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nadine_mn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 04:38 PM
Original message
why can't we sell doctor appointments
***warning rant to follow*****

First this is not a slam on doctors so calm down

I just got off the phone w/ my husband - he tried to reschedule a doctor appointment and they said because it was less than 24 hours notice, he would have to pay $100 (which would not be covered as a co-pay which is usually $25)

Now the reason I am ticked is because this appointment was rescheduled because the doctor had cancelled the original one. And no, he did not receive 24 hours notice, in fact not even an hour's notice. He got to the office and they said ...oh sorry we called your house (they have his cell and work numbers which are listed as day numbers and this was a weekday morning around 10am) to let you know its canceled. They called at 9:30am.

This is the 3rd time they cancelled - each time only giving him less than a few hours notice.

I understand that time is money, that if someone cancels last minute then there is no time to reschedule and recoup the income. This is true for many service professionals - doctors, lawyers, hair stylists, photographers etc - anytime you need to make an appointment. But I think there should be mutual respect - so hypothetical: my husband's doctor is sick the morning of my husband's appointment so she cancels - life happens, she didn't expect 24 hours ago to be sick. My husband is inconvenienced and has lost income - he has had to request time off, reorganize his schedule etc, however he doesn't want his doctor getting him sick. So when he has to cancel last minute it should be a wash ( everyone gets a free last minute cancellation - actually one of my doctors had a 3 strikes out policy which was great).

Or we should be able to mitigate the damages - so my husband can't go - he is torn either pay $100 we don't have for an appointment he can't go to or miss an important meeting at work. He should be able to give away his appointment to someone else - then the dr is not out of money and neither is my husband. Of course be realistic - if my husband appointment is with an allergist he can't substitute someone who needs to see a podiatrist.



What seriously pisses me off isn't so much the policy - I know this is common - but that this same office has cancelled 3x on my husband within the last 6 months. (why he doesn't change dr.'s is another issue).

What else pisses me off is that as consumers we have no say in this mess of health care. It is so hard to get an appointment, nearly impossible to get in same day. And seriously why can't dentists be open on Friday afternoons! Thank god for Minute clinics - I love those. I don't blame doctors - I know that insurance companies, HMO's are a pain in the ass, and I know that as individuals many of us have been apathetic and not demanded better, and this is why its a mess.

People have no problem yelling and demanding from minimum wage workers at fast food restaurants or department stores for better customer service, complaining about rudeness (which can be true) but when it comes to our health and demanding better customer service - bills that you can understand, same day appointments, choice of providers, affordable treatments etc we roll over.

I say we as a generic term - I know some people are great advocates for themselves - if thats you please disregard. I know I am guilty of not demanding enough of my representatives, and I know I am not alone.


So until then, anyone need a dr appointment in the Twin Cities... :)
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Selatius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 04:41 PM
Response to Original message
1. 3 times? Maybe it's time to get a new doctor.
Sounds like this doctor is unreliable with keeping obligations.
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nadine_mn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 04:42 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. That is another issue
It is a matter of convenience and specialty and access due to our insurance
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Selatius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 04:47 PM
Response to Reply #2
5. That's one that bugs me about private health insurance. You can only go to "approved" doctors.
Anybody you go to who isn't "approved" by the for-profit insurance company won't be covered by the insurance company as far as payment of medical fees.

In France's system, ranked #1 by the WHO, you can see any doctor you wish because there is only one state-run insurance company, which consequently has tremendous bargaining power in keeping down per capita medical costs each year.

I dunno, if we had that system, instead of blowing all the money on the bureaucracy of denying care and penny-pinching, it could be spent on better schools and infrastructure or renewable fuels research and so on.
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sarcasmo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 04:43 PM
Response to Original message
3. Your answer is in your post.
Time to change Doctors.
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nadine_mn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 04:49 PM
Response to Reply #3
6. That is one solution
but the issue to me is more widespread than that
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notadmblnd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 04:46 PM
Response to Original message
4. Did you call the office back and explain to them he was rescheduling because they cancelled, not him
because I'd be damned if I pay a 100.00 visit. Sounds to me like a scam.
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DaveJ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 04:57 PM
Response to Original message
7. Obviously a crappy doctor. I hope this is not common.
The doctor we picked for our HMO takes appointments just a few hours ahead of time, as long as there is an opening of course.

I don't buy into the 'busy' sh*t from any type of service provider. If they are too busy to dedicate total attention to me, then they are doing a poor job and will not get my repeat business.
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Mojorabbit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 05:01 PM
Response to Original message
8. I'd call and ask to speak with the doctor or office manager
99 percent chance it will be dropped.
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ThomCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 05:01 PM
Response to Original message
9. If this is being rescheduled because THEY canceled the appointment
then I'd be raising Hell. There's no way you should be charged for their scheduling screw up.

If they can get away with this then they've got a new profit center. Just overbook every single day, cancel the excess appointments one day in advance, and charge those people for rescheduling. Bam! Money for nothing.
x(
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nadine_mn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 05:09 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. no - its the rescheduled now my spouse has to cancel
Appointment 1 - my husband called and made. He showed up, they said they had to cancel because the dr is out.
Appointment 2 - my husband called and made to reschedule appointment 1. Now something came up today that he has to reschedule the appointment for tomorrow.

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tritsofme Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 05:12 PM
Response to Original message
11. I would get a new doctor, and refuse to pay the $100.
From your story, if they are being that difficult and still want to charge me $100 for cancellation, I would tell them to go pound sand.
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Mike03 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 05:14 PM
Response to Original message
12. This is one example of why I dread insurance
Today I got my flu shot in two minutes, probably because I paid cash.

I don't EVER want a decision over my health to be made by someone other than me and my doctor.

Nothing would bring me greater happiness than to see the entire health insurance industry put out of its misery.

It's not the doctors fault. They are going crazy because they can't focus on the art of medicine; they spend two thirds of their time begging insurance companies to cover procedures or filling out paper work and filing claims.

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sandnsea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 05:14 PM
Response to Original message
13. The appt IS given away to someone else
There's almost always someone to take a missed appt.

And the dentists in my area aren't open on Friday AT ALL.

And I'm supposed to believe it's ALL the insurance companies. Don't think so. There are a lot of problems in health care.
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tammywammy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 05:18 PM
Response to Original message
14. I'd speak with the office manager
I'd bet they let it slide.

And if he really needs to get to this doctor, I'd go one last time, but then I'd find a new doctor. That's unacceptable.

The ob/gyn that I used to go to did something like this. She was a great doctor, so I was willing to drive over an hour to see her. First, I called in August to schedule a physical (I was due for one in October), well the soonest they could fit me in was December! I know if I had called and said I was pregnant, I'd be in the next day or two. So I let that slide.

Then when December rolled around, I drove over an hour to her office to find it all locked up. I call the appointment people, and they said "oh we called you." Yeah, they didn't. The only phone number they have is my cell phone and no one called. So I was pissed. Plus, I hadn't eaten all day b/c they were going to check my cholesterol and it was 3pm already. Well, they could do it the next month, January. Well, it happens that that day it iced/sleeted over here, so that was canceled. I gave up, and I'm not blaming them for the ice. But after having to wait over 3 months to get an appointment to have that canceled then wait another month to have that canceled, I was done.

I called my GP and told them the story and they worked me in the next week.
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