5. HMOs

The Joys of Oral Surgeons vs. HMOs

Since I had decided I would rather get a second opinion before going any further with my treatment, my next task was to get an appointment with a second maxillofacial/oral surgeon. My orthodontist, Dr. D., strongly recommended one oral surgeon to me, but since he was not in my insurance’s network, it didn’t make sense to go to him and completely sabotage any chance I had with getting my treatment covered. Dr. N. was then recommended to me, but it turned out that he was not only in the same practice as Dr. S., but Dr. S. was the only one who actually performed the surgeries. Since there were three other doctors in the same practice, that rapidly shrunk my list of eligible doctors in Montgomery County down to five. Eliminating one based on location, I called Dr. D.’s office again for more recommendations. This time, I was told to try Dr. F. and Dr. T. Since it turns out that Dr. F. retired from hospital cases, I got an appointment with Dr. T. to be evaluated for orthognathic surgery. Although when I went in to see him he was very amiable and agreed that I needed to be treated surgically, it was not much help to hear this from him, since he no longer did surgeries. However, he did agree to recommend some surgeons if I would fax a list of doctors within my network to him. I was grateful for his offer, even though I was back at square one, since my orthodontist had seemed to run through all of his recommendations. The next day, I faxed a list to Dr. T., this time including doctors in Fairfax and Arlington Counties, as well as the remaining two (Dr. Go. and Dr. G.) in Montgomery County. He recommended Dr. C. and his practice (in both Fairfax and Arlington counties), so I then checked with Dr. D. to see if he’d be willing to work with any of these doctors. Although he didn’t recognize any of their names, he did mention that he had heard of Dr. G.; however, he had never seen any of his work. After doing some preliminary internet research on Dr. G., and with the more convenient location working on his side, I made an appointment with him. This was probably the most nerve-wracking of all my appointments, though, since I was worried that if I didn’t like him, or if he didn’t perform surgeries anymore (although I did check that he did when I made the appointment), then I would be out of luck with finding a new surgeon.