I've been trying to get an authorization/referral/Papal blessing to see an orthopedic doctor for over two months now... see Finding a Good PCP is Like Finding Bigfoot.
I finally spoke (4th time's the charm) with someone at my PCP's office that actually SENT a fax to the Insurance Company. Within 24 hours, my Insurance Company sent me an e-mail letting me know of the approval. I printed out the referral/auth/blessing and faxed it to the orthopedic office. After two days, I called to get the elusive ortho appointment...
Office: "Do you have a referral?"
Me: "Yes, I printed it from my Insurance Company's website and faxed it myself two days ago.
Me: "Oh, you mean like right there on the paper where it says "approved" and the approved codes for the office visits?"
Me: "So where it says I have 4 visits and the Insurance Company name and my name and the effective dates of the auth and your office name, address and phone numbers... this won't work?"
Me: lighting my hair on fire and cursing small animals.
For all of this effort, they better wave a magic wand over my knee and send me on my way!