Describe your experience with Arkansas Fertility Center.
It was clean, pleasant looking, well-organized. I never waited less than 75 minutes in the waiting room and never less than 30 minutes in an exam room. The billing department was knowledgeable but completely disorganized. They seemed offended when I wanted a copy of my records and tried to discourage me from getting them.
During treatment, did you feel like you were treated like a number or a human?
It was rare that I saw him and he seemed to know any of my history, despite seeing him fairly regularly as one does during treatment. He performed a hysteroscopy and laparoscopy on me and did not explain the results to me or my husband well after the surgery on the day of the surgery so I had questions during the post-op check up. He told me that he would never answer questions like the ones I had so I checked with some physicians I know to see if my questions were out of line, they said the questions were totally appropriate. Dr. Motous raised his voice to me during the post-op check up and told me to leave. When I went back two weeks later to start treatment he didn't remember my name or that he had performed surgery on me.
Describe your experience with the nursing staff.
They were nice enough, all seemed fresh out of nursing school, many were not RNs but were either LPNs or aides with some medical training. It was clear they were not the ones to answer questions and none of them seemed particularly fond of Dr. Motous.
What specific things went wrong at this clinic?
- Failed to call in prescriptions to pharmacy
- Lost paperwork
- Lost appointments
- Failed to call with results
- Failed to order appropriate test
- Failed to send your chart to another clinic
- Lost results
- Provided conflicting information
- Failed to convey critical information
- Failed to consider drug intolerance
How was your experience with Dean Moutos?
Dr. Moutos was brash and difficult. He is known to not have a good bedside manner but for a while that seemed ok until it was clear he was not explaining the process to us completely at each step. He initially told us that I could start medication whenever I wanted, but when we came in to start medication he said we should do a test and then we could start medication. We did that test, came back, and it had not been made clear to us that the test results may result in surgery. So I had surgery and were told after that we could start medication as soon as we wanted. We came back after surgery and were told that while the surgery went fine that we would need to wait two months and that was always the case, no one could start without a two month wait.
He also talked me into a laparoscopy that I did not necessarily need. He claimed that insurance would not pay for the procedure if we found I needed it later in treatment and while he was nearly certain there was nothing to find it made sense to cut now and know for sure. It was a shock when he said very nonchalantly that he found stage 2 endometriosis "all over the place" (he never specified what that meant) and seemed to be irritated by my shock and dismay. After going into treatment with a different doctor at a different clinic later I asked her if it was a concern and she said no, and that she was surprised I had a laparoscopy in the first place given my history and records from Dr. Moutos's office (which were entirely complete).
I also had a hysterosalpingogram (HSG) prescribed by Dr. Motous but performed by his partner Dr. Batres. I was not told that Dr. Motous would not be performing the procedure and was not given an option on what day to do the procedure. After that procedure I developed mild chronic uterine pain and GI issues that Dr. Motous discounted. I was not given antibiotics after the HSG or the surgery by Dr. Motous. I ovulated spontaneously and became pregnant 2 months after the surgery and subsequently miscarried. The chronic pain and GI issues never abated but they were the least of my worries at that point. During a second hysteroscopy by a different physician/clinic 6 months later it was discovered that I had endometritis, which is common after having a uterine procedure or surgery without prophylactic antibiotics. Some of the symptoms are mild chronic uterine pain and GI issues. Endometritis is also a cause for miscarriages.
Ultimately I left Dr. Motous because I felt bullied generally, pushed into surgery I did not need, and that he was irritated and appalled when I asked questions. I know many women have given him good reviews elsewhere but those women have also gotten pregnant and had children while being treated by him. I try to be objective and avoid bias in my reviews of him as a result, but ultimately it comes back to the fact that I felt bullied and he was mean to me. Given how hard fertility treatments are to begin with to have your physician be mean to you is the exact opposite of how any woman and couple should be treated. Kid gloves aren't always necessary or appropriate but being a decent human being and nice to your patient is necessary.
What one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Dean Moutos?
If you are going to see him, don't let him bully you into anything and don't expect him to know who you are, what your history is, or your name. And don't bother asking questions, it just pisses him off.
Describe the protocols Dean Moutos used in your cycles and their degree of success.
HSG to find out if tubes were blocked, then hysteroscopy to examine uterine obstruction (determined to be large polyp) and laparoscopy to determine if there was endometriosis, then Clomid. It was never clear how much monitoring/how many ultrasounds I would receive while on Clomid to make sure that I wasn't at risk for Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS) and OHSS was never mentioned as a risk of Clomid despite it being a high likelihood given my medical history. Ultimately I left his practice before treatment started because I felt bullied and worried that his treatment protocol would not be individualized to me or necessarily safe.
Describe the costs associated with your care under Dean Moutos.
I paid up front for the HSG and surgery without knowing at the time that it is a practice that is discouraged by insurance companies because negotiated rates change the billing amount so the patient is expected to pay a co-pay up front and then whatever is owed after the negotiated rate on the back end. At Dr. Moutos clinic it is a flat fee up front and then they will ask you for more money if it is owed. Ultimately, they owed me money and it was incredibly difficult getting a refund from them.
I was also never told that I would owe money for any appointments beyond the co-pay for a specialist before I started treatment. I only found out when I received a late notice without having received an original invoice. When I questioned it and asked them to submit it to insurance anyway they stated they had told me about it, given me a rate sheet (I never saw one and I'm completely OCD about keeping things like that for budgeting), and insurance would not pay for it. I submitted it to insurance myself and insurance paid for it because it was considered diagnostic and not treatment.