Open Letter to my Doctor - Request for Medical Records
Avalon Park, Florida
Medical records are the patients property...
For the past 18 years I've held you in the highest regard. I've always been a loyal patient. I've always referred your services to friends and family. Recently I've been kicked to the curb by your practice. That hurt. I gave you the benefit of the doubt. I always did. I wondered what had happened to our medical records.
I first learned of this dilemma while picking up a prescription from the pharmacy. I found out from the pharmacist that your office was closed! Needless to say, I was in shock. Literally. Questions began to manifest in my mind. No answers, just lots of questions. Is he sick again? Did he die? Was he in an accident? Surely he would have contacted his patients beforehand if he was going to retire. He would never just abandon his patients! Stress began to build up. Tension was a burden to bear.
I phoned your office. "Temporarily out of service?" What is that supposed to imply? You are taking a temporary break? An extended vacation? I sent you a personal email. No response after 24 hours. I began to worry a bit. I sure hope he's well. I hope I could get my families medical records, since they are our property. I went to visit your office in hopes that surely there was a staff member working there who could answer questions. Instead I found this message below..."sudden leave of absence..." Oh my! This isn't good. Reading the letter told me that your practice just didn't care. You'll return when you are ready. No mention of how we could obtain our medical records. Didn't someone consider the patients? Honestly, without us there wouldn't be a practice.
The office door was locked. There was no one available to assist us. Yet, your office has an office manager who should be in control of matters. Just in case you aren't aware of this, your office manager didn't do a good job in tending to patients needs.
Medical records are the patients property! Not the doctors. We pay you to do your job and you keep records. When we need our records they should be readily available. We shouldn't have to beg or plead for them. We shouldn't have to be concerned if they are going to end up in a dumpster. Or that random strangers will be dumpster diving through our personal information.
Patients shouldn't have to rush out and find a new doctor because they need their prescriptions filled. They shouldn't have to redo their lab-work because the new doctors won't refill prescriptions because they don't have our medical records! Especially since their lab-work was already done recently, but they don't have proof since this information is in their medical records. On top of that their insurance companies aren't covering the lab-work since they already paid! "Sorry for the inconvenience!" Heck, yes this is an inconvenience! All someone with any common sense who works in your practice had to do was phone the patients and have them pick up their records. Or simply, have someone waiting in the office to return our property to us. This is more than an inconvenience, this is a disgrace.
Florida Statues 459.0122 Medical Records
Medical Records on Amazon
I didn't stop there...
At this point I still don't know what happened to you. I understand things do happen. Accidents happen. Mistakes happen. Health fails. Yet, you are a medical professional with hundreds of patients relying on you. We just expect you to always be there. Yet, you weren't. Yet, someone else should have been. No matter what vocation we work in, someone should always have our back. I had your back for 18 years. I thought you had mine.
I also contacted your ex-partner which I didn't want to do. I know the history and I didn't want to go back there. Yet, I was desperate. Regardless, he was no help. My husband has cancer. He needs prescription refills. My daughters needs refills. My son in law needs refills. I need refills. We need our medical records.
I then went another step further and contacted a Facebook friend who is an anchorwoman for our local news channel. She was able to assist me. Vanessa Echols understood my dilemma since she is a cancer survivor and a kind person. She immediately put me in touch with a news reporter Berndt Peterson who listened to my story. He also was concerned about the abandoned patients. How could we help them get their medical records? We could go through the American Medical Association, yet that would take forever. We could contact the landlord of the office building, yet as long as the rent is paid it's your property inside.
I was offered an opportunity to have my voice heard. I was offered an opportunity to be the voice of the many patients who had already found out, or who will find out one day when they need you. I was offered an opportunity of a television interview. It was not an easy decision for me to make. On one side I felt like I was betraying you. On the flip side, I was looking out for my family and other patients who need their medical records. If I didn't conduct the interview it would have been someone else. Someone who was more irate and out for blood. I was neutral, yet I still want my medical records.
At this time the medical records are locked behind an office door. Tomorrow they could be trashed. Which we know is illegal. All it takes is one person to unlock the door and give the patients what is rightfully theirs. It's that simple. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure that out. Our medical records are our property. Not yours. Not the office managers/fiance.
There are always two sides to every story...
Where we stand now...
You know me. You know I can't just sit back and not right a wrong. In my opinion and in the opinion of many others what happened is wrong. This matter wasn't easy for me to deal with. I didn't want to have to push and pursue answers. All I want are our medical records. Our property.
Since I started my roving reporting to figure out how we could retrieve our medical records I have discovered what had happened to you. Suspension. Hopefully temporary. The reasons behind it don't matter. It's a personal issue for you and I don't feel the need to air your business. That isn't what this letter is about.
I hope this letter teaches another doctor to always have reliable back-up in cases of emergency. Have a written, notarized plan. Don't depend on someone else. That someone else could make or break your business and reputation.
Yes, even though I've been kicked to the curb I am still a loyal patient. Even though I will be on the local 6:00 news with my interview, I still support you. Am I a fool? No, I'm human and we all make mistakes. Now could I please have my medical records? Wishing you well Doctor M.
Update: Information to retrieve your medical records is located below in comments.
If you are a patient of Dr. Mallonee's please leave a comment and have your voice heard.
Dr. Mallonee if you are reading this, I'd like to interview you so that your voice could be heard.
UPDATE: I have personally spoken with Dr. M on 8/15. I appreciate that he took the time to contact me. I was correct with supporting him. I won't get into details, but the good news is that he'll be back in practice within a couple of months. He was misjudged by one fellow doctor which led to this fiasco.
Yet another update...
I post this update with a sad heart. I was attempting to renew a prescription today and the pharmacist noticed Dr. Mallonee as the prescribing physician.
Even though I informed the pharmacist the prescription wasn't from Dr. M, he still felt compelled to inform me that pharmacists were told to not refill any of Dr. M's prescriptions because he's been disbarred and his license has been revoked.
I informed the pharmacist that Dr. M is getting help and will be back. The cocky and arrogant pharmacist said, "Not in this lifetime."
So, it's not looking good for Dr. M. Hopefully his former patients have found new doctors and are being well taken care of.
If only Dr. M cared about his patients as much as we care about him this entire mess never would have happened. I still miss him as does my husband.
We have a new doctor, but he's not as good as Dr. M. No one could compare to him. Yet, life goes on. I guess it's time to stop waiting for his return.
Linda Bilyeu video on WFTV (Snippet)
Sunshine on good behavior.
- Sunshine - Random Fun Facts
Random fun, facts about Sunshine!
Dr. Mallonee is back!
Are you a patient of Dr. Mallonee?
What are the chances...?
On September 10, 2014 we found out that our Ophthalmologist, Dr. Susi, had suddenly closed his office doors. Dave was a patient of his assistant Dr. Galaydh for cataract surgery. Dave is now having issues with a swollen nerve behind the cataract. We could really use Dr. Galaydh's assistance now. He's nowhere to be found.
Medical Records are again missing. What are the chances that this could happen twice within two years? There must be a policy in place to protect patients in cases such as this.
© 2012 Linda Bilyeu