the intentions of the new provider, what is more problematic is this growing trend to delegitimize ADHD as a true neurobiological disorder and reduce the prescribing of certain medications that oftentimes are most efficacious in treatment.
If this scenario is happening to you or a loved one, you have the right to speak to a supervisor or office manager and inquire about their medication policy. You have the right if all else fails to find a new provider who will work with you in a collaborative effort and see you as part of the solution rather than part of the problem. I understand that if you are limited in provider choices, you might inquire if your plan will allow you to see providers outside of your network on a single case agreement because you are unable to find one in network that will work with you in a partnership basis. Most of all, if you have been successfully treated with a medication for some time and the new provider can’t provide a reasonable medical reason for making a change, you might wish to find one that will accomodate you.
As always, if you have any questions, concerns, or suggestions about ADHD/ADD in the greater Portland Oregon (OR) area, please feel free to contact me at (503)492-2200.