Question about Ultrasound With Consultation

spac

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I have been trying to get info for 2 weeks from my vet and the different internists about prices, etc. for an ultrasound. I'm incredibly frustated because it shouldn't take 2 weeks to get this info.

I cannot get anyone to tell me the benefits of doing an ultrasound with a consultation versus just an ultrasound.

In both cases, the cat is seen by an internist who performs the ultrasound. The internist writes a report and sends it to the primary vet. But if I do a consultation, the internist talks to me - over the phone (can't go inside due to COVID). Without a consultation, the internist does not have any communication with me and simply talks to my vet.

At the one internist, I would have to pay anywhere from $100-$300 more for a consultation.

At the other internist, I have yet to get a full price. But it appears to cost much less for a consultation. However, the hospital claims they can't give me the total cost until the primary vet sends the referral. The internist does not actually work there, he goes there to do ultrasounds when needed. My vet recommended him. But this hospital has HORRIBLE reviews claiming that they only care about money and will lie and trick you into paying more. All of the reviews have the same theme and that theme is that this place is money hungry, rude, and incompetent. That scares me.

I'm waiting for them to call me since they should now have the referral. I'll be recording the phone call (legal in this state) in case they lie to me. I'll also ask for a written estimate, but doubt I will get it.

I don't know what to do. My vet likes the second internist and says she hasn't heard of any problems with him. I'm not sure if part of her recommendation was based on price or not. My inclination is to go with the first internist as I've used their services before and it was adequate for what I needed it for. The difference here is that this particular cat that I'm taking in may have an uncommon or even rare kidney disorder.

I honestly don't see the benefits of a consultation. It just sounds like a money grab. I vaguely remember doing a consult with the first internist back in 2004. I don't really remember much about it, but from what I do remember, it doesn't seem like it's worth the cost.

I would love feedback on this issue. It may be that I'm so agitated that I'm not looking at things with a clear head.
 

di and bob

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I don't see the benefits of a consultation either. They have to send a report to your vet anyway, who uses the report to form a diagnosis. Since. due to Covid, you can't even see them in person, I would just communicate with your vet.
 

FeebysOwner

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If I understand your situation correctly, an ultrasound is needed based on your vet's opinion, and it just so happens that it could be performed by an internist that you have dealt with before. I would stick with this scenario, and forgo an extra consultation fee, if it were me. Just get a copy of the written report so you have exactly what the internist tells your vet - you might also ask to see any notes made by your vet so you can see her perspective of the internist's evaluation.

You can ask your vet why she is recommending another internist just to see what she says. But, I am going through a similar situation, and I know that at least where I live the available specialty groups/internists only get involved with a referral from the primary care vet - AND, that referral gives the vet a 'kick-back'. Not saying this is the same as your case, but it seems pretty likely to me.
 
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maggie101

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I have also asked about costs but it depends on what the vet finds and won't know til there's an ultrasound
 

denice

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I know that an ultrasound really depends a lot on the person performing and reading the results. That is part of doing the ultrasound. I don't understand the additional fee for a consult.
 
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spac

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Thanks for the info.

I've basically gone to the one internist practice before, but the actual internist that I used has retired. So it would be a different doctor doing it. The practice was actually bought out by a big company that has several locations in the USA. I have not been there since this happened, but most of the same doctors are still there. It sounds like they're basically running everything the same way.

I got a call from my vet this afternoon, they said the second internist doesn't do chest ultrasounds. I don't know why this hospital couldn't have told me this when I called the other day. I specifically asked if they could do one and how much it cost. They said they couldn't answer that until they got the referral. Then after they received it, they called my vet and said they don't do chest ultrasounds. I had to wait five days just to get this information. WTH?? :mad:

My cat doesn't NEED a chest ultrasound, but I figured I might as well get one while I'm there just to be on the safe side. At the first internist, the cost is only about $120 more without the consultation. With the consultation, the cost is $300 more.

Anyway, I need to call the first internist to ask more about the consultation. One tech from my vet clinic told me one thing and another told me something different.

And people wonder why I'm so grouchy and anal retentive all the time! Incompetency, everywhere! There's no reason why it should take 2 weeks to get all this info and get the appointment scheduled. Ridiculous.
 

fionasmom

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I have nothing to add really. My pets, dogs and cats, have had numerous ultrasounds and I never consulted with the doctor who did the ultrasound but always the prescribing vet. I have also never been asked if I wanted to pay a consultation fee. Who can blame you for being upset?
 

FeebysOwner

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I've basically gone to the one internist practice before, but the actual internist that I used has retired. So it would be a different doctor doing it. The practice was actually bought out by a big company that has several locations in the USA. I have not been there since this happened, but most of the same doctors are still there. It sounds like they're basically running everything the same way.
I would venture to guess that the big company is the same one I am having to deal with for the specialty consult. The place essentially remains the same in terms of their staff, but is now under a new name...and, ultimately, who know what other changes are on the horizon. However, they aren't going forward with anything other than the initial consult, but that might be because my vet wasn't recommending any particular testing, just a second opinion of the x-rays that the vet did in her office.
I got a call from my vet this afternoon, they said the second internist doesn't do chest ultrasounds. I don't know why this hospital couldn't have told me this when I called the other day. I specifically asked if they could do one and how much it cost. They said they couldn't answer that until they got the referral. Then after they received it, they called my vet and said they don't do chest ultrasounds. I had to wait five days just to get this information
That is pretty much insane, tbh. Got nothing to offer on that one.
My cat doesn't NEED a chest ultrasound, but I figured I might as well get one while I'm there just to be on the safe side.
So, you were getting an ultrasound for a different part of the body and thought to add one for the chest? Depending on what your goals are, an echocardiogram might be a better option. What are you looking for with a chest ultrasound? Sorry if I got lost on the testing that needs to be done.
 
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