Laura Wojcik's little girl, Elizabeth, is due Saturday. So imagine her surprise when she learned she'd have to find another doctor for the delivery and find one in just one day.
"I was pretty upset because I love going here and everything. They're good doctors, and then I had to change," said Wojcik.
A doctor from the Norwich OB-GYN Group will be on call this weekend, but inside the office, the waiting room is empty, and there are no doctors in the exam rooms. The office stopped taking patients Thursday when it decided it could no longer meet the financial demands of running the practice.
"We've had a reduction in reimbursement from the state-funded insurances, because the budget situation, things had slowed down, so April, May were very slow, and June continued to be slow," said Bernadette Grecki
, the practice administrator.
Add to that the payments from the largest state-funded insurance provider wouldn't be arriving till July, and the office says it had no choice but to close.
"It was too much for the doctor. He realized he couldn't keep funding the practice," said Grecki.
The group says it is working with other OB-GYN's in the area to accommodate patients, and the files of pregnant patients who are at 32 weeks or more have already been transferred to Backus Hospital
, so doctors will be prepared when the women go into labor.
"We'll be able to provide them the care that they need, being able to take a look at their medical history, assess any special needs they may have," said Keith Fontaine
, Chief Communications Officer at Backus Hospital
Even though the office isn't seeing patients, it will be open for the next three months with staff available to answer any patient questions, give referrals and to make sure patients have access to their records.