Patients are starting to bill doctors for making them wait, reports CNN.
“When he keeps patients waiting more than 15 minutes, Dr. Timothy Malia, a primary care physician in Fairport, New York, hands them a $5 bill. If patients in Eugene, Oregon, wait more than 10 minutes to see Dr. Pamela Wible, they receive a handmade soap or a bottle of lotion. When Dr. Cyrus Peikari, an internist in Dallas, recently had to miss a day of work because of a family emergency, he gave the patients whose appointments he canceled $50 at their next appointment.”
I’ve been kept waiting at doctors’ offices. I’ve been kept waiting as pharma reps walked past a full waiting room bearing plates of food. But I’ve also been kept waiting as doctors have handled other patients, undoubtedly more complex cases than mine.
Practice administrator and blogger Brandon Betancourt sums up the point nicely, and further extends the idea to every delay faced in life, such as toll booths on turpikes tied up with traffic.
I’ve also been squeezed into the schedule for emergency appointments, undoubtedly making someone else wait. And I’ve also been treated by phone on nights, weekends and holidays, and I’m not so sure that my primary care physician gets reimbursed for that.
So, kudos to those few physicians who respect their patients’ busy schedules enough to reward them. But I’m Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at ACP Internist*
A friend of mine had a hard time getting in to see her doctor for an urgent visit last week. Reeling from an unexpected and sudden family upset, she was depressed and anxious, unable to sleep or function, and her therapist was advising an antidepressant. She called her family doc, who works at a large hospital-based multispecialty group, and told the woman at the call center that she wanted to see the doctor on an urgent matter. She was given an appointment 6 weeks in the future.
Summoning her courage, my friend told the woman her story – and that she was really worried about herself and did not think she could wait that long.
“Sorry, that is the best I can do” was the reply.
Increasingly upset, my friend told the woman that if she had to wait that long, she just might kill herself in the interim. Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at The Blog That Ate Manhattan*
Like many offices, we have a policy of calling patients to remind them of upcoming appointments, usually one to two days ahead of time. With the advent of our new EMR, we have the option of having the system send them email reminders. The vast majority of folks who’ve received these just love them. But there are still several patients a day who get phone calls.
The other recent change in the office, cutting the staff by 50%, means that my one remaining staffer is the one who makes the calls. She has other stuff to do, though — lots of other stuff, actually — so that she may not get around to these calls until later in the day.
Thank goodness our patients are right on the ball: Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Musings of a Dinosaur*